Dear Parishioners and all those who logged into our Parish,
may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
A What’s App has recommended lighting a candle at 7.30pm and saying a prayer – something we can all do, and at the same time.
The Parish Bulletin is available via the Parish website. Please print it off for family and neighbours who do not have access to a printer or world wide web.
The celebration of Mass took place at 7pm on Saturday 11th July – Parishioners and others joined via the webcam and radios at home.
Once again, I would like to share some thoughts with you. Intercom, a Catholic Pastoral and Liturgical Resource magazine that I receive monthly, gives a thought on the readings:
First reading: from the prophet Isaiah 55:10-11.
God’s word is never lacking, never ineﬀective; the variable is our response. Human freedom is the only reality that can hamper God’s word, but even then, the word is not outdone.
Responsorial Psalm 64.
Some seed fell into rich soil and produced its crop.
Second reading: from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 8:18-23.
Paul mentions two types of suﬀering in this short reading: the suﬀerings that are an unavoidable part of normal life, and the ‘groaning,’ the restlessness and dissatisfaction that are the lot of the believer who knows that his or her heart will be restless until it rests in God.
Gospel: according to Matthew 13:1-23.
The parable of the sower is the ﬁrst full parable in Matthew’s Gospel (and in Mk and Lk). It is the key to understanding all the other parables. Every parable is intended to elicit a response to God’s word; in every instance, Christ the sower sows his word in the heart of the listener, who must choose whether or not to bear a harvest.
My few words:
At the beginning of Mass:
Yes, it is me! Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Drew, Noel Purcell, Robinson Crusoe have gone away. I’ve lost a few kilos and apparently ten years so that is good. Thank you, Leo! (I got my hair cut and beard trimmed.)
We gather again – at a distance – to celebrate the Eucharist. Welcome to all who join us via radio or webcam.
As members of the universal Church we celebrate the Eucharist, the real presence of God among us.
Last year Francis McCann led his family when his wife Marian died – a few months later he himself died. This evening their children Sean Paul, Conrad, Caroline, and Rory and their families, gather here in the Church to mark Marian’s first anniversary, along with members of the Ward and McCann family. We pray with them for Marian and for them.
To prepare ourselves to celebrate we acknowledge our sins and selfishness and God’s mercy, forgiveness and welcome.
Lord, you are continually sowing the seed of your word in our hearts and minds.
Lord, have mercy.
You wait patiently for us to receive your word. Christ, have mercy.
When we receive your word, you make our barren lives fruitful.
Lord, have mercy.
After the Gospel:
We have a cousin, now in heaven, called Peter, who was very skilled at sowing weed by hand. It isn’t every farmer who can do it well. There is the knowing how much seed your hand can hold and knowing how to gradually let the seed pass through the opening of your fingers and palm, and knowing the angle of your arm as you swing it – the seed flying through the air towards the soil. It is a sight to behold. The field will have stones in it and edges of walls or hedges, and these will receive seed but as Jesus knew well, there won’t be much crop from these places. So, in comparing the Word of God to seed Jesus knew what he was talking about and comparing us to soil was reminding us that ‘we are soil and unto soil we will return.’
Week after week, year after year we listen to the Word of God. The Word of God, the seed of God is so full of life that if nourished and looked after can bring us happiness and contentment in this life and happiness and peace in the next – everlasting life.
Those who do surveys will tell you that those who attend Church will have forgotten most of what they heard during Mass – be it the readings or the sermon or the notices that are read. and that applies to me also – even before we have got home. And sometimes like Chinese Whispers or gossip the real message or the truth gets lost in repeating it.
So, were does the world or more importantly do I go wrong with ‘the Word of God’ that I hear so often?
There are people, maybe so-called friends or relations – who lead us astray, talk us out of living God’s Word or acting on God’s Word.
Maybe our faith and trust in God is weak – we have not spent time building up that faith and trust in our daily life – and we cannot see the bigger picture of God’s care and love and the real presence of God alludes us when trials come.
Maybe the distractions of life or the behaviour of the world around us or the lure of possibility make the Word of God dormant – but those distractions or behaviours or possibilities are short lived and there is no afterglow in the short-lived happiness.
When I was a seminarian in Maynooth I had a spiritual director, a priest I went to usually every month to talk about how things were going regarding life, vocation, prayer and also go to confession. You could liken those visits to daily prayer or Mass every Sunday – there was a certain regularity to it and perhaps even a monotony. Whatever distractions or lack of faith or trust in God issues or questions about other life possibilities I had, Father seemed to smooth them over and point me in the right direction. These were the rich soil times in my life then when God’s Word took root in me and produced their proper crop. The patches of rock and thorns are still in my life and there is constant battle to get rid of them, but that is part of the journey.
Let us pray to be attentive to God’s Word – to listen well to it and put it into practice.
Let us also pray to be attentive to God’s presence in us and around us – to be open to this presence in each other and in nature.
Listen anyone who has ears.
See anyone who had eyes.
At the end of Mass:
We will continue with the present schedule of Masses: Saturday evening with no congregation, except when here is a first anniversary – as we had this evening – or month mind.
Mass with congregations will be celebrated on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week at 10am via the webcam in this Church. All went well last week so I think we can lift the restriction of only one Mass – Parishioners can attend more than one in this Parish. And please check the regulations in other Parishes – your attendance there might prevent their Parishioners from attending, especially if that Parish is strict about numbers in Church.
Can I suggest that families who are celebrating First Communion in August attend some of these morning Masses when possible? It will help the children get used to being at Mass again. And when they join the Communion procession during these Masses, they should cross their arms when they arrive in front of me – again this gets them used to coming towards the sanctuary at Communion time.
Mass for the Sick: Tuesday 14th July at 10am via Parish of Errigal Ciaran webcam. For those at home please have a small teaspoon of olive oil available at home to bless those who are sick or preparing for/recovering from operations or receiving treatment at this time or are aged or anyone who is living with addiction or mental health or emotional health or spiritual heath issues. If you have a relative or friend who cannot (because of regulations) be present have a photo of them placed on a table. And light a candle.
I want to thank the readers for coming this evening and fulfilling their ministry – I hope this will be a weekly addition to the Parish liturgy on Saturday evenings – and to Noleen who sang at the request of the McCann Family.
A farmer was driving along the road with a load of fertilizer. A little boy, playing in front of his house, saw him and called, “What’ve you got in your truck?” “Fertilizer,” the farmer replied. “What are you going to do with it?” asked the little boy. “Put it on strawberries,” answered the farmer. “You ought to live here,” the little boy advised him. “We put sugar and cream on ours.”
And this offering mentions Memphis. I’ve been there, twice!
A man was driving his car with a penguin in the front seat – don’t ask. A cop pulled him over. He said to the man, “Didn’t you know it is against the law to ride with an animal, any animal in the front of your car?” The man replied, “No, I didn’t know that.” The cop asked the man where he was going and he said, “To Memphis”. The cop said, “I will let you off the hook this time if you promise to take the penguin to the zoo when you get to Memphis.” So, the man promised he would. Several days later the cop spotted the man with the penguin driving down the road and he pulled him over again. The cop said, “I thought I told you to take this penguin to the zoo when you got to Memphis.” The man replied, “I did, and we had so much fun, I’m taking him to Nashville now”.
I wish you all a pleasant evening and a good Sunday.
Like the Word of God, we have all heard many times what we have to do to keep us all safe from the coronavirus – wash hands, keep a distance. This has not changed despite the lifting of some restrictions – we must still be alert! We have come so far – maybe a few more weeks of being extra careful will make all the difference for a long-term safe place to live in. Keep safe and well and keep your distance! Respect!