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You are welcome to use these resources in any parish newsletter distributed free of charge. These resources, along with The Deep End, may be downloaded from the Intercom pages on the Veritas website: www.veritas.ie and from www.intercommagazine.ie

Items included in the Liturgy Preparation pages may also be used (e.g. short summaries of the readings, homily thoughts, etc.) Please give credit to the author and this magazine. — Ed

 

 

Sunday, 1 July 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

Mark 5:21-43

1.  Like this woman, have you had the experience of a cure, an improvement, a success, after a long period of nothing happening? What was that like for you? What made the difference? On that occasion was there anything different in you, in others, in the circumstances – something that paved the way for the change or improvement?

2.  ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. It seems a strange request with crowds milling around. Many people brushed against him but the woman made contact in a different way. The same can happen in our relationships. We brush against many people but make real contact only with a few. Who are the people you have touched, and who has touched you? What difference has this made to you and to them?

3.  Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has made you well’. What difference does it make to you that you have faith? In what ways does your faith make you well?

4.  When Jairus asked Jesus to come and cure his daughter, some thought there was no point. Sometimes a situation can look like a lost cause. Has it ever happened to you that subsequent events showed there was hope where you thought there was none?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘The important thing is that each believer discern his or her own path, that they bring out the very best of themselves, the most personal gifts that God has placed in their hearts, rather than hopelessly trying to imitate something not meant for them.’

Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate, 11

 

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THE DEEP END: Healing Miracles

Today’s gospel offers us two stories of the healing miracles of Jesus showing us something of how God’s grace can enter our lives and transform our situations. We can all recall times when we were struggling, whether it be with a relationship or illness. We needed something to move us, to help us forgive, to help us walk away or to relieve us of physical pain. In the end it can be the simple gestures that save us: a kind word, someone praying for us, a gentle touch or we reach out to someone and like the woman with the haemorrhage we suddenly feel within ourselves that we are healed.

      The woman is physically healed through her faith-filled action but Jesus reaches out to her in another way by calling her ‘Daughter’. He restores her status among the people. She would have been completely outcasted in society because of her illness and Jesus does not let social convention dictate who he should or should not acknowledge. All are children of God. We are called to do the same, to reach out to those whom society declares ‘unclean’ and those with whom we would rather not be associated. Jesus reminds the people of this woman’s true identity as a child of God.

      As Mark returns to the account of Jairus’ daughter we hear how Jesus restores the young girl to life with the simple words: ‘Talitha, Kum!’ (little girl, get up). God’s grace is gentle yet can bring life to situations of death. What do you need healing from today? Ask the Lord for what you need.

Jane Mellett

mellettj@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 8 July 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

Mark 6:1-6

1.  The story reminds us of how personal prejudices and agendas can block us from listening to the content of what another person has to say, no matter how relevant or wise it is. Perhaps you have experienced this. What difference has it made to you when you were able to focus on the content of what was being said and leave to one side your own prejudices about the speaker?

2.  It has been said that there is nothing as useless as the right advice at the wrong time. We may want to reach out to another, but may be unable to make a useful contribution because at that moment the other person is not ready to be helped. Like Jesus we can ‘do no deed of power’. As Jesus had to be patient and wait for another opportunity so do we. What have you learned about the importance of patience in working with other people?

3.  The topic of religion can easily bring up prejudices, leading some to dismiss religion as superstition, old hat, or based on an outdated world view. Even among believers, prejudice can make it hard for individuals to listen to an alternative way of looking at things, to consider a different way of celebrating liturgy, or to live at peace with difference. Yet a closed mind can lead to a stagnant faith. When have you found that a willingness to consider a different perspective led to a deepening and strengthening of your faith?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘So let me ask you: Are there moments when you place yourself quietly in the Lord’s presence, when you calmly spend time with him, when you bask in his gaze? Do you let his fire inflame your heart? Unless you let him warm you more and more with his love and tenderness, you will not catch fire. How will you then be able to set the hearts of others on fire by your words and witness?’

Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate, 151

 

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THE DEEP END: Prophets and Home Countries

‘You cannot be a prophet in your home country’ is a well-known phrase. You don’t have to go too far to see examples of this gospel around you. Anyone who returns to their home town with new knowledge and wisdom can sometimes be put in their place. This is what occurs in Jesus’ home town of Nazareth in today’s gospel. Even though the crowd are impressed by the local carpenter’s son, astounded even, and note that he has great wisdom, still he could do no deed of power there. It is definitely a reality check experience. Have you ever had this experience in your own life? A time you were really excited about a new-found knowledge or inspired by a great event or speaker; yet when you returned to tell friends or family members they made fun of you or greeted you with cynicism? Or you can imagine yourself in the crowd today, listening to the local carpenter’s son, so full great teachings you can’t quite believe it. In the end Jesus left and went around the villages teaching. Simply put, there are times when you have to move on and bear fruit elsewhere.

‘Lord how often you have sent Jesus to us in the form of someone we knew well, but they were just too ordinary for us. All we could see was the carpenter, the son of our neighbour … So the great miracle you had in store for us could not be worked. Lord have mercy.’

Michel de Verteuil

 

Jane Mellett

mellettj@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 15 July 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

Mark6:7-13

1.  Jesus gave the disciples a share in his mission by sending them out ahead of him. It was a gesture of trust and confidence on his part, even though they did not fully understand his mission. Have you ever been surprised by the trust shown in you by others to speak or act on their behalf?

2.  Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. Perhaps your experience gives you examples of the value of having another with you when engaged in an important task.

3.  The apparently strange instructions given by Jesus were intended to counteract practices by bogus preachers who used preaching as a mask for money-making. The disciples of Jesus focus on the mission and not on their own comforts. Is it your experience that vested interests can impede a task, whereas having the right motives makes your mission more effective?

4.  The task of the disciples was to call people to repent (metanoia meaning conversion, changing the way we look at God and at other people). Who have been the disciples, the people in your life who have called you to be more trusting in God? To whom have you given this call?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘I thank God that many families, which are far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfil their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way. The Synod’s reflections show us that there is no stereotype of the ideal family, but rather a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems.’

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 57

 

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THE DEEP END: A Better World

Being a follower of Jesus means to be ‘sent out’. Our spiritual lives ought to be visible on the outside through our actions and dealings with others. The disciples are sent in twos for companionship but also as a team; one person cannot have all the gifts and there is support in working with another.

      We might interpret the many demons that they cast out as all those things in the world that are not of the Spirit, the injustices in our world. Jesus sends the disciples out to work for a better world, to bring more love, compassion and peace to those that they encounter. They go and urge people to repent, to turn around. This is one of the goals of their mission and Jesus’ mission: to turn the world around.

      Jesus’ instructions to shake the dust from their feet when they feel unwelcome may seem harsh at first. We too may fear rejection and when we experience it, it can leave us feeling exhausted and upset. Perhaps the message here is to free ourselves and move on; to not let that disappointment and upset control our lives because if we do, we lose our freedom, it holds us back and it starts to define us. In the midst of that experience, our true mission can become lost. As we prepare to welcome Pope Francis to Ireland, let us go out and bring joy and hope to those we encounter.

 

‘You might be the only gospel which people read.’

Jane Mellett

mellettj@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 22 July 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

Mark 6:30-34

1.  The apostles reported to Jesus all that they had done and taught. Perhaps you have had the experience of being able to check in with somebody and share an experience. What was that like for you?

2.  Jesus saw that the apostles needed to rest and eat. What has been your experience of finding a restful place after a busy day? What kind of nourishment have you found necessary in order to maintain energy and enthusiasm? What have these insights taught you about life?

3.  When Jesus saw the crowd, he recognised their need and reached out to them. Who has been a Jesus person for you, someone who recognised your need and reached out to you? For whom have you been a Jesus person in that way?

