Jul 19, 2014

20th July 2014 - Apostolate of Eucaristic Adoration - 16th Sunday in Ordinary time

On this weeks programme John is joined by Antoinette Monihan who tells us about the Apostolate of Eucharisic Adornation. We have our regular reflection on the gospel as well as some other liturgical odds and ends.

A podcast of this week's programme is available here.

The Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration

Our Of The Blessed SacramentAnne Monihan joins John on the programme this week to tell listeners about the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration and in particular the gift of Adoration with Children.
The Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration is an Association of Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, embracing God’s call to weekly Eucharistic Adoration, striving to be a people of prayer, vision and mission, and accepting the challenge to live the Good News of Jesus Christ. This Apostolate is organised, maintained and developed by lay people.

The Motto of the Apostolate is: “To Jesus through Mary”

You can learn more about the Apostolate of Eucharistic Adoration at their website HERE.
Gospel - Matthew 13:24 - 43

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying:
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened
to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him,
‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’

Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours -
Saints of the Week

July 21st - St Lawrence of Brandisi
July 22nd - St Mary Magdelene
July 23rd - Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna
July 24th - Saint Declan of Ardmore
July 25th - Saint James the Greater
July 26th - Ss Joachim and Anne (parents of BVM)

Jul 15, 2014

July 15th - Feast of St Bonaventure - Blog Patron 2014

Our blog  patron saint this year is the Franciscan saint, Bonaventure whose feast day falls on July 15th.
You can find out more about him HERE.

Jul 13, 2014

13th July 2014 - Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (aka the Monks of Moyross) Part 3 - Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this week's programme we have the third and final part of our interview with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal about their life and ministry. We have our reflection on the Sunday gospel which this week is the gospel for the fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

You can listen to the podcast of this week's programme HERE

Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (Part 3)

                                                                                This week we have the third and final part of our interview with the Franciscans Friars of the Renewal and this week we learn more about Br. Frantisek Marie and his vocation story.

You can read more about the friars including the first and second part of this series of interviews HERE and HERE.

You can listen to the interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 13:1-23 

Jesus said "Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!"
Today's Gospel is a familiar one.  It recounts the parable of the Sower.  The danger with familiar parables is that we may gloss over them quickly and say to ourselves that we know the story.  The truth of the matter is that the parables have great depth and speak to us again and again depending on where we are in life. So it is with the parable of the Sower.  Jesus describes the different types of soil on which the seed, the word of God, falls.  

In Lectio style we invite you today to put yourself into the parable - what type of soil are you today?  It is important to ask ourselves this daily, because depending on our openness to God's word, we fluctuate between the types of soil we are.  Some days we will be the rock - completely oblivious to God and to his message.  Some days we will be the little soil - how many times have we had a really positive faith experience maybe at a retreat and we promise to change some aspect of our lives as a result, but when we return home, we fall into our old routine again.  Some days we will be the soil with thorns when we let our cares and worries and burdens distract us from God's loving presence instead of entrusting our cares to him.  And some days, thank God, we are good soil - open to God's word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  

The good news is that once we recognise what soil we are we can turn to God once more and invite him into our hearts and minds so that we may be that good soil once more.  Jesus never stops sewing the seed... how will we respond today?

Reflections on this week's gospel:
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Word on Fire

Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds and ends
Liturgy of the Hours - 15th week in ordinary time; Psalter week 3
Saints of the week
July 14th - St. Camillus de Lellis

July 15th - St. Bonaventure - Patron Saint of our blog for 2014
July 16th - Our Lady of Mount Carmel
July 17th - Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne (Blesseds and Martyrs)
July 18th - St. Frederick
July 19th - St. Arsenius the Great

Jul 10, 2014

Having better fights about religion - Leah Libresco - iCatholic

Leah Libresco, a popular US Catholic blogger, Yale graduate, and self described ‘geeky convert’, gave a talk in Dublin entitled 'Having Better Fights About Religion'.

