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Sermon for 1 February 2015
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FOURTH SUNDAY OF the YEAR . CYCLE B. + FEBRUARY 1ST 2015.

MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRIEST

My Dear People,

"I will put my words into his mouth and he shall tell them all I command him" - thus the Father speak to Moses the promise of the true prophet who was to come into the world and who would fulfil all the previous prophets proclaimed as God's spokesmen. Here we have our Lord's arrival on the public scene and enacting his Public Ministry in the company oft he chosen Twelve and the disciples and the holy women who accompanied them and who looked after their needs (as they still do!)

Today we encounter our Lord in the synagogue teaching with divine authority so that people could tell the difference between what they usually heard - which was the rabbi quoting the Tradition of the elders etc. Here our Lord spoke with his own authority.

It is a great comfort as Christ's priest and as the Bishop's co-operator that I speak and act, when I teach and preach and celebrate the life giving Sacraments, that I do so with the Divine Mandate. When people say: "who says this?" I can answer "Jesus Christ speaks in me and through me, for I am His priest and I speak his word – the word he wants you to respond to."

I will give you an example. Sometime ago Fr John Flynn held a year meeting with the top classes of our feeder school, Loreto High when he was Chaplain. The topic was on the Catholic teaching on the human body and how we are to use it in keeping the Law of God. The use of sexual powers came up and Father explained fully as he could the Catholic teaching on contraception and fertility and openness to life and marriage fidelity and chastity etc. The youth were eager, very eager to know more. No one mocked or dissented. You see - the truth from God will attract young hearts. It will liberate them. However someone has to announce this to them. It is a very different message from Satan is it not and look where that gets them - the dregs.

No, the youth were attracted to the truth as Father expounded it. The priest and teachers and parents who explain the Catholic teaching with fidelity will find by and large that their young ones will respond for it is so different from those around them and it is deeply attractive. But it has to be given "With Authority" and that is what has been lacking. We Catholics have become weak by not clinging to Christ as the centre of our life and our teaching. Even Bishops have compromised and made the teaching of the Faith in our schools weak and unattractive, thinking they would keep the youth. This poor gruel soon put them off and they left in droves and will still do. We reap the fruits in few vocations to the priestly ministry and the holiness of married life. See what I mean?

When Jesus met with the man Possessed, the devil knew his enemy. "What do you want with us?" the devil said. At our Lord's command the devil left him. First Jesus silenced the devil and then cast him out. I think we need to cast out many devils before the Church gets its courage back to really witness to the reality of Jesus Christ. As the now Beatified Pope Paul said - "the world will listen to witnesses". Our Nation is sinking into a morass of immorality and unethical thinking and culture. People forget that we are creatures, the work of God's hands and were purchased at a great price – Christ's blood.

However - today we begin to open our eyes to the great works of Christ as he speaks and acts in the Gospel of Saint Mark each Sunday. Let us pray the Gospel and meditate on it and read it a few times before the Mass if we can. Learn about Jesus in the scriptures and you will love Him all the more and be glad to follow His Way. Lectio Divina is a great way of learning about the Scripture and listening to Christ speaking to the heart and mind. It happens every Thursday in the sacristy at St Edwards for both parishes.

God Bless,

Father Tom Connolly.






Bidding Prayers

BIDDING PRAYERS FOR FOURTH SUNDAY YEAR B.

Priest: "He taught them with authority" St Mark tells us. Obedient to the Divine Master’s teaching we come to him with all our needs and he needs of the whole world.

Reader. We pray for all those who are commissioned with teaching the Word - in season and out of season - when it is not being heard and when it is greeted with derision – that they do not lose faith or courage but trust in the power of God. Lord in your mercy. /R/ Hear our prayer.

For all those theatres of war and especially in the Middle East and our own suffering brethren in the Holy Land and Iraq and Syria who suffer great persecution. We pray for our armed forces that they will return safe and sound to their families. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

We commend to our loving Father the engaged couples undergoing marriage instruction in our deanery - that God may fill them with love for each other and keep them ever faithful and give them the gift of children. Lord in your mercy. / Hear our prayer.

We pray for all our sick that the Lord's hand may reach out to them in the ministry of the Church and the love and care of family’s and medics: Mark Colbert, Baby Jessica Kaitlin Lomax, Ryan Pybus, Brendan Byrne, Aiden Kennedy, Julie Brady, Elizabeth Layden, Pat Snype, Eileen Humphries, Marian Farrelly and all the sick. Lord in your mercy. Hear our Prayer.

May the light of the face of Christ shine on those who have died: Nicola Cavanagh, Vincent Paul Reilly, Julie Stockdale, Eileen Quantrill, Father John T. Cribben, Teresa Hannon AND For all those souls whose anniversary of death falls about this time: Margaret Sweeney, Vigil Mass, Kees Niewland, Anne Kinsella, Velia Niek, Rosella Devlin, William McLoughlin, Michael Dunne and Kathleen McCluskey and the dead of the Concentration camps of the last war. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed..

O Mary conceived without sin. R/ Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary, full of grace...

Priest: Father in the plan for our salvation you have appointed shepherds to your people. Hear our ardent prayer in union with them to you the Chief Shepherd of he Flock. Through the same Christ our Lord.