11 Dec 2010

12th December 2010 - Gaudate Sunday - 3rd Sunday in Advent Year A

We enter into the second half of our Advent journey and this Sunday is Gaudate Sunday or Rejoicing Sunday. We have our regular prayer space, the lighting of our third Advent candle, our regular Sunday gospel reflection with John and Michael, our up coming celestial guides of the week and some local notices on this weeks show.

Certain Sundays throughout the liturgical year have taken their names from the first word in Latin of the Introit, (the entrance antiphon) at Mass. Gaudete Sunday is one of these.The Introit for Gaudete Sunday, is taken from Philippians 4:4,5: "Gaudete in Domino semper" ("Rejoice in the Lord always").
We continue our regular prayer space for our listeners and light our third Advent candle. We also a brief introduction to the "Jesse Tree" and John reads and reflects on some of the posts on the blog about "What does Advent mean to me?" from various contributors.


This weeks gospel from Matthew 11:2-11 again focus's on John the Baptist and provides an example of the way that prophets are treated by the societies that they challange. At the same time, Jesus acknowledges the importance of John the Baptist and his role in salvation history.

But as Fr Martin Tierney reminds us, it also shows John's human need for assurance that he was doing the right thing. "John was a man used to the wild open places; cooped up in prison his mind may have been playing tricks on him......He had invested his life in the message. It was important to him. Jesus pointed to the obvious signs that someone very different was here, 'The blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life ...' There are times when we too need reassurance. When I think of faith, I think of St Therese. For about fifteen months she was tortured with doubts against the faith. All she could say was, 'I know that behind the dark clouds my sun is still shining.' If we have the eyes to see, there are signs of faith and of the presence of Jesus in the lives of others: the painful suffering of a cancer patient; the brave acceptance of God's will in bereavement; committed love when a marriage is in difficulty. We also see signs of the transcendent in art, literature, drama and music. We see signs of God in the intricacies of a leaf, or the mottled wings of a butterfly, or the sun dancing on a placid lake. But like John we need reassurance. Jesus began to talk to people about John. He says,no greater than John the Baptist has never been seen'. What a beautiful passage of praise. Here the humanity of Jesus is demonstrated. There are times when we forget to praise others, especially those closest to us. Praise makes the talents of others fertile. We grow when we are praised. There are times when those who exercise authority are unconscious of the power they have over the lives of others. The negative power can be greater than the positive. To withhold, or to neglect to praise the goodness of others, can diminish them. People can shrivel up and lose heart when their efforts go unrecognised. Jesus was so human and knew the complexities of the heart."

Further reflections here, here and here

Saints of the Week 

December 13th - St Lucy
December 14th - St John of the Cross
December 15th - St Venantius Fortunatus
December 17th - St Melania the Younger
December 18th - St Flannan

  • Adare Live Crib: - depicting the Nativity scene in Bethlehem takes place next Sunday, December 19th from 2.00pm to 5.00pm.
  • Trócaire Global Gifts: - Let us remember the people in the developing world who struggle every day to find enough food to survive or don’t know how they will keep their children safe. Help them through Trócaire’s Christmas Global Gift appeal. www.trocaire.org/globalgift
  • Viatores Christi: - Would you like to make a difference in the lives of others?  Would you like to go overseas as a volunteer for one or more years?  Please come along to our information and recruitment session in Room 301 of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick on Saturday, December 18th between 2pm and 4pm.  For further information contact 01-8689986.
  • Carol Recital: - Enjoy a wonderful evening of music and song in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Newcastle West at 8pm on Thursday December 16th at the Annual Lions Club Christmas Recital. Top of the bill this year is Limerick woman & Internationally Renowned Singing Star Noirín Ni  Riain.  Noirín is joined by the choirs from Desmond College and Scoil Mhuire agus Íde as well as the Cistercian Boys Choir from Roscrea. Entry is FREE – with a bucket collection for local charities – the main beneficiary this year is Laura Lynn House – a wonderful night’s entertainment is guaranteed so bring the whole family.
  • West Limerick Red Cross (Shanagolden Branch): - If you or anyone you know is unable to get deliveries of fuel, food and medicine in these inclement weather conditions, then we can organise transport to your area.  Contact Ger Doody at 087-2324740.
  • Twelve Days to Christmas: - musical celebration featuring Abbeyfeale Adult choir, Kerry Chamber Choir, Kerry Chamber Orchestra and Kerry Youth Choir will take place this Sunday, December 12th at 7pm.  Funds raised will be distributed between Temple St. and Crumlin’s Children’s Hospitals and to help young people travelling to Madrid for World Youth Day.  Tickets are € 10 for adults (accompanying children are free).  All are welcome.
  • Christmas Mission: A five-day,  pre-Christmas Mission, under the title 'Put Christ Back Into Christmas!', will take place in the Redemptorist Church, Mount St. Alphonsus, South Circular Road, Limerick beginning on Monday, December 13th and ending on Friday, December 17th. Three sessions each day at 7.55am, 10.00am, and 7.30pm. Also available on live the webcam at www.novena.ie On the final day, Friday December 17th, people are invited to bring gifts for the poor campaign to the empty crib and there will be the blessing and lighting of the Christmas tree.

As always, thanks for listening

John, Lorraine, Michael and Shane

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