28 Jan 2012

29th January 2012 - 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

On this weeks programme we decided after receiving some requests to repeat the programme that was recorded for January 15th about St Ita of Kileedy which didn't go out. As well as hearing again the story of St Ita we also have a short reflection on this weeks gospel and then some information on the busy week ahead with the Saints of the Week.

This weeks podcast is available HERE.

St Ita of Kileedy - Co-Patron of the Diocese of Limerick (Repeat)
St Ita also known as the Brigid of Munster is associated with the parish of Kileedy and is one of the co-patrons of the diocese of Limerick. January 15th is her feast day, and on this weeks show, Michael Keating tells us about this extraordinary woman and her role on the development of the faith. This year St Ita's feast day falls on a Sunday in Ordinary time and as such is elevated to the rank of Solemnity in the Diocese of Limerick. Along with her life story, we discuss how she is a role model and especially how she is a role model for women. We discuss her links with Killeedy, her fostering of various Irish saints and her link with St. Brendan the Navigator. We look at her feast day and the 'high mass' in Raheenagh church on Sunday, January 15th followed by a social event in the evening. She is reportedly a good intercessor in terms of pregnancy and eye illnesses.

"St Ita, the patron saint of Killeedy, was born before 484AD in County Waterford, in the Tramore area. Her father was Cennfoelad or Confhaola and her mother was Necta. Cennfoelad was descended from Felim the lawgiver. Ita's name was originally Dorothea or Deirdre. She was a member of the Déisí tribe. Ita refused her father's wish that she should marry a local chieftain, as she believed that she had a calling from God and wanted to become a nun. To convince her father to change his mind, she fasted for three days and three nights. On the third night, God gave out to her father in his sleep. The next morning, Cennfoelad agreed that Ita could do as she wished. At the age of sixteen, Ita set off on her journey. Bishop (St.) Declan of Ardmore conferred the veil on her. Legend has it that Ita was lead to Killeedy by three heavenly lights. The first was at the top of the Galtee mountains, the second on the Mullaghareirk mountains and the third at Cluain Creadhail, which is nowadays Killeedy. Her sister Fiona also went to Killeedy with her and became a member of the community. Ita was welcomed to Killeedy by the local chieftain of the Ui Conaill Gabhra tribe. The chieftain wanted to give Ita a large trait of land but she only wanted a few acres as a garden for her community."

St Ita of course shares the patronage of the diocese with St Munchin whose feast day was January 3rd and once again we encourage you to invoke the intercession of our two diocesan patrons for the selection and consecration of a new bishop of the diocese of Limerick.

Further information about St Ita available on our other posts about the Foster Mother to the Saints of Ireland.
Gospel - Mark 1:21-28

"What do you want with us Jesus of Nazareth?"

The question posed this week by the evil spirit which possessed the man at the synagogue in Capernaum is the question we need to ask this week for each of us. Have sat down and made time and space for to hear the answer to each of us individually.

From Limerick Diocese weekly pastoral newsletter:

In this Sundays Gospel, Jesus speaks with authority in Capernaum. ... . How often have we wondered in these difficult past few years, 'where is our voice now? how can we face those who doubt us? can we ever speak with authority and power in Ireland again'?!?

Perhaps Jesus' authority has something to teach us this Sunday. If we are to be a people of God, and to speak with authority; perhaps we need to think less of others opinions of our church, and more about how we can be closer to God!

Jesus authority is grounded totally in his relationship with his Father. This is the only authority available to followers of Jesus Christ - the authority of relationship: a relationship of interdependence & trust

Our authority as church can never come from institution, from role, from title or from history. Our power to pray, bless and heal is not our own. It is Gods, and only when we really allow God to work through us and in us, can we speak and pray and bless with authority.

Like a newly married couple or a pregnant mother: Christians trust that we are loved. That love carries us, inspires us and sets us free to live in honest compassion and dignity. To speak as Jesus spoke. To love as God loves. To be inspired as the Spirit inspires.

Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
A Liturgical look at the month of February

As we enter the beginning of the month of February we take note of Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for the month:

General: That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life.

Missionary: That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world's poorest regions.

From CatholicCulture.org:

The month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family. The first three and a half weeks of February fall within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. Green, the symbol of hope, is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. The remaining days of February are the beginning of Lent. The liturgical color changes to purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.

Between the events which marked Christmas and the beginning of Christ's public life the Church has seen fit to recall the example of the Holy Family for the emulation of the Christian family. The Feast of the Presentation (February 2) or Candlemas forms a fitting transition from Christmas to Easter. The small Christ-Child is still in His Mother's arms, but already she is offering Him in sacrifice. February 21, Shrove Tuesday, will find us preparing for Ash Wednesday.

Though the shortest month of the year, February is rich in Liturgical activity, for it typically begins in one Liturgical Season (Ordinary Time), ends in another (Lent), and contains a feast (Presentation of our Lord) that bridges two other seasons (Christmas and Easter)! In addition, the faithful may receive in February three of the four major public sacramentals that the Church confers during the liturgical year: blessed candles, the blessing of throats and blessed ashes.

Saints of the Week

Psalter - Week 4
The feast is also known as Candlemas. In the old calendar before the reforms of the second Vatican Council it was called the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is also World Day for Consecrated Life. In 1997, Pope John Paul II created this day of thanksgiving and prayer for those of our sisters and brothers in Christ who have consecrated their lives to God. The celebration is linked to Candlemas Day. As candles are blessed to symbolize Christ who is the light of the world; so too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.)

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