This talk, hosted by the Irish Catholic and introduced by Ben Conroy took place on July 2nd in St Marys, Bloomfield Ave, Morehampton Rd, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 where The Irish Catholic offices are based. It was streamed live here on iCatholic

Originally an atheist, Libresco started blogging for the online religion website Patheos as a way to debate and discuss religion. As a result of debating with Christians and atheists alike, Libresco converted to Catholicism in 2012. She currently works as an editorial assistant for The American Conservative and regularly writes on her blog ‘Unequally Yoked: a geeky convert picks fights in good faith’. She welcomes others to the conversation and encourages what she describes as ‘Having Better Fights’ – finding meaningful ways to have conversations with those whom you have ideological or religious differences.

Wendy Grace interviews Leah Libresco, a popular US Catholic blogger on patheos.com, before Leah gave a talk in Dublin on 2nd July.

This talk, hosted by the Irish Catholic took place in Donnybrook, Dublin 4 where The Irish Catholic offices are based

See - www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/

Follow Leah on twitter at @LeahLibresco

Bishop Leahy says changes in priests’ services inevitable due to retirements and drop in vocations

Clerical changes for diocese announced
Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has stated that the level of services provided by priests in the Diocese will change in the years ahead due to the significant decline in priest vocations over recent decades.
Speaking as he revealed this year’s clerical changes across the diocese, Bishop Leahy said that this year’s single ordination against the backdrop of six retirements in the diocese is an indication of the challenge that lies ahead for ministry here.
“This year we will have one ordination to the priesthood in the diocese. David Casey will be ordained on July 19th in the Cathedral. That is great news and we can rejoice in it.  However, it will probably be another five or six years before we have another ordination. Thankfully, lately a number of men have indicated an interest in going for the priesthood. I hope we will see an increase in the number entering the seminary in coming years.
“That said, while we can't yet talk of a massive crisis, as relatively we still have a reasonable number of priests in Limerick diocese, we do need to recognise that the services we have provided until now will change.  The ageing profile of priests will mean we will have to shape differently the way we provide ministry in the diocese. It is important for priests to work more in teams, supporting one another and also working together possibly serving a number of parishes.
“Some of the city parishes are very large and I am concerned that we have only one priest in some of them. There are parishes where previously there were two or three priests but now there is only one. But the demands, if anything, are increasing.
“While there is a change in the clerical profile of the diocese, I am very encouraged by the strong presence of lay volunteers in many aspects of parish life in the diocese.  Literally thousands of lay people give of their time, ideas and service in parish school boards of management, financial and pastoral councils, child safeguarding procedures, altar service, baptismal teams, ministries of the Word and of the Eucharist, church upkeep and cleaning, sacristy service, prayer and study groups, hospitality, Vincent de Paul Society, parish visitation, events organisation.
“We can never be grateful enough for this generous commitment to the organisational life of the Church that contributes much to social cohesion in parishes and local communities.”
Bishop Leahy said that he had engaged Fr. Eamonn Fitzgibbon, Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning, over recent months to work on his behalf with priests and pastoral area teams to reflect on the changing profile of the diocesan clergy.  
“There have been many listening sessions.  This work will have to continue right throughout the diocese more and more. I specifically met with priests on several occasions in recent months to reflect together on challenges and opportunities that are opening up for us in the new context of our numbers and age.
“It is against this background that I made the changes this year. I appreciate some people will be upset to see their priest moving on but the change, if lived well, can be fruitful for the priest and for the parish. It's a chance to begin again to look at our mission, the way we are promoting the Gospel, how lay people are involved in co-responsibility in the local faith community,” he said.
Bishop Leahy said he was most grateful to priests for their willingness to co-operate in the changes this year. “I know it's never easy. But their willingness is a sign to me of their continued fidelity to follow Jesus, to be missionary disciples,” he continued.
“I am grateful to people for their goodness to priests. It is always moving to hear people speak so fondly of their priests. There is no doubt that the relationship between priests and parishioners is very deep. Priests are present at key moments of people's lives - weddings, baptisms, First Communion and Confirmation, sickness and celebrations, bereavement and funerals. 
“To be a priest is a wonderful vocation and priests are always grateful for the huge support people offer them.”
Bishop Brendan Leahy has made the following Clerical changes, with effect from 14th September, 2014.

