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Trinity Sunday and the WOW factor!

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Explaining the Trinity is not an easy task. I take some consolation in the fact that the great Doctor of the Church St. Augustine of Hippo spent over 30 years working on his treatise De Trinitate [about the Holy Trinity], endeavouring to conceive an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity.
There is a story told that Augustine was walking by the seashore one day contemplating and trying to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity when he saw a small boy running back and forth from the water to a spot on the seashore. The boy was using a sea shell to carry the water from the ocean and place it into a small hole in the sand.
The Bishop of Hippo approached him and asked, “My boy, what are doing?”
“I am trying to bring all the sea into this hole,” the boy replied with a sweet smile.
“But that is impossible, my dear child, the hole cannot contain all that water” said Augustine.
The boy paused in his work, stood up, looked into the eyes of the Saint, and replied, “It is …

World Day of Prayer for Communications

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Today is World Communications Day! Thinking and praying in a special way for all the members of the Pauline Family to which I belong, called to bring Jesus Master to the world with the most modern and effective means of social communication. All of us use social communication to varying degrees so today is a day to reflect and think how we use these means, what we post, repost, like, tweet, pin, message, snapchat etc. Is it for God's glory? Is it communicating life, truth, beauty, goodness? It is also a day to recall those means of communication which we have for centuries...to talk to each other, be in the presence of one another, to smile, to cry, gestures, facial expressions...this is all a language in its own. Modern technological means can never and should never replace these! Don't get stuck in virtual life...enjoy the beauty of real life!

Jesus on the 46A

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Jesus was on the bus today. He got on the 46A at the stop at UCD. He scanned his bus pass and despite his advanced years, nimbly navigated the stairs to go to the upper deck, bag in hand. As he passed, people began to swear at him, move away, open windows, put their own bags on the seat near them so he wouldn’t sit near them. He stank strongly of urine and his clothes looked like they hadn’t been washed in months.
“He shouldn’t have been let on the bus”, I hear a voice say behind me. “He doesn’t look homeless”, another said. “I’m going to be sick”, another said, as she rose, pressed the bell for the next stop and went down the stairs. 
Jesus was on the bus.

He was sat two seats away from me and all others had moved away from around him. Part of me wanted to turn around and say, ‘it’s okay’, the other part afraid to encounter the pain that might be in his eyes because of the reactions, the rejection and the judgement. Another part of me thought the real ‘Christian’ thing to do would be…

'Life is an ocean'- Following St. Brendan the Navigator

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Today the Church in Ireland celebrates the memorial of St Brendan the Navigator. St. Brendan travelled tirelessly to evangelise and establish monasteries following his ordination to the priesthood at age 28. The sixth-century monk frequently sailed the high seas to spread the Gospel throughout Ireland as well as to Scotland, Wales and Brittany in the north of France. According to a 1,500-year-old Irish tale, however, St. Brendan embarked on one particularly epic journey in the winter of his 93-year-old life. Here, he is said to have set out onto the Atlantic Ocean with sixty pilgrims searching for the Garden of Eden! Regardless of what we think or believe about St. Brendan's voyages, they have a lot to teach us!

As a symbol for life’s pilgrimage, I return to my roots. I think of those Celtic monks who sailed out to sea in coracles, little boats, without a rudder for steering. The coracle was not just a boat, it speaks of much more–of journey and pilgrimage, risk and wonder, fear…

Do you love me?! Gospel reflection for 3rd Sunday of Easter

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May Day- May Day!

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Not a cry of distress but a reminder of a feastday we have today in Ireland- May Day. Today my Dad is on my mind a lot. I was thinking back to the years in primary schools where we prepared May altars religiously. My Dad was a brilliant gardener and had a beautiful garden, however we weren’t allowed to pick the flowers that often! One of those few occasions was for the school May Altar when it was ‘our turn’ to bring the flowers. I was always so proud to bring in that big bunch of red homegrown roses, purple lupin, bright orange marigolds, pretty forget-me-nots, vibrant dahlias and pure white lilies. Not only did they look beautiful but the perfume would fill the classroom and the other teachers who popped in would all comment on the beautiful flowers! I remember other times when the younger kids from the neighbourhood would try and ‘borrow’ some flowers. My Dad, possessive as he was of his hybrid roses, would give in and often snip one off and give it to the child, who would skip aw…

Waiting...

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There is absolutely nothing we can do on Holy Saturday, and that is the point. It is a day of desolation and nothingness, a day of darkness and utter emptiness. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function. Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns. After the great battle He is resting in peace, but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering. The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible.  There is nothing to do now except wait… and waiting is the hardest part in this digital and instant age. Holy Saturday is the silent pause between what we have done and what God will do – what only God can do.

On this day God is silent, yet God is still at work. Scripture tells us Holy Saturday is the day Christ descended and ministered to those in Hades, or the place of the dead. This is not a trivial or side matter, which is why “He descended to the dead” finds mention in the Apostles’ Creed. Christ goes …

Betrayal-Only a friend can betray a friend

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As we journey on this Holy Week, the readings today contain a richness of which we often just scratch the surface. Today we see Jesus predict the betrayal which will cost Him his life. Often in a relationship, the betrayal is so shocking because we don't expect it, we didn't see the signs. Yet Jesus knew exactly who would betray but yet He continued to love Judas. He loved Judas even when Judas was enshrouded by darkness. “The light shines in the darkness” (John 1:5). The other disciples would betray Him in other ways but Judas could not turn back and accept the merciful love that would forgive even this most deceitful betrayal.
Each one of us at some stage of our lives have had our trust broken. Often it is not easy to bounce back as we fear that a new relationship or friendship will end up the same way as soon as we let down our guard. As we journey through life we seek people to trust and who support us. We are called to do the same. If we think back to the play Julius Ca…

Grace freely given-the Anointing at Bethany

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Grace, Mercy, Compassion, and Forgiveness freely and willingly offered to those who repent.

GRACE=
God’s
Riches
At
Christ’s
Expense

Strangely so, all the excitement of the procession into Jersualem, the crowds chanting, the road strewn with coats and branches – it all leads up to, well, nothing. Mark Chapter 11, 11 tells us that Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts, he looked around he then turns around and returns to Bethany. And Bethany is where a very significant event takes place, one that often is glossed over on our Holy Week journey.

Today, Monday of Holy Week, we are given a Gospel text which often passed over, the Anointing at Bethany. The anointing of Jesus at Bethany is an event which is narrated in the accounts of the four evangelists, something which is relatively rare. The details differ slightly from evangelist to evangelist. As Jesus dines with his beloved friends, Mary does something which only love can do. She took the most precious thing she ha…

The journey from 'Hosanna' to 'Crucify Him'

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“Lord, we know that every journey begins with a first step. Be with us as we take another step in our Lenten journey and a step towards the Triduum. We began this journey with the sign of ashes on our forehead, reminding us that this is no ordinary walk. We move one step forward in the promise of your light. We seek new meaning in the Easter that awaits us all. But first, we must walk with you to Jerusalem, to Calvary, to the Tomb and beyond. We ask for the courage and the grace that we need to be committed pilgrims along the Calvary Way. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. AMEN.”
As we draw near to the end of Lent, it’s fitting to think about the journey we make during this Holy Week. Holy Week is holy, first and foremost, because of all Jesus Christ did during this week, from the triumphal entry into his city on Palm Sunday, to his teaching in the Temple, to the Last Supper, to his prayer in Gethsemane, to his arrest, torture, crucifixion and death on Good Friday, to his res…