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Sermon for 14 April 2013



My Dear People,

The Holy Gospel for today's Mass is so full of meaning and pathos and destiny and promise.

Remember that the last time Peter had been at a charcoal fire with the Master was when he was warming his hands in the middle of the night as our Lord was on Trial in the Courtyard of the building where the fire stood. Peter had just been challenged for the third time about his association with The Twelve and therefore a follower of Christ. Losing his bottle he declared and cursed that he did not know Jesus and then the cock crew and Peter looked up and caught the eyes of Jesus and his gaze as he was being led across the courtyard for his mocking and scourging. Peter had gone outside and wept his heart out. Here he was standing again by a charcoal fire.

Jesus in his risen state had lit a charcoal fire on the pebbles of the beach of the Lake in order to prepare some breakfast. What a homely thing to do. Bread was already warming on the hot stones and our Lord intended some of the freshly caught fish to be the breakfast for them and the other fishermen - the apostles.

It was at this moment - when the breakfast had been eaten that our Lord in that most gentle of manner gave Peter the "come-back" call and allowed him, to reverse those three denials. The threefold question, using his old name - Simon - "do you love me more than these others do" gave Peter the chance to directly say "Yes I do" , reversing the "I know not the man" of the early hours of Good Friday, pre-dawn cock crow. Three times Jesus asked the same question so that Peter got panicky in the end and said "Lord you know everything; you know that I love you!" And so it is done. And that is how gentle our Lord is with us and just as personal too and geared to our particular treacheries and he calls us by our names too. How good is the Lord to all!

Dear Peter - he is our First Holy Father - the first of the long line of great Popes the Lord has bestowed on his Church throughout time and history to "feed my sheep and feed my sheep". It is the task of the Peter of our day, Pope Francis, to feed us which means teaching us true doctrine - guiding us pastorally in faith and morals and providing a rallying point and centre of unity for the world's Bishop - apostles and People, spread widely throughout the world. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ you know and that means he represents Christ above all others.

The other thing we should note in this Gospel is that net used for the fishing. So may many fish came into the net at the command of the Master that they could not haul it in. However Peter, who had got out into the shallows, single handed, went aboard and dragged the net in which contained a 153 fish - which happens to be the number of nations estimated to inhabit the earth at that time. So Peter can act alone in drawing in an impossible number...What we see when the present Peter - Pope Francis moves about - huge numbers he draws - everywhere like John Paul and Pope Benedict. Remember John Paul addressed the biggest crowd in history when he offered Mass in Manila for 4 million. How about that for the Guinness Book of Records then?

But if nothing else think today think about the lovely manner our Lord drew Peter back and gave him back his Office of being the Strengthener of the Brethren - "Feed my sheep - feed my lambs" and in remembering - allow our Lord to minister to you likewise.

Pray for our Pope.

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly

FINANCE. My dear People, I do not talk about monies to you but you must know that our weekly Collection has gone down in the last 18 months whereas the bills keep going up. Please reflect on the amount you give for the upkeep of the Church, the schools and the clergy each week and if you can manage please be a bit more forthcoming in your Giving. We do not live with any high style as you well know and I am a good housekeeper when it comes to safeguarding our resources but you must give more, otherwise we will be in trouble. Fr Connolly

Bidding Prayers


Priest: Peter's three fold commission to feed the sheep reminds us all of the tender love of the Good Shepherd for his flock. We come therefore in confident faith to the Father in the name of Jesus for our needs and the needs our world.

Reader: As a breakfast was prepared on the shore of the sea of Galilee, our Lord was preparing to restore Simon Peter to his original dignity. We pray for all who are afraid of living near to God in friendship that they might find the true meaning of life and come to him with trust. Lord in your mercy.

Let us pray for those whom we call Lapsed - that in the lives of believers they may find a sign of joy and confidence in the power of the Risen Lord. Lord in your mercy.

For the apostles' successors in the Universal Episcopate that all the Bishops of the Church in communion with Pope Francis may show strong leadership to the faithful flock of Christ and rally them to follow the way of Christ. Lord hear us.

For all those who earn their living by sailing the seas and especially the fishermen, that they may have a livelihood and come home to harbour safely. We pray for all Port chaplains. Lord hear us.

Those who were sick would wait for Peter's shadow to touch them and find healing from God - touch our sick who have asked us to pray for them: - Margaret Coughlin, Peggy Forkan, Mary Tivnan, Mary Everrett, Enrico Azicate, Agnes Benson. Lord in your mercy.

Our Lord descended into the place of the dead to bring the souls to heaven through the power of the Passion bring to heaven those who have died recently: Michael Towey, Daisy Nasuna, Kathleen Buckley, AND 14 year old Jade Anderson, Margaret Thatcher, John McKenna.

ANDFor all those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Margaret and Michael McDonagh, Joseph Nolan, Maureen Waring( 26th @ 9.30).

May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Mary you are the Queen of the apostles and stood by them in those early days of the Resurrection and Ascension. Stand by us now and support us in our efforts to follow your Son. O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary full of grace.

Priest: Hear our Easter Prayers almighty and ever living God and in your mercy answer them through Christ our Lord.