Very Rev. Austin McNamara, Administrator, St. John’s Cathedral, to be Parish Priest of Loughill/Ballyhahill Parish to succeed Very Rev. Gerard O’Leary, who is going on sabbatical leave until July, 2015                                                                                                                                                                                 

Very Rev. Noel Kirwan, Parish Priest, St. Michael’s Parish, to be Administrator of St. John’s Cathedral to succeed Very Rev. Austin McNamara.

Rev. Leo McDonnell, Curate, St. John’s Cathedral, to be Parish Priest, St. Michael’s Parish to succeed Very Rev. Noel Kirwan while continuing to reside in Cathedral House and remaining as a member of the Parish team of St John’s

Very Rev. Oliver Plunkett, Parish Priest, Donaghmore / Knockea Parish, to be Administrator St. Joseph’s Parish

Very Rev. Thomas Mangan, Administrator, St. Joseph’s Parish, to be Parish Priest, Donaghmore / Knockea Parish

Rev. Frank Downes, O.P., to be Parish Chaplain, St. Joseph’s Parish

Very Rev. Brendan Murphy, Parish Priest, Feenagh / Kilmeedy Parish to retire and reside in Newcastle West Parish and assist the Parish Team

Rev. Patrick Bluett, Curate, Newcastle West Parish to succeed Very Rev. Brendan Murphy as Parish Priest of Feenagh / Kilmeedy Parish

Very Rev. Garry Canon Bluett, Parish Priest, Manister Parish to retire and reside in Croom Parish, continue his ministry in Croom Orthopaedic Hospital and assist in the Pastoral Area

Very Rev. Damian Ryan, Parish Priest, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, to be Parish Priest in Manister Parish to succeed Very Rev. Garry Canon Bluett

Rev. John Walsh, Chaplain to Prison Services, to be Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish to succeed Very Rev. Damian Ryan

Very Rev. Joseph Kennedy, Parish Priest of Croom / Banogue Parishes to retire and reside in Kilmallock and assist in the Pastoral Area

Very Rev. William Canon Fitzmaurice, Parish Priest, Kilmallock / Ballingaddy Parish to be Parish Priest of Croom / Banogue parishes to succeed Very Rev. Joseph Kennedy

Very Rev. Joseph Shire, to succeed Very Rev. Canon William Fitzmaurice as Parish Priest of Kilmallock Parish, while continuing as Parish Priest of Ballyagran/ Colmanswell Parish and acting as Moderator of the Parish Team

Very Rev. Gerard McNamara, to retire as Parish Priest of Bulgaden / Martinstown Parish and continue to reside in the Parish

Rev. Joseph Cussen, Curate, Kilmallock / Ballingaddy Parish to be Parish Priest, Bulgaden / Martinstown Parish to succeed Very Rev. Gerard McNamara and continue to reside in Kilmallock and remain as a member of the Kilmallock Parish Team

Rev. Leslie McNamara, recently returned from working with the Columban Missionaries, assigned to assist within the Cathedral Pastoral Area

Rev. Eamon Purcell, Curate St. Patrick’s to be Chaplain in University Hospital Limerick

Rev. Liam Enright, Diocesan Advisor to Primary Schools to go on Study Leave to Rome

Rev. Sean Harmon, Curate, St. John’s Cathedral to succeed Rev. Liam Enright as Diocesan Advisor to Primary Schools

Rev David Casey, Deacon, will be ordained to Priesthood on 19th July.
During the year Bishop Leahy also accepted the retirement of Rev. Patrick Costello and of Rev. Terry O'Connell on grounds of ill health.

Financial Reform at the Holy See and Vatican City State

The reform of the Vatican continued apace with some major announcements yesterday in Rome. Continuing on the trail of reform initiated by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has made some major changes to the financial set up of the Holy See and Vatican City State.

