Message From The Parish Priest
Sunday 7th January 2007
THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD. + 7TH JANUARY 2007 CYCLE C weekdays year One.
My dear people,
Today is the Solemnity of a Feast of the Lord - THE EPIPHANY. We associate it with the Three Wise men who came from country far to seek for a newborn King of the Jews. Good news for the people, - bad news for Herod! The reality of this feast lies in the Greek word which means "to show forth" or to disclose.
The Three wise man found that the New Star which had risen in the East and which denoted a new King of the Jews had stopped over the house of Mary and Joseph. They went in with their gifts and they adored Him who was and is their Lord and God. They then go home leaving the gifts behind. Surely they came in useful during our Lord's life time and especially at the Flight into Egypt. The Myrrh was used at his burial we know for that is what myrrh was used for - it was one of the spices used to prepare the body for burial in the Jewish religion.
In a way these were prophetic gifts. They signified our Lord's Divine Kingship and his Priestly Sacrificial death. Being warned not to go back and inform Herod where they had found the new King they returned to their own country by another route. You see straightaway the evil present in the hearts of people like Herod turned against the helpless child as evil does today.
The visit of the Magi showed forth the Christ child to the wider world of astronomy and science and the "wisdom" of the ancients. These Magi came not from Jewish stock. They were not people of the Book or the Covenant and yet they came to adore the new Jewish King and believed he was a king even though his surroundings did not signify Kingship and our Lady and St Joseph did not appear to be of royal family status. But they had faith to see beyond appearances and to see before their eyes a real infant king. They adored him - gave him their homage. The three gifts were very precious too.
So often the objects of our faith seem so fragile and human and limited. The eye of faith sees beyond those appearances. When our Lord was in his Public Ministry he was often attacked by his critics and in the end accused of crimes he was not guilty of. Pilate had power over him but did he? In the end despite the crucifixion and indeed through it - humanity was being redeemed.
The Church seems very weak now in our nation. Many have fallen away from practise and no longer walk with us. There are spaces in church on Sunday when you could not find a place 25 years ago. Priests are scarce and nuns have more or less disappeared. Many live as married without marriage and children are unbaptised. Yet within the mystery of Faith lies the true dynamism of the true Church. Out of the ashes arises a new generation who seek God with a renewed vigour and vision and God raises them up. He is already doing so in the many New Movements in the Universal Church. Christ our Lord is truly the Light that enlightens all men who come into this world and he will not be vanquished - the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church Christ founded on the rock of Peter.
People cannot be conned by the "good life" vision forever. It leaves the soul longing for Truth and integrity and the true meaning of life in its joys and sorrows. Man will not be satisfied with less. Man is a spiritual being and longs for the eternal and the everlasting values. The Magi teach us that such people have existed all along the history of God's People and in the end - they are the ones who "seek and find".
Happy New Year again everyone.
Father Tom Connolly
NEW YEAR DRAW ST KENTIGERNS
1st Prize Sarah and Samantha
2nd Prize D. Fernando
3rd Prize C. Gaffney
AND BIG THANKS FOR ALL WHO WORKED SO HARD IN BUYING AND SELLING DRAW TICKETS.
Bidding Prayers for EPIPHANY 2007
Priest: The wise men were led by the light of the Star and found Jesus. May we by the light of faith find him and in confident faith seek his Help as Mighty God and Prince of Peace.
Reader: You led the wise men Lord, by the light of the star so that the cosmos itself led these men to the mystery of Christ. Lead the wise men of our day who study the cosmos to see your handiwork in the heavenly bodies in their wonder and - their inner laws as a witness to the Creator Lord. Lord hear us.
For all who study the origins of life that they may respect the boundaries God has placed on these experiments to protect the integrity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God. Lord hear us.
For all in the Society for the Protection of the Unborn child and all who work for repeal of the laws which allow children to be terminated in their early stage of life that they may have success with our help. Lord hear us.
For all those who follow the star and seek the truth and especially those of our community under instruction in the RCIA at this time that Christ will truly enlighten them and open their hearts to his presence and his saving grace. Lord hear us.
For all who are poorly and need the healing touch of Christ - that the medical staff looking after them and their families will help them and help them back to health Michael Ruane, Ester White, Jim Murphy, Ged Mannion, Elaine Farrelly, Philomena Quinlan, Fr McGarry and Agnes Gilhooly. Lord hear us.
For all who have died recently that they may see the light of God's face in heaven: Charlie Fallon, Rose Mullan, Albert Dwyer and Francis Donaghy
AND For all those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Michael Gilhooly (11am), Sarah Carpenter, John Moloney (VIGIL MASS), The Bilocha Family, Patrick Garrett, Margaret Comisky, Patrick Blackett and Teresa Cain. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Mary your are truly the morning star which brought to us salvation through Christ the Light of the world- Pray for your people in your goodness. Hail Mary full of..
Priest: Lord in our Baptism you made us children of the light. May we always walk by the light of faith in seeking your help in all the circumstances of our lives for we are in your hands. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.