30 Apr 2011

May 1st - 2nd Sunday of Easter - Year A

May 1st - Generally it is May Day and the feast of St Joseph the Worker but on this years liturgical calendar it happens to be the second Sunday of Easter, Feast of Divine Mercy and will also be the date of the beatification of Pope John Paul II. On this weeks show we have a short discussion about Pope John Paul II, what is beatification and also what is the feast of Divine Mercy about, as well as our regular prayer space, reflection on the Sunday gospel and a quick run through the saints of the week.

Pope John Paul II beatification

We have a quick discussion about what is the distinction between beatification and canonisation and also give a quick visit to the life of John Paul II, the miracle which led to the decree of beatification and the relics which will be venerated in Rome.

Beatification is an "administrative act" by which the pope allows a candidate for sainthood to be venerated publicly in places closely associated with his or her life and ministry; the place may be as small as one city, although usually it is the diocese where the person lived or died. In the case of Pope John Paul, his Oct. 22 feast day is entered automatically into the calendars of the Diocese of Rome and all the dioceses of his native Poland. A canonization, on the other hand, is a formal papal decree that the candidate was holy and is now in heaven with God; the decree allows public remembrance of the saint at liturgies throughout the church. It also means that churches can be dedicated to the person without special Vatican permission.

The date which is being set aside 22 October is the date which marked the inauguration of Pope John Paul II's papacy in 1978.

We have some other articles posted on the blog for people that want to read about the beatification.

The Vatican is maintaining a website about the beatification tomorrow which sets out the timetable of events and has links to the booklets, programmes and afterwards will have the text of the homilies and reflections.

For online commentary about the happenings in Rome over the next couple of days, check out Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia, who always comes with a strong recommendation from the Sacred Space 102fm team.

Divine Mercy Sunday

The Divine Mercy is a devotion focused on the mercy of God and its power, particularly as a form of thanksgiving and entrusting of oneself to God's mercy. The devotion as known today can be traced to Polish nun and canonized saint, Sister Faustyna Kowalska, known as the "Apostle of Mercy", who lived from 1905-1938. It is based upon the biblical verse: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you in that anyone who seeks God's mercy will not be turned away. According to Kowalska, Jesus, in inner speakings to her, requested her to commission a picture of him with the words Jezu Ufam Tobie (Jesus I Trust In You) inscribed on the bottom.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II officially instituted the Feast of the Divine Mercy universally for the Catholic Church on the same day that he also canonized St. Faustina.

Reflection on the feast from
the homily at the Mass of Canonisation.

Further information about the devotion, the message, the Chaplet and the image associated with the devotion can be found

Gospel - John 20:19-31

This week we have the gospel of Doubting Thomas which can be a very comforting gospel for all of us who have doubts at some stage about God and our faith.

It is one of the appearances recorded in Johns gospel which echos very much the new dawn of the new day - the renewed Creation after the Resurrection - where Jesus breathes on the disciples to give them new life, mirroring the breathing of God on the water to bring forth life in Genesis.

Every one is a Thomas. We have all had doubts about our faith. Even the greatest saints of the church have had moments when they have experienced the "dark night of the soul" where like Mother Teresa of Calcutta and St Therese of Lisieux, it seems like God has abandoned them or seemed very far away from them. But they have clung on to the belief that somewhere in the darkness, in that aloneness, God is still with us.

The great line which is spoken to us is "Blessed are those that believe but have not seen". A message which speaks to us now who are seeking the Divine in our lives. The other blessing or message of the risen Christ to us is "Peace be with you" Even amongst your doubts and the darkness of your life my peace I bring you, my peace I give you". The blessing of peace is so important to us who are behind closed doors in our lives, where we see doors closed to us in terms of emotion, or unemployment or what ever way we feel excluded by doors being closed.

"My Lord and my God" - Thomas response to the Lord, his total response of faith. The challenge to us is for us to question do we really believe, and what does that mean for me? How do I live the gospel rather than just hearing it? Ultimately that is what we are called to say, to be able to express that faith, to take a jump into the darkness and say Credo - I believe. 

Other reflections on this weeks gospel from Word on Fire, English Dominicans, Sunday Reflections, Deacon Greg Kandra.

Saints of the Week

May 2nd - St Athanasius of Alexandria (Bishop, Doctor)
May 3rd - St Philip and James, Apostles 
May 4th - St Conleth (Bishop) - Patron of Newbridge, Co Kildare.
May 5th - Bl Edmond Rice (Religious) - Founder of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers
May 6th - St Hilary of Arles (Bishop)
May 7th - St John of Beverly (Bishops)

Local Notices
  • Our Lady's Pastoral Area pilgrimage to Knock on June 12th 2011 - Bus fare is €16 and further information available from your local parish is the pastoral area.
  • St Joseph's Young Priests Society are going to hold a 3 hour prayer vigil of Prayer for Vocations in St Nessan's Church in Raheen on Saturday May 14th 2011 concluding at 10.30pm

Programme podcast also up on the podcast page.

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