"Journalists from across the globe crowded into the Vatican Press Office on Wednesday morning to hear, first-hand, of a series of new initiatives geared to improve the economic and administrative management of the Holy See and Vatican City State. Listen to Linda Bordoni's report HERE"

As always John Allen has good coverage and explanation HERE with an interview with the new economic czar Cardinal Pell HERE.


Jul 5, 2014

5th July 2014 - Hearing about St Molua, the Ardagh Chalice and Ardagh parish - 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this weeks programme John and Lorraine are joined by Mary Kury from Ardagh to talk about some of our local christian heritage and discuss the history of St Molua and also the Ardagh Chalice. We have our regular reflection on the gospel as well as some other odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Our Christian Heritage - St Molua, Ardagh Chalice

St Molua's Well, Ardagh, Co Limerick
Mary Kury joins us this week to speak about the history of christianity in Ardagh with St Molua and tells us about the traditions associated with the well dedicated to the saint. Of course any history of Ardagh could not ignore the great national treasure which is the Ardagh Chalice.
You can find our more about St Molua HERE and about the Ardagh Chalice HERE and HERE.

You can listen to Mary's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 11: 25-30

At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Reflections on this weeks gospel

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours: psalter week 2; 14th week in ordinary time.

Saints of the Week

July 7th - St Maelruain
July 8th - St Kilian
July 9th - St Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions
July 10th - St. Veronica Giuliani
July 11th - St Benedict
July 12th - Saint Hilarion of Ancyra

Pope's Intentions

The Pope's universal prayer intention for July is “that sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth”.
His prayer intention for evangelisation is “that the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries”.
Reflections on the Pope's intentions from the Apostleship of Prayer.

Jun 28, 2014

29th June 2014 - Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (a.k.a. Monks of Moyross) (Part 2) - Feast of St Peter & St Paul

On this weeks programme we have the second part of our interview with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal about their life and ministry. We have our reflection on the Sunday gospel which this week is the gospel of the feast of St Peter & St Paul.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE
Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (Part 2)
This week we have the second part of our interview with the Franciscans Friars of the Renewal and this week learn more about the community and their experiences. John has an interview in St Patricks Friary in Moyross with Fr Charles and other members of the community.
You can read more about the friars including the first part of this series of interviews HERE.
You can listen to the interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.
Gospel - Matthew 16:13-19 
"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.""
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans - Beloved Criminals
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Feast of St Peter and St Paul
Today we mark the feast day of St Peter and St Paul - the two great patrons of the Church of Rome. In a sermon in the year 395, St. Augustine of Hippo said of Sts. Peter and Paul: “Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles' blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.”

From CatholicCultre.org:

Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God's providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel. St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter's. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul.

You read more about the feast day at:
Domincans Interactive
Catholic News Agency
Blue Eyed Ennis - 2012 post; 2013 post
SS102fm previous blog posts on the feast - here and here
Liturgical odds and ends
Liturgy of the Hours - 13th week in ordinary time; Psalter week 1
Saints of the week
June 30th - First Martyrs of the Church of Rome
July 1st - St Oliver Plunket (martyr)
July 2nd - Saint Marcia of Campania
July 3rd - St Thomas (apostle)
July 4th - St Elizabeth of Portugal
July 5th - St Anthony Zaccaria

Jun 27, 2014

Limerick Diocese pilgrimage to Lourdes 2014 - Coming down from Mount Tabor

The planes are arriving in Shannon this morning (fingers crossed after the debacle of the French strike over the last few days! Obviously the prayers were heard for a resolution to the crisis) and our diocesan pilgrims have to re-enter "normal" life again. Like any experience where you have been out side your regular routine, where quick friendships are made over shared experiences, eventually the pilgrims like the apostles must come down from Mount Tabor.

Bishop Brendan offers some thoughts on what we can do as a faith community, invigorated by the experience of the pilgrimage both physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Jun 26, 2014

Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2014 - Holy Hour

As our listeners and blog readers are aware, the Diocese of Limerick's annual Pilgrimage to Lourdes took place between June 21st and June 26th 2014.  A very special part of the pilgrimage is the Holy Hour - time spent in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament - which was held last Sunday evening.