4.  It sometimes can be difficult to strike a balance between responding to the needs of others and meeting our need for rest and nourishment. What has helped you to keep the balance right?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘The sacrament of marriage is not a social convention, an empty ritual or merely the outward sign of a commitment. The sacrament is a gift given for the sanctification and salvation of the spouses, since ‘their mutual belonging is a real representation, through the sacramental sign, of the same relationship between Christ and the Church. The married couple are therefore a permanent reminder for the Church of what took place on the cross; they are for one another and for their children witnesses of the salvation in which they share through the sacrament.’

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 72

 

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THE DEEP END: Crowds and Shepherds

The gospel today emphasises the importance of taking time for yourself as Jesus takes the disciples to a deserted place after all their hard work. It teaches an important lesson about remaining connected to Jesus if we are to be his followers. It is unfortunate for them that their break is interrupted. The crowd are thirsty for more and suffering from a lack of real leadership. Jesus has so much compassion for the people that the phrase Mark uses actually means he felt compassion in his intestines! A biblical way of saying he felt compassion for them in the pit of his stomach.

      Next month we greet the shepherd of the Catholic Church as Pope Francis comes to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. It will be a momentous occasion, a once in a life-time experience to see and to hear from a Pope who has so much to say to us about sharing the gospel message in our world. He calls us to be joyful Christians, to reach out to the poor and abandoned, to be disciples in our families, communities, on the streets and to help build a world that is true to Christ’s vision for this world. Pope Francis is a leader who inspires many. Whether you are travelling to the festival or watching it at home we pray for the success of this extraordinary event. Let us pray today for leaders in our Church and in our communities, that they will inspire people, nurture people and listen to the Spirit who guides us on this path.

Jane Mellett

mellettj@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 29 July 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

John 6:1-15

1.  At the heart of this story we are told that Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks and distributed them. In our day this reminds us of the Eucharist, the bread of life, with which Jesus feeds us. Can you recall an experience of Eucharist that was especially significant for you? What was it that made it different? How did it influence your understanding of the Eucharist?

2.  Take, give thanks, distribute. The actions of Jesus also suggest an attitude to time, gifts and living. We take what we are given, give thanks, and use what we have. Have you found that having a grateful heart for what you have been given has made it easier for you to share with others?

3.  From what seemed meagre and inadequate resources many were fed. When have you found that when you gratefully use what little resources you have the results are beyond your expectations?

4.  Jesus chose to involve those around him in feeding the people. Have there been times when you have experienced benefits from calling on those around you to use their gifts to help with a task?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

’Hope is the leaven that, in those first years of engagement and marriage, makes it possible to look beyond arguments, conflicts and problems and to see things in a broader perspective. It harnesses our uncertainties and concerns so that growth can take place. Hope also bids us live fully in the present, giving our all to the life of the family, for the best way to prepare a solid future and to live well in the present.’

Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 219

 

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THE DEEPEND: Jesus comes to serve

In John’s version of the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus performs this great miracle and it is the sign the crowds were waiting for. There is a lot of rich symbolism in this passage referring to Jesus as the Bread of Life, the one who will satisfy people’s hunger, the great teacher. But perhaps the final lines tell us a lot about the type of ‘king’ Jesus really is. The crowds are so enthused by Jesus’ miracles and teaching that they want to ‘take him by force and make him king’. Jesus tries to discourage them from their own ideas of kingship. His kingship involves a different path to the one the crowd are expecting. Jesus is cautious and to escape the attention, perhaps to be alone and pray, he takes himself out of this situation and retreats to the mountain. It could be tempting to give in to the crowd and have them declare you as their king. Jesus’ example of leadership is service in today’s gospel, feeding the people, nourishing the people, meeting their needs. It also shows us how God can work with what we have to offer, no matter how little that sometimes is, he can turn this into much fruit.

      A final lesson may be for those in authority of any sort, that they know when it is time to leave the people they serve, to reflect on their mission, to recharge and nourish themselves. Only in this way can they listen to the Spirit and experience the inner freedom necessary to lead as servant.

