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Sermon for 25 January 2015



My dear People,

St Paul tells us "time is growing short" AND our Lord tells us "The kingdom of God is close at hand."

You can feel a sense of urgency in the Gospel of St Mark today. The speed with which our Lord acts once the Baptist had been arrested and imprisoned by King Herod shows how our Lord's plan of salvation which he had lived with and prepared for those Thirty "Hidden Years" were to be enacted with the call of the Apostles.

Our Lord begins with the fishermen Simon and Andrew and then, further on James and John. Both sets of apostles - brothers - left everything to do with the sea and fishing and followed Him. "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

Those words spoken by Jesus were never to be forgotten.. They all "went after Him". You have to realise that in these actions our Lord is founding the Church. The Twelve were referred to as The Twelve. They were recognised as the "Apostles" - meaning Ones who are Sent.

The Kingdom of God was indeed close at hand and it begins to be announced by Jesus and the Apostles. They really did become Fishers of Men. The people responded too and they followed and became known as "Disciples" meaning followers of The Way of Christ.

Looking at the six million crowd who attended Pope Francis' Mass in Manila will surely convince us that vast numbers of our fellow men and women on this earth still follow Jesus -the Way, the Truth and the Life. In the West we get use to lapsation and sin and people leaving the Church and not following the Way of Christ anymore but we must remember that the West is not the world and that we are in a minority in our lack of Faith.

The Successor of Simon Peter, the Fisherman - Pope Francis, drew these followers of Christ wearing the Fisherman's Ring as the Petrine Papal ring is called. There is a direct line of continuity and communication between this Apostolic Journeys of the Pope and the mandate of Christ to make them Fishers of men.

President Obama in his State of the Union Message stated how much he appreciated the role of Pope Francis in restoring normal relations between USA and Cuba. You see how this Fisher of Men is active in so many spheres of human life and the life of the Nations of the earth.

Pray for vocations for our diocese. We have few Seminarians and an aging Priesthood. Two ordinations this year come from St Edward’s Parish- good eh? Some saint praying in our congregations maybe???

Hear what I say,

God Bless, Fr Tom Connolly

Bidding Prayers

Priest: Let us thank the Saviour, for calling the first Apostles and for coming into this world that God might be with us. We bring to the Father all our needs in his Holy Name.

Reader: For Vocations to the Sacred Priesthood, the Consecrated life and the life of Matrimony so that the church may find its apostolic summons fulfilled. We pray for the engaged couples beginning their Marriage Course today. Lord in your mercy.

For all our fellow Christians who are deprived of receiving the Lamb of God at the Holy Mass because they are imprisoned unjustly or oppressed and persecuted and threatened in Islamic states. . that they do not lose heart. Lord in your mercy.

Lord you consoled especially the poor and the troubled: look with mercy on those in every kind of need. Lord in your mercy.

Look with Lord, Fisher of men on all those whose sins have separated them from you: reconcile them to yourself through the Ministry of your Church. Lord in your mercy.

For all our sick and those who care for them and for our local hospitals and all who work to relieve the sick and we pray for :,Brendan Byrne, Mark Colbert. Eileen Humphries Denis McLoughlin, Philip Keegan ,Josie Ryan, Mary Farrelly –Styles, Sam Murray, Julie Brady, Elizabeth Leyden, Pat Snype, Tom Royton, Eileen Farran,Margaret Mc Erlane, Marian Farrelly, Annie McGarry, Aiden Kennedy. Lord, in your mercy.

We pray for the faithful departed who suffered the loss of human life: give them the fullness of life and joy in Heaven: that through God's mercy they may rest in peace: Vincent Paul Reilly, Eileen Quantrill and Nicola Kavanagh AND For all whose anniversaries fall about this time: Michael Foy, Phyllis Hanna, Mary Colbert (9AM) Edith More,, John Heneghan (VIGIL), Mr P Serredge and Agata Turco. May their souls and the souls of.

Our Lady is the Queen of Apostles: O Mary Conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee. Hail Mary...

Priest: God our Saviour, through the grace of our Baptism you have made us children of the light. Hear our prayers in your mercy and may we always walk as children of the Light. Keep us faithful as your disciples to the end of our days. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.