This year Fr. Liam Enright and Fr. Noel Kirwan led a beautiful meditation for the Holy Hour which is available HERE.

More photos and reflections from the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes are available HERE.

Limerick Diocese pilgrimage to Lourdes 2014 - A poetic memory

Shared over on the Limerick diocese Facebook page,

From Peg Prendeville:

"Reading about the trip to Lourdes reminds me of a trip I made in 1990! I wrote this afterward. I hope you don't mind me sharing it with you.

The Miracle of Lourdes

Away from all the toil and noise
Which whirls this world around
On a little corner of this earth
A heavenly place I’ve found.
It’s only a simple little cave
From which a spring does flow
It was there that Bernadette of Lourdes
Met her “lady” long ago.

And still the spring it gushes forth
And still sway the whispering trees
The river Gave flows gently by
While candles flicker in the breeze.
A tranquillity you’ve not felt before
I guarantee you’ll find
There in the deafening silence.
It relaxes body and mind.

The murmuring of incessant prayers
Waft like incense to the sky
Petitioning, pleading pilgrims
Begging God to reply.
This power of prayer uplifts the soul
It has to be for good.
Despair then dies and hope lives on
It’s the miracle of Lourdes.

When now, back in the world once more,
My fears are hard to quell
I shut my eyes and my thoughts drift back
To the grotto of Massabielle.
Mary and Bernadette come smiling through
And fill me with their peace
“Don’t worry, Love” I hear them say
“The miracles will never cease.”

Jun 22, 2014

22nd June 2014 - Interview with Paul Glennon - Solemnity of the Body & Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

On this weeks programme John is joined by Paul Glennon who is a deacon of the Dublin archdiocese ordained on June 1st in Maynooth. Paul shares his faith journey with us on the feast of Corpus Christi.We also have some reflections on the feast as well as links to reflections for the gospel of the day.
You can listen to the podcast of the programme HERE.
Rev Paul Glennon - A journey towards priesthood

Fifteen seminarians were ordained deacons at St Patrick's College Maynooth marking a major milestone on their journey towards priesthood. It is the largest number of deacons ordained in Ireland in recent years. Back row (left-right) Rev Michael Geraghty (Killaloe Diocese), Rev Sean O'Donnell (Derry Diocese), Rev Brian Griffin (Ossory Diocese), Rev Aidan McCann (Armagh Archdiocese), Rev Eamon Roche (Cloyne Diocese), Rev Brendan Ward (Raphoe Diocese), Rev Chris Derwin (Dublin Archdiocese), Rev Vincent Stapleton (Cashel & Emly Archdiocese), Rev Paul Glennon (Dublin Archdiocese), Rev Shane O'Neill (Waterford & Lismore Diocese), Rev Ciaran Clarke (Meath Diocese), Rev Brian Slater (Armagh Archdiocese), Rev Robert McGivney (Meath Diocese). Front row (left-right) Rev Leo Creelman (Clogher Diocese), Fr Paul Prior (Director of Formation), Msgr Hugh Connolly (President), Rev. Brian Fitzpatrick, Cardinal Sean Brady (Archbishop of Armagh), Rev. Sean Flynn, Fr Michael Mullaney (Vice-President), Fr Michael Collins (Director of Formation), Rev Seamus O'Rourke (Ardagh & Clonmacnoise Diocese). Photo: Paul Keeling.

