The programme podcast is also available.
John has an interview with Msgr Richard Mohan who is the Prior of St Patrick's Purgatory this morning which asks us the question: Santiago de Compostela, The Holy Land, Ganges River, Purgatorium Sancti Patricii, what do they all have in common? Pilgrims have been travelling to these sacred sites for centuries on a spiritual quest or a journey seeking something deeper, getting closer to their authentic selves, continuing a ritualistic tradition of their ancestors.
Reputed to be the most challenging pilgrimage in the Christian world, the traditional Three-Day Pilgrimage remains intact after more than 100 years - walking, praying, fasting, on a remote Island once considered to be at the edge of the world. Each year the community on Lough Derg offer us the opportunity to step out of your ordinary routine for three days and experience something deeper, something real - reconnect and rediscover!
The three day pilgrimage season will resume on 1st June 2011 and conclude on 15th August
To find out more about Lough Derg or to book onto a retreat/visit to the island, go here.
Gospel - Matthew 11: 25-30
With this weeks gospel, we enter again into Ordinary time in the liturgical calander. After a hectic and intensive period from Ash Wednesday through to Easter and Pentecost we have a chance to catch our breath. Ordinary Time is the liturgical period outside of the distinctive liturgical seasons. It runs 33 or 34 weeks - between Christmas and Lent, and between Easter and Advent, exclusive.
The liturgical colour of Ordinary Time is green. According to The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, the days of Ordinary Time, especially the Sundays, "are devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects." Ordinary time does not need to be "ordinary," and is not meant to mean that somehow we get a break from the Liturgical Year. The opposite is true: Ordinary Time celebrates "the mystery of Christ in all its aspects." We remember and celebrate the parts of Jesus' life that were ordinary, much like our own lives. And we also remember that what we know of Jesus life is his birth, one incident at the age of tweleve and then nothing futher until tradition holds he was thirty when he began his public ministry.
It is also a gospel which reminds us that we dont have to be experts in theology or philosophy to be able to have a relationship with God. The gospel calls us to re-discover the child-like ability to be able to engage and be open to God like innocent children. It is not a call to be childish with a focus on that old white haired man in the sky approach to God. We need to re-discover the freedom of love which Pope Benedict has been reminding us again and again. Our faith is not about doe's and don'ts but rather how are we open to a personal relationship with God, and a personal encounter with Love Incarnate - Jesus.
It is also a gospel which reminds us that we cant carry the burdens of life on our own. At the same time, we do need to face up to our realities in life, but when we do that, we realise that Jesus is there to share the burden with us and we are able to carry and deal with that difficulty. God never gives us a cross without the grace to be able to carry it.
But for those who feel totally overwhelmed, who feel that they cannot face the difficulties in their lives, who might feel that they are so alone through this dark time, Jesus promises us that "Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest...."
Other reflections on this weeks gospel available:
- Dominican Interactive (website of the Irish Domincan friars) - The Path of Littleness
- Word on Fire - "The purpose of Jesus' teachings is that we allow the divine life to surge through us so that we become transformed in Christ, making us more like Him. All our knowledge should serve this end. However, some learned people can use their knowledge to puff up their egos and put others down. The "Little Ones" are the people whose entire life is about helping others participate in the divine life so they may fully flourish".
- Deacon Greg Kandra
Saints of the Week
July 4th - St Elizabeth of Portugal
July 5th - St Anthony Mary Zaccaria
July 6th - St Maria Goretti
July 7th - St Maelruain
July 8th - St Kilian
July 9th - St Augustine Zhao Rong and his Companions