Jane Mellett

mellettj@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 5 August 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

John 6:24-35

1.  Jesus distinguishes between food that gives quick satisfaction and food that gives lasting nourishment. It is a mark of wisdom to be able to say ‘no’ to enticing but delusory attractions in order to choose things of lasting value. From your life experience what advice would you give to another about where things of lasting value are to be found?

2.  Jesus reminds his listeners that God is the source of all good things. What difference does it make in your life when you are aware that life, the world, everything you have is gift, and you live in a spirit of gratitude?

3.  The work of God is that we ‘believe in the one whom God has sent’. In what ways has your faith in Jesus enriched and changed your life? How has Jesus satisfied your hungers or quenched your thirsts?

4.  As Jesus came down from heaven to give life to the world, so each one of us is here to be a source of life to others. Think of people who have been a source of life to you, and give thanks for them. For whom have you also been a source of life?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘I would like to ask you, dear families: Do you pray together from time to time as a family? Some of you do, I know. But so many people say to me: But how can we? … But in the family how is this done? After all, prayer seems to be something personal, and besides there is never a good time, a moment of peace … Yes, all that is true enough, but it is also a matter of humility, of realising that we need God … all of us! We need his help, his strength, his blessing, his mercy, his forgiveness. And we need simplicity to pray as a family: simplicity is necessary! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is not something extraordinary: it’s easy. And praying the Rosary together, as a family, is very beautiful and a source of great strength! And also praying for one another! The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents … praying for each other. This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong: prayer.’

Pope Francis, homily at Mass in St Peter’s Square, 27 October 2013

 

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THE DEEP END: Old wives’ tale

Growing up, did the adults in your life tell you any stories about food?

•    Eating carrots helps you see in the dark.

•    Crusts will make your hair curly.

•    Spinach makes you strong.

•    An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

 

These wise old sayings, passed down through the generations, were employed to encourage us to eat certain foods, mainly healthy fruit and veg. Some even had an element of truth. Nowadays we can establish the accuracy of such claims at the touch of a button, but many parents still find themselves trotting out these nuggets of wisdom. Behind it all is a desire to see children grow up as strong, healthy and happy as possible.

      There is a huge focus these days on healthy eating and having a physically healthy lifestyle. Mental health is also being spoken about more and more. Nourishing one’s mind and keeping it healthy is just as important as fuelling the body. Both of these are essential long-term projects, the work of a lifetime.

      When it comes to the life beyond this one, Jesus talks about a different type of food – food that endures to eternal life. It is this bread, Jesus himself, that gives meaning to our work and our struggles here on earth. As Jesus tells us today: ‘Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life.’ Let us not forget to nourish our spirit.

Tríona Doherty

Athlone, Co Roscommon

Email trionad@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 12 August 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

John 6:41-51

1.  Faith is reasonable but we cannot reason our way into faith. We have to be ‘drawn by the Father’. We have to be ‘taught by God’. What opens your mind and heart to God’s message?

2.  When we label others disparagingly, we close our minds to what they are saying. The Jews did this to Jesus. Have you ever had the experience of being surprised by the wisdom of another when you laid aside your prejudices about them to listen to what they were saying?

3.  ‘No one has ever seen the Father except the one who is from God’. As Jesus put a human face on God and God’s love, so God’s love today is mediated to us through one another. How have other people been sacraments of God’s love for you? For whom have you been that kind of a sacrament?

4.  The way in which Jesus became a source of life for us was by giving himself. It is when we truly give ourselves that we can be life-giving to one another. If we do not give of ourselves, what do we have to offer? How have you discovered the importance of self-giving, in yourself or in others?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘Here too, we can ask: How do we keep our faith as a family? Do we keep it for ourselves, in our families, as a personal treasure like a bank account, or are we able to share it by our witness, by our acceptance of others, by our openness? We all know that families, especially young families, are often ‘racing’ from one place to another, with lots to do. But did you ever think that this ‘racing’ could also be the race of faith? Christian families are missionary families … They are missionary in everyday life, in their doing everyday things, as they bring to everything the salt and the leaven of faith! Keeping the faith in families and bringing to everyday things the salt and the leaven of faith.’

