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Sermon for 23 March 2014



My Dear People,

Many years ago I too sat at the well at Sychar one afternoon and relived this meeting between the Samaritan woman and our Blessed Lord by reading aloud the Gospel you have just heard. In a moment of distraction I noticed a plaque on the wall of the Chapel built over the well. It commemorated a poor priest, murdered there by terrorists a few years beforehand. But on with the story.

The well is the only one in the area which would have been a public well in the times of Christ. A Church has been built over the holy spot now to commemorate the meeting and the sacred dialogue between Christ and the woman. The meaning of this meeting is of great theological importance as you can detect by the detail St John records.

He tell us the time of the day - the hottest part when nobody of good repute would have been seen dead near the public well. What was the lady doing there? Well the less questions asked the better but she had a few "partners" and the one she had was not her husband, as our Lord points out politely!

Our Lord wants to give her the gift of eternal life which would come through Faith in him. So Jesus begins a dialogue which has as its conclusion the conversion of the woman and her whole village. It all begins with Jesus asking her - a woman - (which he was not supposed to do) to give him a drink of water from the well. He has no cup or bucket and he is not supposed to use hers - you see Jews did not drink from cups used by the hated outsiders and heretics - the Samaritans. It would have been seen as "unclean". Our Lord is not bound by the conventions of his time in relation to this meeting.

No he tells her for her cheek that she should be asking Him for water and that he would give a fountain welling up to eternal life. "Oh - then give me this water always then and I won't have to come here anymore in this drudgery to get it from the well" she responds. The woman at the Well had not understood the meaning of our Lord's words.

He meant faith and baptism and the gift of the fountain of grace of the Holy Spirit which would well up in the heart of the Believer. However she was not far from the Truth at this point.

After settling the dispute about where one should offer worship to God - In Jerusalem - (for salvation comes from the Jews not the Samaritans), Jesus then tell her that the time would come when men and women would worship not in this or that Place but in Spirit and in Truth. (In fact through Christ in the Mass, the Universal Sacrifice).

Surely this lady and her community were part of the early church. She puts aside her many Men and follows the only man who offers her true happiness and fullness of Life, Jesus Christ our Saviour and our Lord- the Son of God.

The whole water and the well and the spring and the thirst and the washing is reminiscent of Baptism - the Baptism that many would have been 21 days away from when this Gospel was read half way through Lent from ancient times. The new converts would hear this Gospel and be longing for their own "washing" and refreshment which would soon be theirs on Easter Vigil.

We must never forget that there are millions of people like that women who are our fellow countrymen. They too have settled for less than the truth but if they met Christ they would be open to him and receive him and bring their friends to him too.

It needs the witness of us to bring them otherwise they will stay out of the feast and suffer for their loss. This Gospel foretold the universality of the Christian Faith and the call to faith which the Church would make throughout the ages.

We must never fall into a politico message. We must always see ourselves as the servants of the Truth of Christ to a world which longs for Him who will set it free to love truly.

The Pope admonishes the democracies for thinking they can decree the Law of God for Man obsolete, and think it is alright. He admonishes them for their Godlessness and their pride. All this shows that the West is the woman, waiting at the well of Sychar to be set free by Christ.

I hope your Lent goes well.

God bless you all,

Father Tom Connolly


WATCHING AND PRAYING HERE AT ST KENTIGERNS. Many years ago Fr Pat Deegan introduced the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the afternoon - Mondays to Fridays. Now we have a problem. Many good folk who were regulars at watching and praying at set times have gone to their eternal reward in heaven and others have grown frail under the burden of their years and are no longer able to come. WE NEED NEW WATCHERS AND PRAYERS. The more people volunteer for half an hour per week the more we will be able to assure that a person will be in church between 2pm and 4 pm each afternoon. I am putting the FORM in the newsletter for you to fill in and say when you can watch and pray. PLEASE CUT OUT AND RETURN IT IN THECOLLECTION BAG NEXT WEEK.


New sound system in St Kentigerns. Due to the kind gift to the parish of a benefactor I have been able to commission a new sound system which will show a vast improvement for the hearers of St. KENTIGERN'S parish. You will hear me wheeze!!! Thank you to the most generous benefactor. It will cost £1,500

ST KENTIGERN'S GOLF DAY FOR ST ANNE’S HOSPICE IN COOPERATION WITH MMU RAISED £1,800. Seamus Keegan is the Captain of the team Well done to one and all.

Bidding Prayers

BIDDING Prayer for 3rd of Lent A

Priest: Let us praise God for his loving kindness, which is revealed to us in Christ as he speaks to he woman at the Well of Sychar. We bring now our needs before the Eternal Father who loves his Only Begotten Son, who is the fount of living water.

Reader: That we may be bearers of good fruit in our lives so that the Lord, who has fertilised us with his own blood will see the fruits of his love in the virtues of our lives. Lord in your mercy.

Lover of men, help us to pay our part in the growth of the human city and help us to build up your kingdom in every way by our way of living. Lord in your mercy.

Protect our young people from the false ideology proposed by the Government of our country in sex education in our schools. Save us from these corruptive and impure plans. Lord in your mercy.

For the victims of the Malaysian Airline disaster. Lord in your mercy.

In this Holy Season we pray for all sinners that they may find their way back to the tender mercy of our Saviour through the meeting with him in Confession. We pray especially for our children who may have fallen away from the Practice of the Catholic Faith. Lord in your mercy.

Save us from War in places like the Ukraine. Grant us peace in our time. Lord in your mercy.

Your heart was pierced with a lance - heal the wounds of our human weakness. We pray for the sick: Breda Brady, Marie Hopkins, BeeAnne O'Grady, Denis McLoughlin, John Lawson, Mary Fitzpatrick , Lee Foster. Lord in your mercy.

Give eternal light and rest to those who have died recently: Elizabeth Joof, Malachy McGloin AND Give light and salvation to those whose anniversaries fall about this time: Stephen Sharples (VIGIL), Ivan Bilyk, The Biloch Family, Patrick Garrett. May their souls and the souls...

O Mary you stand at the foot of countless crosses and accompany us in our hour of need. O Mary, conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...

Priest: O heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ look on your people who want to bear fruit that will last and be pleasing in your sight. Hear and answer our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen