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Sermon for 2 January 2011
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THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD. + 2nd JANUARY 2011 CYCLE A 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 frankincense) and his Priestly Sacrificial death, 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. King Herod was so mad that the Magi had deceived him that he sent out his military to murder all the boys under two years of age in Bethlehem and its surrounds. Just the same happens today. The children are sacrificed by neglect and grief and abortion. For our society to be "free to choose".

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 practice and no longer walk with us. In Ireland the clergy are at the receiving end of propaganda led by a frenzied media who are eager to destroy the Catholic Religion for the terrible sins of a few. They will not 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. The Pope mentions this in his new book "The Light of the World". 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.

Last week, BBC Radio FOUR had invited the Pope to do "Thought for the Day" which is on at 7.45am each weekday. The Holy Father spoke for just 3 and a half minutes about his gratitude to Britain for his Visit and then gave a short reflection on the meaning of the Incarnation. The Programme then brought atheist and believers on to scrap together about the content of the Pope's talk or the fact that the BBC invited His Holiness at all. It was amazing really but hey all had an "opinion" and each saw the importance of such a move. The BBC saw this as a "coup". No Pope had ever done a recording for a particular radio station outside the Vatican Radio. So you see, the media people want to hear the Pope speaking.

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".

A Happy New Year again to everyone. Thank you for all your kindness to your clergy this Christmas.


Father Tom Connolly


THE EPIPHANY ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE AT MASS ON THIS DAY SPELLING OUT THE LITURGICAL CALENDAR FOR THE NEW YEAR.

BAPTISM OF THE LORD IS THE FEAST NEXT SUNDAY READERS NOTE.

SOCIETY FOR HE PROTECTION OF THE UNBORN CHILD. I AM MYSELF A MEMBER OF THIS SOCIETY AND THERE WILL BE THE ANNUAL WHITE FLOWER APPEAL NEXT SUNDAY AT ALL MASSES. PLEASE COME PREPARED FOR THIS GREAT CAUSE FOR THE UNBORN BUT IN THE WOMB GROWING CHILD. 200,000 PER YEAR NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY FOR THEY ARE TAKEN AWAY.

NEW YEAR DRAW ST KENTIGERNS. BIG THANKS FOR ALL WHO WORKED SO HARD IN BUYING AND SELLING DRAW TICKETS. Results next week.

A.P.F. RED MISSION BOXES. WINTER COLLECTION. MONIES AND BOXES TO BE IN FOR WEDNESDAY 5TH JANAUARY. Mrs C. Booth. (Sec)

THE ANNUAL DIOCESAN PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES led by the Right Reverend Terence Brain- Bishop of Salford. Travel by air or by coach. Tuesday 2nd August for 7 nights full board by coach or train. By AIR from Wed 3rd August F.B to 9th August, For further details phone the Lourdes Pilgrimage Office at 817 2209 or email:

VOCATIONS - VOCATIONS. You will see on the 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. Se the large Poster at the back of the Church. Our schools and parishes have assigned dates. OURS WAS 30TH DECEMBER , THURSDAY JUST GONE.

EVERY BLESSING AND GRACE AND CONGRATULATIONS ON MR AND MRS. JOSEPH MUTCH AND ENCARNACION (CARNA) MUTCH WHO CELEBRATE THEIR DIAMOND JUBILEE (60) OF MARRIAGE ON 6TH OF JANUARY. THE HOLY FATHER HAS SENT THE REQUESTED PAPAL BLESSING PARCHMENT AND IT WILL BE PRESENTED AT 11AM MASS TODAY AT ST KENTIGERNS WHERE CARNA RUNS THE CHOIR AND HAS DONE FOR LONGER THAN I CAN EVER IMAGINE. WELL DONE!

ADD TO THE SICK LIST MRS. MARY MOLLOY ( ADDITION TO THE MARY MOLLOY ALREADY THERE)

LATELY DEAD. John Burns (Funeral on Thursday at 6.30pm followed by burial in Ireland), Patricia Dowdall ( Funeral at 7.30pm this Sunday 2nd Jan followed by burial in Ireland. and Mary Carragher.

Anniversaries : Anne Hopkins and Austin Hopkins(1st Jan 11.30am) , Arthur Stafford (Vigil) Margaret Comiskey





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