Pope Francis, homily at Mass in St Peter’s Square, 27 October 2013

 

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THE DEEP END: Under the bush

When a prophet sits under a bush, it’s usually a sign that things are not going well! At a particularly low moment in his relationship with God, the prophet Jonah sits, in an angry sulk, under a bush. While there he encounters God and learns a valuable lesson about mercy.

      In today’s first reading, it is the prophet Elijah who sits under a bush. He is on his last legs, having escaped into the desert to avoid capture and death. At this low point, a day’s journey into the wilderness, he has had enough. He finds himself begging God to take his life.

      It is a moment that will speak to many of us, particularly those of us facing struggles. Things can get on top of us. We sometimes feel alone, that our road is all uphill, that we are in the wilderness and there is nothing to do but give up. Yet when Elijah is at his lowest point, even getting ready to die, he finds he is not alone. The comforting presence of God is with him, offering sustenance to help him on his journey.

      Elijah’s response to God is at first reluctant; he lies straight back down again. But with a second round of encouragement (and some more food) he is on his feet and able to continue his journey, replenished and renewed. At the moment he felt the most abandoned and alone, God was closer than ever.

Tríona Doherty

Athlone, Co Roscommon

Email trionad@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 19 August 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

John 6:51-58

1.  Jesus tells us that to have life we need more than physical nourishment. How have you been aware of deeper hungers? What has met that deeper longing in you?

2.  Jesus tells us that it is not just something he gives us which will give us life, but himself in his life, death and resurrection. How has your faith in the person of Jesus fed you?

3.  Jesus speaks about ‘drawing life’ from him. In day to day living what are the practices which support your faith and help you to draw life from Jesus?

4.  The Eucharist is one of the ways in which we draw life from Jesus. Recall with gratitude how the Eucharist has been a source of nourishment and life for you.

5.  Perhaps you can also think of human examples of people drawing life from one another. From whom have you drawn life? Who has been able to draw life from you?

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘I would like to ask you all a question today. But each of you keep it in your heart and take it home. You can regard it as a kind of ‘homework’. Only you must answer. How are things when it comes to joy at home? Is there joy in your family?

      ‘Dear families, you know very well that the true joy which we experience in the family is not superficial; it does not come from material objects, from the fact that everything seems to be going well … True joy comes from a profound harmony between persons, something which we all feel in our hearts and which makes us experience the beauty of togetherness, of mutual support along life’s journey. But the basis of this feeling of deep joy is the presence of God, the presence of God in the family and his love, which is welcoming, merciful, and respectful towards all. And above all, a love which is patient: patience is a virtue of God and he teaches us how to cultivate it in family life, how to be patient, and lovingly so, with each other. To be patient among ourselves. A patient love. God alone knows how to create harmony from differences. But if God’s love is lacking, the family loses its harmony, self-centredness prevails and joy fades. But the family which experiences the joy of faith communicates it naturally. That family is the salt of the earth and the light of the world, it is the leaven of society as a whole.

      ‘Dear families, always live in faith and simplicity, like the Holy Family of Nazareth! The joy and peace of the Lord be always with you!’

Pope Francis, homily at Mass in St Peter’s Square, 27 October 2013

 

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THE DEEP END: On the breadline

In recent months the Society of St Vincent de Paul released some shocking figures regarding hunger in Ireland. One in three people who contact the charity are calling because they can’t afford to buy food. It is estimated that one in eleven people in Ireland experience food poverty, which refers to the inability to afford food to make up a healthy diet.

      ‘Food is an area of expenditure that families have discretion over on a day-to-day basis,’ said SVP head of social justice, Dr Tricia Keilthy. ‘It is much easier to control the cost of food than the cost of rent, utilities or education. So food is typically what families cut back on when times are tough.’