On this weeks programme we are joined by Paul Glennon who shares with us his on-going journey towards priesthood. Paul was one of the 15 men ordained deacon in Maynooth on June 1st for the archdiocese of Dublin but he also has links to the Emmanuel Community in Ireland (you can learn more about the community from our previous blog posts HERE). He tells us of his re-discovery of faith through the Charismatic Conference, his experience at WYD2005 in Cologne and how he went on to explore his faith and the Emmanuel School of Mission in Rome with the Emmanuel Community before starting the journey to ordination.
You can listen to Paul's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Solemnity of Corpus Christi
Gospel - John 6:51 - 58
"I  am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."
Today the church honours in a special way the Blessed Eucharist - the Body and Blood of Christ. One of the ancient reflections on this feast day from St John Chrysostom is below. While it was written in the 5th century, today the reflection still challenges us:
Would you honor the body of Christ? Do not despise his nakedness; do not honor him here in church clothed in silk vestments and then pass him by unclothed and frozen outside. Remember that he who said, ‘This is my Body’, and made good his words, also said, ‘You saw me hungry and gave me no food’, and, ‘in so far as you did it not to one of these, you did it not to me’.In the first sense the body of Christ does not need clothing but worship from a pure heart. In the second sense it does need clothing and all the care we can give it.

We must learn to be discerning Christians and to honor Christ in the way in which he wants to be honored. It is only right that honor given to anyone should take the form most acceptable to the recipient not to the giver. Peter thought he was honoring the Lord when he tried to stop him washing his feet, but this was far from being genuine homage. So give God the honor he asks for, that is give your money generously to the poor. God has no need of golden vessels but of golden hearts.

I am not saying you should not give golden altar vessels and so on, but I am insisting that nothing can take the place of almsgiving. The Lord will not refuse to accept the first kind of gift but he prefers the second, and quite naturally, because in the first case only the donor benefits, in the second case the poor gets the benefit. The gift of a chalice may be ostentatious; almsgiving is pure benevolence.

What is the use of loading Christ’s table with gold cups while he himself is starving? Feed the hungry and then if you have any money left over, spend it on the altar table. Will you make a cup of gold and without a cup of water? What use is it to adorn the altar with cloth of gold hangings and deny Christ a coat for his back! What would that profit you? Tell me: if you saw someone starving and refused to give him any food but instead spent your money on adorning the altar with gold, would he thank you? Would he not rather be outraged? Or if you saw someone in rags and stiff with cold and then did not give him clothing but set up golden columns in his honor, would he not say that he was being made a fool of and insulted?

Consider that Christ is that tramp who comes in need of a night’s lodging. You turn him away and then start laying rugs on the floor, draping the walls, hanging lamps on silver chains on the columns. Meanwhile the tramp is locked up in prison and you never give him a glance. Well again I am not condemning munificence in these matters. Make your house beautiful by all means but also look after the poor, or rather look after the poor first. No one was ever condemned for not adorning his house, but those who neglect the poor were threatened with hellfire for all eternity and a life of torment with devils. Adorn your house if you will, but do not forget your brother in distress. He is a temple of infinitely greater value.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Sunday Reflections
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans

Corpus Christi procession - Rome June 2014
Reflections on the feast day:

'Eucharistic moments' – Mirroring the broken Christ
Blue Eyed Ennis

Written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), this is one of the great seven hymns of the Church. This hymn is also used on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The last two stanzas make up the "Tantum Ergo" (Down in Adoration Falling) that is used at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Of the glorious Body telling,
O my tongue, its mysteries sing,
And the Blood, all price excelling,
Which the world's eternal King,
In a noble womb once dwelling
Shed for the world's ransoming.
Given for us, descending,
Of a Virgin to proceed,
Man with man in converse blending,
Scattered he the Gospel seed,
Till his sojourn drew to ending,
Which he closed in wondrous deed.
At the last great Supper lying
Circled by his brethren's band,
Meekly with the law complying,
First he finished its command
Then, immortal Food supplying,
Gave himself with his own hand.
Word made Flesh, by word he maketh
Very bread his Flesh to be;
Man in wine Christ's Blood partaketh:
And if senses fail to see,
Faith alone the true heart waketh
To behold the mystery.
Therefore we, before him bending,
This great Sacrament revere;
Types and shadows have their ending,
For the newer rite is here;
Faith, our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.
Glory let us give, and blessing
To the Father and the Son;
Honour, might, and praise addressing,
While eternal ages run;
Ever too his love confessing,
Who, from both, with both is one. Amen


