3 Nov 2012

4th November 2012 - 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) - Interview with Dr Donal Murray bishop emeritus of Limerick

On this weeks programme we are joined by Dr Donal Murray, bishop emeritus of Limerick to talk to us about his new book "Keeping open the Door of Faith: The Legacy of Vatican II". We also have our regular reflection on the gospel and a quick look at some up coming saints of the week.

John Kiely, Shane Ambrose, + Donal Murray, Lorraine Buckley
This weeks podcast is available HERE.

"Keeping open the Door of Faith: The Legacy of Vatican II"

Dr Donal Murray the bishop emeritus of Limerick joins us in studio this week to speak about his new book which was launched in the last few weeks. As the year 2000 approached, Blessed John Paul II, who had himself participated in the Second Vatican Council, referred to it as ‘this great gift of the Spirit to the Church at the end of the second millennium’. Looking towards the coming millennium he asked to what extent the fruits of the Council could be seen in the Church. This year, 2012, fifty years after the Council opened, is a good opportunity to reflect again on that question. This book looks at some of the important topics that were central in the Council's work including the understanding of the Church as a community, the role of the laity in the Church and in society, the wonder of human existence and the question of belief in a changing world. A complete examination of all the rich teaching of the Council and how it has been implemented is beyond the scope of this book – or perhaps of any book. What is written here is one person’s reflection on five themes of the Council and their implications for today’s world. And comes with a very high recommendation from the SS102fm Team!

Bishop Donal tells us what he has been up to since he stepped down in December 2009 which has included writing two new books "Let Love Speak" and "Keeping Open the Door of Faith" as well as a little pamphlet "On the Road to Emmaus". The book is available in Abbey Bookshop and O'Mahoney's in Limerick and is published by Veritas.

+ Donal tells us of his memories of the Council as a seminarian and during his studies in Rome after the Council had ended. Echoning Pope Benedict, he puts it to us that the challenge for us today is a challenge of faith in a culture where we are asked to compartmentalise our lives including our relationship with God; where as in fact God is the meaning of life and we can't just close him off into one part of our time. We discuss with him the different sections of the book looking at the role of the laity and our understanding of the human person. He discusses some of the challenges facing us as a church community in Ireland including the need to renew the communion and understanding of the church not just the structures alone. We are reminded that if we are not searching honestly for the kingdom of God we are not really living out our christian lives and vocation.

The books is published online and in Ireland can be purchased from Veritas and all good bookshops. For international readers/listeners who may be interested it is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

+ Donal has written an article on his new book for The Pastoral Review which you can read here.

You can listen to + Donal's interview excerpted from the programme HERE.

Gospel - Mark 12: 28-34


The first commandment of all is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God, is one God: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other command greater than these.

Probably one of the most well known passages from scripture that is often quoted. It is a challenging gospel which means we can't settle for what is comfortable, we need to move out in to the deep to encounter God and our neighbour. It forces us to look deeply at ourselves, our lives and our priorities.

In this gospel we see Jesus and a scribe in dialogue of mutual respect (perhaps a model for necessary dialogue in the church? society?) that discusses the fundamental teachings of the Old Testament. Jesus brings these two teachings together for the first time and show how each is interlinked to the other.

Jesus reminds us that our relationship with God is something that is fundamental to our lives and our heart, mind, soul and strength are all dedicated to God. When we look at the elemenst highlighted, is there some way we can improve our relationship with God?
  • Mind - do you make time to explore and nourish your faith? Especially in this Year of Faith perhaps it is something we can consider?
  • Heart - do you make time and space in your heart to listen and talk with God? Do you pray and meditate?
  • Soul - when was the last time you went for a NCT test for your soul? When was the last time you were in confession?
The first word of the commandment is "Listen O Israel"! It means we need to be able to listen to God, make space for God and recognising that we need time to realise the great gift of life and love of God that we have available to us at all time if only we let it.

We need to love ourselves to be able to love our neighbour, but it is not loving ourselves as we are now but rather that we love what God can make of us. Love of God and love of our neighbour as ourselves is not a naracisstic love - but rather a recognition that we are made in the image and likeness of God. "Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him" (Pope Benedict XVI, 24th April 2005). It is very hard to love your neighbour if you cant love yourself it is very hard to love your neighbour as well.

Liturgical odds and ends

Divine Office - Week 3

Popes Intentions for November

General Intention: That bishops, priests, and all ministers of the Gospel may bear the courageous witness of fidelity to the crucified and risen Lord.
Missionary Intention: That the pilgrim Church on earth may shine as a light to the nations.

Saints of the Week

November 5th - St Magnus of Milan
November 6th - All the Saints of Ireland (patrons of the Irish College in Rome)
November 7th - St Willibrord or All the Saints of the Order of Preachers (aka the Dominicans)
November 8th - St Martin Thin and Martin Tho (Martyrs)
November 9th - Dedication of Basilica of St John in the Latern
November 10th - St Leo the Great (Pope, Doctor of the church)

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