      Hunger is a sad fact of life for many in our country. More than ever we appreciate the value of having enough to eat. Over the past few Sundays we have heard Jesus speak a lot about bread and food. His followers experience physical hunger too; the feeding of the five thousand (the story precedes today’s extract from John’s Gospel) shows that Jesus takes care of the physical needs of his followers too. Their experience of hunger and being fed prepares them for his teaching on the bread of life.

      When Jesus talks about himself as the ‘bread come down from heaven’, it is clear that it is himself he is offering – his very flesh. If we are followers of Jesus, we are also called to give ourselves in service of others. We have Jesus as our model and teacher, present with us and in us. What can we do to help those who hunger in our country and our world?

Tríona Doherty

Athlone, Co Roscommon

Email trionad@gmail.com

 

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Sunday, 26 August 2018


SEEING YOUR LIFE
THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS

John 6:60-69

1.  In this chapter Jesus teaches that the meaning of his life, and the meaning of all human life, lies in being prepared to give of oneself. Perhaps you can identify with what Pope Francis says: ‘Those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others’ (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, n.10).

2.  ‘This teaching is difficult’, complained his hearers, including some of his own followers. Perhaps at times you also have wondered if you could go along with it. What helped you to overcome your resistance?

3.  ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life.’ In the midst of your doubts perhaps you have held on to belief because, like Peter, Jesus offered you a more hopeful message than you could find anywhere else. How has the gospel message been more attractive to you than any other?

4.  ‘The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.’ Recall the words and phrases of Jesus that are words of life for you.

John Byrne osa

Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

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MUSINGS

‘Like Saint Patrick, I too have heard “the voice of the Irish” calling to me, and so I have come to you, to all of you in Ireland. As I stand at this moment, a pilgrim for Christ to the land from which so many pilgrims for Christ went out over Europe, the Americas, Australia, Africa, Asia, I am living a moment of intense emotion. As I stand here, in the company of so many hundreds of thousands of Irish men and women, I am thinking of how many times, across how many centuries, the Eucharist has been celebrated in this land. How many have found in it the spiritual strength to live, even through the times of greatest hardship and poverty, through days of persecutions and vexations…’

Saint John Paul II, Phoenix Park, Dublin, September 1979

 

As people from across the country and across the world gather in Dublin today with Pope Francis, we offer a prayer for the Holy Father and for all families: Bless us all with the joy of love. Make us patient and kind, gentle and generous, welcoming to those in need. Protect all families with your loving care. Amen.

 

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THE DEEP END: Why is it, Lord?

I once heard the following reflection read out at a first communion:

‘Why is it, Lord, that parents see puddles and think wellies, and our children see magic mirrors waiting for a pebble-plop to ripple into smiles?

‘Why is it, Lord, that parents see snow and think gloves, and our children see sleds and slides and the tingle of snowflake’s farewell kiss upon the palm?
‘Why is it, Lord, that parents see toys and think tidy, and our children see the endless possibilities for fantasy and play?’

Sometimes it can be difficult to look beyond the practicalities and see the possibilities. It depends on all sorts of things, from our circumstances to how willing we are to be open to the beauty and deeper meanings in life. We all need a reminder that there is more to life than our physical, tangible world with its daily routines and to-do lists.

      Some of Jesus’ followers in today’s gospel are finding it difficult to see beyond the physical. Jesus has been teaching them that he is the living bread. But it is hard for them to accept. They dismiss it as ‘intolerable language’, and some of them even walk away. But Jesus is offering something more than the practicalities, more than physical food or drink: he offers the bread of life, living bread, his very self. It is a difficult message, but Simon Peter gets to the heart of it: ‘You have the message of eternal life.’ Some of the disciples are able to see beyond the obvious.

Tríona Doherty

Athlone, Co Roscommon

Email trionad@gmail.com

 

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