19 Mar 2011

20th March 2011 - 2nd Sunday of Lent Year A

On this weeks show we have our regular "sacred space" for your prayers and intentions, an introduction to the Saint Joseph's Young Priests Society, our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel which is on the Transfiguration, some local notices and a scamper through the saints of the coming week.

St Joseph's Young Priests Society

On this weeks show, Mairead Noonan introduces us to the St Joseph's Young Priests Society. St Joseph's Young Priests Society was started in 1895 by Galway born Olivia Mary Taaffe.

The Society exists to help student clerics on their journey to Priesthood. The Society fosters vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It assists students for the priesthood both financially and by prayer. It promotes the vocation of the laity and fosters a greater understanding and love of the Mass. The Society holds prayer meetings for the vocations and arranges pilgrimages, Eucharistic adoration, vigils, seminars and retreats so that its members may give witness to Christian living.

The Society helps students for the priesthood from any diocese in the country who are recommended by a board of priests appointed by the four Archbishops in Ireland. They also help students throughout the world - where the need exists. The Society helps seminarians both spiritually and financially. The task of fostering vocations depends on the whole Christian community. By being involved in St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society we can help in this important work and also support our priests.

This weekend in Newcastle West, the Society is taking up a collection to help with their work rather than their traditional door-to-door appeal. If you would like make a donation online, please see the Society's website.

Gospel Reflection - The Transfiguration - Matthew 17: 1-9

This weeks reflection focuses on a number of ideas and themes from our panelists. It is a familiar gospel as we hear about it twice in the liturgical year - during Lent and on the Feast of the Transfiguration.

It has many overtones from the Old Testament and the history of the Chosen People. The Lord and his stalwarts, Peter, James and John go up the mountain to take time apart with the Lord - do we allow "Tabor moments" in our lives? The theme of mountains and the journey to meet the Lord is a frequent motif through scripture - Jesus preaches the sermon on the mount which we had over the last few weeks, Jesus goes up Tabor for the transfiguration and his exultation, he ascends up into Jerusalem and the Mountain of Zion where he is acclaimed by the crowds. Then he ascends Calvary to his ultimate exultation on the Cross and finally he ascends the Mount of Olives with the disciples and from there ascends into heaven. From the Old Testament we have the two holy mountains, Sinai - where the Law was given to Moses (the Lawgiver of the Chosen People) - and Horeb - where Elijah (the ultimate Prophet of the Lord) encountered the Lord in that gentle breeze. And as we know the  process of making space to encounter the Lord can be difficult - like climbing a mountain.

The Transfiguration is a moment of reassurance to Jesus (and ultimately the disciples after his death and resurrection) as he moves towards Jerusalem that he is doing the Father's will.

The gospel calls us to use our imagination to be "belonging" people. It is a gospel showing how Jesus was a belonging person. His humanity shown in the relationship with Peter, John and James and how they are with him. Then we also have Jesus at home in the Trinity with the voice of the Father and the presence of the Holy Spirit in the cloud. And  the Father encourages us and mandates us to listen to what Jesus has to say so that we can be drawn into the intimacy of God.

But anytime we go to a "high" place and have a remarkable experience, Fr Jack McArdle  reminds us that "holiness is not what happens on the mountain. It is what happens when I am down in the reality and humdrum of everyday existence". The mountain moment can give us support when we have our daily moments of dying - dying for another which is when we truly love another. We are called to "listen to him", to create space for sabbath moments for the Lord and he reminds us to "have no fear" for He is always with us and we need to remind ourselves of that. Many people look for the exotic and the special event to affirm the existence of God to go up onto the mountain. But climbing the mountain and getting out of the pit of despair is only the first part of the journey. The hard part is to come down safely off the mountain and be willing to answer the Lords call to come down off the mountain into our daily existence.

Further reflections from: Godzdogz, Word on Fire, Fr Jim Kirstein SMA,  

Saints of the Week

March 21st - St Enda - Abbot - Patriarch of Irish Monasticism
March 22nd - St Deogratis of Carthage
March 23rd - St Turibius of Mongrovejo - Bishop
March 24th - St Macartan - Bishop - Patron of the Diocese of Clogher
March 25th - The Annunciation of the Lord - Solemnity (and here)
March 26th - St Ludger of Munster (Germany) - Missionary and Patron of Saxony

Local Notices
  • Holy Land 2011: - October 28th to November 6th 2011.  4 nights in Galilee and 5 nights in Jerusalem.  Fully inclusive cost: € 1,640.00.  Spiritual Director: Fr. Frank Duhig.  There are some places available.  If you are interested please contact 069-62141 as soon as possible.

  • Searcher’s Day: - hosted by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.  If you are aged 18-45, we invite you to consider and explore priesthood, at home and abroad on Sunday, April 10th from 10am to 4pm in the Sacred Heart Centre, Western Road, Cork.  For more information contact Fr. John Fitzgerald MSC at 086-8626007 (email: jfitz@mscvocations.com).
  • Monastic Weekend - Are you called to share in our way of life?The Carmelites of Tallow, Co. Waterford are holding a monastic weekend for single women (22-38 years of age) from March 25th to 27th 2011.  For more information contact 058-56205 or email carmeltallow@eircom.net 
  • Not your usual Saturday: - Join the Salesian Sisters and others who are exploring life choices at Dún Íde, Lower Shelbourne Road, Limerick on Saturday, March 26th for a vocation discernment day. Contact Frances Beggan FMA at 087-6445578 or 061-454511.
  • Lenten Talks: - Our Lady's Pastoral Area has arranged a series of Lenten Talks to be held in the Parish Centre, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick Please come along on the evenings listed below.  A very good spiritual exercise to undertake during Lent.  No admission charge:
Wednesday, March 23rd 2011 at 8.00pm
Theme:  'Lent - A Time for Returning'
Speaker: Fr. Noel Kirwan
Wednesday, March 30th 2011 at 8.00pm
Theme: 'Do I really pray?  Come and explore'
Speaker: Fr. Micheal Liston
Wednesday, April 6th 2011 at 8.00pm
Theme: 'Why I am still involved in the Church'
Speakers: Two young adults share their thoughts
Wednesday, April 13th 2011 at 8.00pm
Theme: 'Are we a spiritual family?'
Speaker: A mother of a young family puts some ideas before us

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