Homily of Pope Francis
Solemnity of Corpus Christi 2014

On the feast of Corpus Domini, we celebrate Jesus “living bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6,51), food for our hunger for eternal life, strength for our journey. I thank the Lord, who today allows me to celebrate Corpus Domini with you, brothers and sisters of this Church, which is in Cassano allo Jonio. Today’s feast is that on which the Church praises the Lord for the gift of the Eucharist. While on Holy Thursday, we recall its institution at the Last Supper, today thanksgiving and adoration predominate. And, in fact, it is tradition on this day to have the procession with the Blessed Sacrament. To adore Jesus Eucharist and to walk with him. These are the two inseparable aspects of today’s feast, two aspects that mark the entire life of the Christian people: a people that adores God and walks with him.

Before all else, we are a people who adores God. We adore God, who is love, who in Jesus Christ gave himself for us, offered himself on the cross to expiate our sins and by the power of this love he rose from death and lives in his Church. We do have no other God than this!

When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money, the road to sin opens to personal interest ... When one does not adore the Lord, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live by dishonesty and violence. Your land, which so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin. The ‘ndrangheta is this: adoration of evil and contempt of the common good. This evil must be fought, must be expelled. It must be told no. The Church, which is so committed to educating consciences, must always expend itself even more so that good can prevail. Our children ask this of us. Our young people ask this of us, they, who need hope. To be able to respond to this demands, faith can help us. Those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated!

Today, we confess this with our gaze turned to Corpus Domini, to the Sacrament of the altar. And, for this faith, we renounce Satan and all of his temptations; we renounce the idols of money, vanity, pride and power. We, Christians, do not want to adore anything or anyone in this world except Jesus Christ, who is present in the Holy Eucharist. Perhaps we do not always realize what this means in all its depth, the consequences our profession of faith has or should have. Today we ask the Lord to enlighten us and to convert us, so that we truly adore only him and we renounce evil in all its forms.

But our faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, in the consecrated bread and wine, is authentic if we commit to follow him and to walk with him, seeking to put into practice his commandment which he gave to the disciples at the Last Supper: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13,34). A people who adores God in the Eucharist is a people who walks in charity.

Today, as bishop of Rome, I am here to confirm you not only in faith but also in charity, to accompany you and to encourage you in your journey with Jesus Charity. I want to express my support to the bishop, the priests and the deacons of this Church, and also of the Eparchy of Lungro, rich in its Greek-Byzantine tradition. But I extend it to all the pastors and faithful of the Church in Calabria, courageously committed to evangelization and to promoting lifestyles and initiatives which put at the centre the needs of the poor and of the. And I also extend it to the civil authorities who seek to live political and administrative commitment for what it is—a service to the common good.

I encourage all to witness practical solidarity with your brothers, especially those who most need justice, hope and tenderness. Thank God, there are many signs of hope in your families, parishes, associations and ecclesial movements. The Lord Jesus does not cease to inspire acts of charity in his people who journey! The Policoro Project is a concrete sign of hope for young people who want to get in the game and create work possibilities for themselves and for others. You, dear young people, do not let yourselves to be robbed of hope! Adoring Jesus in your hears and remaining united to him you will know how to oppose evil, injustice, violence with the force of good, truth and beauty.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist has gathered us together. The Body of the Lord makes of us one, one family, the people of God united around Jesus, Bread of Life. That which I said to the young people, I say to all of you: if you will adore Christ, follow him and walk with him, your diocesan Church and your parishes will grow in faith and charity, in the joy of evangelizing. You will be a Church in which fathers, mothers, priests, religious, catechists, children, the elderly and the young walk alongside each other, support each other, help each other, love each other like brothers, especially in moments of difficulty.

Mary, eucharistic Woman, whom you venerate in many sanctuaries, especially at the one in Castrovillari, precedes you in this pilgrimage of faith. May she always help you to stay united so that, even by means of your witness, the Lord may continue to give life to the world.

Liturgical odds and ends
Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 4, 12th week in ordinary time
Saints of the Week
June 23rd - Blessed Francis O’Sullivan - one of the Irish martyrs (St John's Eve)