Message From The Parish Priest
THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD. + 3RD JANUARY 2010 CYCLE B weekdays Year One.
MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST.
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 for 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 (Gold) and his Priestly Sacrificial death (Frankincense and Myrrh) . 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. In Ireland the clergy are at the receiving end of black propaganda led by a frenzied media. They will be happy until they see the end of the Catholic Church. 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 remain, 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, Pope Benedict. See how quickly he stood up again after being pulled down on Christmas Mass at St Peters.
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 to everyone.
Father Tom Connolly
THE EPIPHANY ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE AT MASS ON THIS DAY SPELLING OUT THE LITURGICAL CALENDER FOR THE NEW YEAR.
NEW YEAR DRAW ST KENTIGERNS
1st Prize :Maria Pollitt, 2nd Prize :Michael Naughton, 3rd Prize :Shannon and others for Brandy, Whiskey , biscuits etc.. AND BIG THANKS FOR ALL WHO WORKED SO HARD IN BUYING AND SELLING DRAW TICKETS.
THE SEVENTY FIFTH ANNUAL DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES led by the Right Reverend Terence Brain - Bishop of Salford. Travel by air or by coach. From Friday 30th July - Friday 6th August 2010. For further details phone the Lourdes Pilgrimage Office at 817 2209 or website www.salfordlourdes.co.uk
VOCATIONS VOCATIONS. You will see on e notice board the large poster showing the Prayer of Intercession going up from each parish community of our diocese throughout the year for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.. Each parish is designated a day. More on this later.
NO USUAL BAPTISMS PREP THIS AFTERNOON (FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH) BECAUSE LACK OF CLERGY!!!
BIDDING PRAYERS: Epiphany 2010.