This weeks programmes podcast is available HERE.
Interview with David Quinn
David Quinn is the director of the Iona Institute which is a think-tank which promotes the place of marriage and religion in society. David is a well known journalist who specialises in religious and social affairs. Currently he has columns in both The Irish Independent and The Irish Catholic. He frequently appears on radio and television programmes and also contributes to numerous magazines overseas.
David tells us of his journey in faith including his lapse from the faith and how the witness of his wife's faith community encouraged him to actually go and discover the basics of his catholic faith which in turn led him to be a more out spoken on many issues.
He explores such challenges as the place of religion in the public square, the state support of denominational schools and the understanding of marriage and family in society and how it lead to the formation of the Iona Institute.
The interview with David is excerpted from the programme and is available HERE.
Gospel - Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
And he stood up to read; and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."We pick up with Luke's gospel this week as in this liturgical year, it is Luke's account which we will listen and reflect on through out the year. Luke's gospel is the longest of the four gospels and is written in a very structured way. Tradition holds that Luke was a gentile convert and a second generation christian in the sense that he wasn't one of the eye witnesses to Jesus' ministry on earth. He is regarded as being a highly educated man and pious tradition tells us he was a physician. It is a very Marian gospel with many details and accounts such as the infancy narratives at the beginning but also inspired by St Paul as Luke was believed to have been Paul's missionary companion.
There are two parts to this weeks gospel reading. The first is an introduction to the whole gospel and is addressed to each person who reads it seeking God, rather than a specific person; a reminder to each one of us individually that the Good News is addressed to us individually.
The second part of the reading occurs after the baptism in the Jordan where Jesus returns to his native Galilee region and in particular returns to Nazareth. As was his normal practise, he attends sabbath at the local synagogue and in turn stands up to read from the prophet Isaiah and then sits to teach (a symbol of teaching authority). The reading from the prophet reminds us always to have hope; for at the time of Isaiah it was a reminder to the people of Israel to take care of the weak and vulnerable in their society; a call which Jesus echoed and demonstrated through out his public ministry and a call which still echos down to us today. It is also a gospel of hope to those who are on the margins, the outcasts of our society, who feel abandoned and alone that even today these words are being fulfilled as God draws ever closer to them even in the midst of their suffering and despair.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical odds and ends
Divine Office - Week 3
Saints of the Week
January 28th - St Thomas Aquinas (doctor of the Church)
January 29th - St Blath of Kildare
January 30th - St Aidan (bishop) and also Bl Margaret Ball and Francis Taylor (martyrs)
January 31st - St John Bosco
February 1st - St Brigid co-patroness of Ireland (First Friday)
February 2nd - Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (aka Candlemass or the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary) - World Day for Consecrated Life
Popes Intentions for February 2013
General Intention - That migrant families - in particular mothers - may be sustained and accompanied in their difficulties.
Missionary Intention - The peoples experiencing war and conflicts may lead the way in building a future of peace.