This weeks podcast is available to listen to HERE.
St Ita of Killeedy (co-patron of the diocese of Limerick)
January 15th is the feast day of the "spiritual mother" of the diocese St Ita of Kileedy. And given the week that is it it seems appropriate that the appointment of our new bishop should occubetween the feasts of our two diocesan patrons St Munchin and St Ita.
Ita or Ida, called the "Brigid of Munster", was born in County Waterford. She became a nun, settling down at Cluain Credhail, a place-name that has ever since been known as Killeedy -- meaning "Church of St. Ita" -- in County Limerick. There, she was the head of a community of women. That group seems to have had a school for little boys where they were taught "Faith in God with purity of heart; simplicity of life with religion; generosity with love. Ita was known as the foster mother of the saints of Ireland and is said to have taught St Brendan the Navigator, St. Pulcherius (Mochoemog) and Cummian.
We are joined by Fr Michael Liston and Michael Keating who tells us of the story of St Ita of Kileedy and reflect on what the story of Ita's faith means for us particularily on the need to preserve a "child-like" faith where each us is asked to foster the love of Iosa-gan (little Jesus), the fragile life of Jesus in our world.
You can listen to Michael's interview about St Ita excerpted from the programme HERE.
You can read more about St Ita in previous blog posts here, here and here.
Gospel - Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
This week we have the closing gospel of the Christmas season, the recounting of the Baptism of the Lord. The gospel is one of the four manifestations of the Lord - the Nativity, the Epiphany to the Magi, the Baptism of the Lord and the Miracle at the Wedding Feast at Cana.
Jesus begins his public ministry today after being baptised by John in the Jordon where his role and relationship with God the Father is affirmed. His Father is well pleased with him and Jesus is Beloved of the Father. The baptism is a doorway of confirmation of the personal union and relationship between Jesus and his Father in heaven represented by the Holy Spirit.
Are there moments in our lives when we experience moments of affirmation? Do we appreciate them? Do we act on them? Do we create space and time for God to manifest himself to us?
St Gregory of Nazienzen, an early church father, preached on this feast in these words:
"Today let us do honor to Christ’s baptism and celebrate this feast in holiness. ...(God) wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the great light, bathed in the glory of him who is the light of heaven. You are to enjoy more and more the pure and dazzling light of the Trinity, as now you have received - though not in its fullness - a ray of its splendor, proceeding from the one God, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen."
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Homily - Deacon Martin Browne OSB Glenstal
Blue Eyed Ennis
Liturgical odds and ends
Divine Office - Week 1
This week we return to Ordinary time in the liturgical calendar as the Christmas season ends with todays feast.
January 18th to 25th is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
January 14th - The Martyrs of Mt Sinai
January 15th - St Ita of Kileedy
January 16th - St Fursa
January 17th - St Anthony of Egypt
Januaey 18th - St Thecla - virgin martyr
January 19th - St Wulston of Worchestor