Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist: 18/08/2019 - 12/04/2020
18th Aug: 20th Sunday of the Year Patrick & Kevin
25th Aug: 21st Sunday of the Year Joan & Gabriel
1st Sept: 22nd Sunday of the Year Steph & Mary
8th Sept: 23rd Sunday of the Year Steph & Halinka
15th Sept: 24th Sunday of the Year Joan & Gabriel
22nd Sept: 25th Sunday of the Year Padraig & Kevin
29th Sept: 26th Sunday of the Year Ann & Halinka
6th Oct: 27th Sunday of the Year Steph & Mary
13th Oct: 28th Sunday of the Year Clare & Ann
20th Oct: 29th Sunday of the Year Padraig & Kevin
27th Oct: 30th Sunday of the Year Clare & Halinka
3rd Nov: 31st Sunday of the Year Joan & Gabriel
10th Nov: 32nd Sunday of the Year Steph & Mary
17th Nov: 33rd Sunday of the Year Clare & Ann
24th Nov: Feast of Christ the King Padraig & Kevin
1st Dec: 1st Sunday of Advent Mary & Halinka
8th Dec: 2nd Sunday of Advent Joan & Gabriel
15th Dec: 3rd Sunday of Advent Steph & Mary
22nd Dec: 4th Sunday of Advent Clare & Ann
24th Dec: Vigil of Christmas Padraig & Kevin
25th Dec: Nativity of the Lord Gabriel & Halinka
29th Dec: The Feast of the Holy Family Padraig & Kevin
5th Jan: The Epiphany of the Lord Steph & Halinka
12th Jan: Baptism of the Lord Joan & Gabriel
19th Jan: 2nd Sunday of the Year Clare & Ann
26th Jan: 3rd Sunday of the Year Padraig & Halinka
2nd Feb: Presentation of the Lord Steph & Mary
9th Feb: 5th Sunday of the Year Joan & Gabriel
16th Feb: 6th Sunday of the Year Kevin & Halinka
23rd Feb: 7th Sunday of the Year Clare & Ann
1st March: 1st Sunday of Lent Padraig & Kevin
8th March: 2nd Sunday of Lent Steph & Mary
15th March: 3rd Sunday of Lent Joan & Gabriel
22nd March: 4th Sunday of Lent Mary & Halinka
29th March: 5th Sunday of Lent Clare & Ann
5th April: Palm Sunday Padraig & Kevin
9th April: Holy Thursday Joan & Gabriel
11th April:Vigil of Easter Clare & Ann
12th April: Easter Sunday Steph & Mary
FIRST VESPERS ON THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
AND TE DEUM IN THANKSGIVING FOR THE PAST YEAR
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Saturday, 31 December 2016
“When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).
These words of Saint Paul are powerful. In a brief and concise way, they introduce God’s plan for us: he wants us to live as his sons and daughters. The whole of salvation history echoes in these words. He who was not subject to the law chose, out of love, to set aside every privilege and to appear in the most unexpected place in order to free us who were under the law. What is so surprising is that God accomplishes this through the smallness and vulnerability of a newborn child. He decides personally to draw near to us and in his flesh to embrace our flesh, in his weakness to embrace our weakness, in his littleness to envelop our littleness. In Christ, God did not put on a human mask; instead he became man and shared completely in our human condition. Far from remaining an idea or an abstract essence, he wanted to be close to all those who felt lost, demeaned, hurt, discouraged, inconsolable and frightened. Close to all those who in their bodies carry the burden of separation and loneliness, so that sin, shame, hurt, despair and exclusion would not have the final word in the lives of his sons and daughters.
The manger invites us to make this divine “logic” our own. It is not a logic centred on privilege, exemptions or favours but one of encounter and closeness. The manger invites us to break with the logic of exceptions for some and exclusion for others. God himself comes to shatter the chains of privilege that always cause exclusion, in order to introduce the caress of compassion that brings inclusion, that makes the dignity of each person shine forth, the dignity for which he or she was created. A child in swaddling clothes shows us the power of God who approaches us as a gift, an offering, a leaven and opportunity for creating a culture of encounter.
We cannot allow ourselves to be naïve. We know that we are tempted in various ways to adopt the logic of privilege that separates, excludes and closes us off, while separating, excluding and closing off the dreams and lives of so many of our brothers and sisters.
Today, before the little Child Jesus, we should acknowledge that we need the Lord to enlighten us, because all too often we end up being narrow-minded or prisoners of all-or-nothing attitude that would force others to conform to our own ideas. We need this light, which helps us learn from our mistakes and failed attempts in order to improve and surpass ourselves; this light born of the humble and courageous awareness of those who find the strength, time and time again, to rise up and start anew.
As another year draws to an end, let us pause before the manger and express our gratitude to God for all the signs of his generosity in our life and our history, seen in countless ways through the witness of those people who quietly took a risk. A gratitude that is no sterile nostalgia or empty recollection of an idealized and disembodied past, but a living memory, one that helps to generate personal and communal creativity because we know that God is with us. God is with us.
Let us pause before the manger to contemplate how God has been present throughout this year and to remind ourselves that every age, every moment is the bearer of graces and blessings. The manger challenges us not to give up on anything or anyone. To look upon the manger means to find the strength to take our place in history without complaining or being resentful, without closing in on ourselves or seeking a means of escape, looking for shortcuts in our own interest. Looking at the manger means recognizing that the times ahead call for bold and hope-filled initiatives, as well as the renunciation of vain self-promotion and endless concern with appearances.
Looking at the manger means seeing how God gets involved by involving us, making us part of his work, inviting us to welcome the future courageously and decisively.
Looking at the manger, we see Joseph and Mary, their young faces full of hopes and aspirations, full of questions. Young faces that look to the future conscious of the difficult task of helping the God-Child to grow. We cannot speak of the future without reflecting on these young faces and accepting the responsibility we have for our young; more than a responsibility, the right word would be debt, yes, the debt we owe them. To speak of a year’s end is to feel the need to reflect on how concerned we are about the place of young people in our society.
We have created a culture that idolizes youth and seeks to make it eternal. Yet at the same time, paradoxically, we have condemned our young people to have no place in society, because we have slowly pushed them to the margins of public life, forcing them to migrate or to beg for jobs that no longer exist or fail to promise them a future. We have preferred speculation over dignified and genuine work that can allow young people to take active part in the life of society.