Pastors Desk - The Ascension of the Lord / A

Posted 27th May 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 28th May 2017 - The Ascension of the Lord (World Communications Day) / A

It’s difficult to find words to describe how we all feel after the awful events in Manchester on Monday. Questions flood into our minds, we ask, why did this happen? How could anyone have such hatred for others that would make them want to commit this awful atrocity on innocent children and young adults? Why didn’t God intervene and prevent this? Why?love-one-another2

But, what motivates someone to do this? How could they be so wrongly influenced by an ideology which makes them want to kill and maim their fellow human beings who have done them no wrong? Exactly what is it that feeds or fosters this evil in someone’s heart and mind?

There are many factors, such as ignorance, fear, anger, resentment etc. which can motivate anyone’s actions. But ultimately it is the evil that can exist in a person’s heart and mind that spurs them on this course of action. The events last Monday and in recent times in other places clearly show us that the Devil is very active in our world. Trying to divide one faith against others. One section of society against all others.

But, the response of the people of Manchester and beyond has been exactly the opposite. Because they have come together united in their grief but still respecting each other through their diversity, different faiths and common humanity.

Now, we continue remember all those who lost their lives last Monday. We think of their families in these dark days. We pray for all those who have been wounded and have life changing injuries. May they always hear and know the promise of Jesus in today’s Gospel ‘Know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’

Fr Gerry

Pastors Desk: Sixth Sunday of Easter / A

Posted 20th May 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 21st May 2017 - Sixth Sunday of Easter / A

holy-spirit2Jesus tries to give comfort and reassurance to the shattered disciples that he will not abandon them and leave them as Orphans. He tells them he will ask the Father who will send them another Advocate to be with them forever. Just as Jesus did not leave the apostles to struggle without the help of the Spirit he will not leave us alone either.

The English dictionary explains the word ‘Advocate’ as ‘an intercessor or defender: one who pleads the cause of another’. So essentially Jesus is telling them that someone will come who will always be there to defend them and support their cause or work from hereon. This Advocate will take the form of a Spirit which will be invisible to those in the world who do not know him but to those who do, that indwelling of the Holy Spirit will be evident in their lives and be a powerful force guiding and directing them in all matters.

The Holy Spirit is like a good counsellor or advisor always guiding our hearts and minds in situations where we must make difficult and painful decisions. Good choices that are life giving rather than life limiting. When we live in the light of that Spirit it allows us to see with greater clarity those parts of our lives where we need healing or to change.

Let us open our minds and hearts to hear him and eagerly respond to his promptings always.

Fr Gerry

Pastors Desk: Fifth Sunday of Easter / A

Posted 13th May 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 14th May 2017 - Fifth Sunday of Easter / A

way-truth-and-lifeIn today’s first reading we see the beginnings of the work of the early Christian church. A problem had arisen and some of the Widows were being overlooked and not receiving any food. At a meeting, the twelve disciples decided that spreading the word of God was paramount and if they were to take on the added responsibility of feeding the needy they would have less time to do so. The community decided to elect seven men ‘of good reputation’ who were presented to the Apostles, they prayed over and laid their hands on them in blessing. This was the beginning of the Diaconate as we know it today.

Johns gospel today was meant to bring a note of comfort and hope to the Christian community at that time. They were under pressure and felt frightened, vulnerable and had concerns for their personal safety. Jesus gives the disciples words of encouragement when he says ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me’.

The words of John are intended to offer comfort, reassurance and hope to those listening. We can all experience times in life when our world in thrown into disarray with the sudden death of a loved one, an illness or life altering experience. But if we trust in the Lord, believe that he is ‘the way, the truth and the life’ then we will know that he never abandons us especially in those times of crisis in faith.
Fr Gerry

Pastors Desk: Fourth Sunday of Easter / A

Posted 6th May 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 7th May 2017 - Fourth Sunday of Easter / A (Vocations Sunday)

vocationToday is Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Vocations. As Christians, we are encouraged to foster and pray for vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and Consecrated life. We are all called to become Good Shepherds of his sheep, that includes, Parents, teachers, Doctors, nurses, caregivers. We are Good Shepherds by loving, caring, spending time with those entrusted to our care at any time.

The bond between a shepherd and their sheep is unique. The sheep get to know the sound of the shepherd’s voice and trust that they will protect them. They quickly learn that they are safe and protected in the ‘sheepfold’ or shed. Jesus uses that same image to explain how his followers should come to him, listen to his voice, trust in his word and then they will have life to the full. He warns that many will come with promises of security that will turn out to be false over time. We are all guilty of listening to ‘other voices’ from time to time and have strayed away from God but only he can lead us to true happiness. He tells that he is the entry to the sheepfold and that all who want to enter must pass through him.

We continue to pray for vocations. That men and Women will be inspired to respond to the Lords call to Priesthood or Religious life and chose to devote their lives in his service.
‘The Lord is my Shepherd there is nothing I shall want’ (Psalm 23.)

Fr Gerry

Today the regular Share Collection is replaced by the Annual Collection for the support of Students to the Priesthood in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Pastors Desk: Third Sunday of Easter / A

Posted 29th April 2017 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 30th April 2017 - Third Sunday of Easter / A

risen-lordAs the two disciples walked along the road to Emmaus we hear that their main topic of conversation was about all that had happened in the days previous. When Jesus joins them they fail to recognise that it is him. He notices that they seem disappointed or discouraged and asks them what they have been discussing. They are amazed that he appears to know nothing of what has happened to ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. He listens and then scolds them for not believing the Prophets and he begins to instruct them using the passages of scripture that were about himself.

Later in the evening, although they sat at the table and Jesus had said the blessing, broke the bread, it was only when he had disappeared that the disciples realised what they had just experienced. Suddenly their eyes are opened and their hearts begin to burn from the realisation that they had just encountered the risen Lord. They instantly set out for Jerusalem to share the good news with their fellow disciples.

Every day we are invited to gather around the table of the Lord to be nourished by scripture and receive the Eucharist. Just as Jesus met the disciples on the Road he also meets us on our Emmaus road in the ordinary experiences of our lives. He journeys along the road of companionship with us. He listens to our worries, concerns, anxieties, fears and gives us the encouragement we need to continue.

Today’s story promises us that Jesus will come to support and strengthen us when we least expect the risen Lord.

Fr Gerry