This weeks programme is available to listen to in full on podcast HERE.
Details of Live Coverage of Ceremonies at St John's
It will be possible to watch the ceremony live from this web link:
From 2:30pm onwards, there will be a live feed from St John's Cathedral.We hope that this will help the maximum amount of people to feel connected with those gathered there.
Gospel - John 21:1-19
We encounter another Sea of Galilee account this time from John which echos the appearance on the sea shore told by Luke in chapter Lk:5. The disciples have gone back to Galilee, gone back fishing despite the fact that they have been commissioned last week! It is almost a moment when you would throw you hands up in despair at them - will they ever get it? But perhaps it is a reminder to us that sometimes it can be very easy to miss the amazing nature of Easter and what it means to us as Christians - after all the discples missed it and they were the primary witnesses!!! Perhaps we need to pause and think about how we have actually throught about what Easter means to us or have we coasted along and not really considered what we are actually celebrating for 50 days.
The invitation of Jesus to breakfast is once more the invitiation to communion and community. Despite everything they have done and also failed to do he still wants them as his friends symbolised by this shared table. Of course the breaking of bread has echos of the Last Supper, Emmaus, and the other post-resurrection accounts of the unveiling of the minds of the disciples. The sitting together is a reminder that we need to be "le chéile", together which of course is very symbolic for the diocese today as we once more are called as a diocese together around the person of our new bishop as one of the symbols of unity for this local church.
Poor Peter - once again our favourite apostle suffering from chronic foot in mouth disease takes some of the central role in this section of scripture. Once again we see his leadership role coming through as they follow him back fishing - good leadership, bad direction! But we also se Peter the man who must have been cringing and wondering how on earth he was to do anything after betraying the Lord. But God has shown that he can make the proverbial silk purse out of a sows ear in terms of the people he has worked with down through salvation history - Noah, Jacob, Mosese, Aaron, David, Solomen,etc etc. Peter shows that in some ways he has difficulty accepting the forgiveness of Jesus in his heart. He may have begun to process it rationality but internally in the core of his being the anvil around his neck is the three fold denial. The three fold dialogue with the command to feed the sheep of the Lord is accepeted by tradition since the patristic age as being Peter's reparation for his failure. The dialogue with the command to "Feed my sheep" is also a reminder we are all the children of God. We don't belong to the Pope or the bishop but rather we belong to Christ.
The final reflection for us this week is the focus on the question of Love and how it impacts on our relationship with God. You can fall in love with theology, the technicalities of scripture, the institution of the church but without a loving living relationship with the person of Jesus Christ it is a waste of time. The Church isn't the building down the street, it isn't the priests and the bishop. It is supposed to be in community gathered together around the Lord.
Other reflections on this weeks gospel:
Blue Eyed Ennis
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
A Word with Fr Michael - Ordination of Bishop Brendan Leahy as bishop of Limerick
We have a word with Fr Michael Liston this week as he reflects on the ordination of our new bishop and what it means for the diocese.
You can listen to Fr Michael HERE.
The primary role of the bishop is to announce the gospel - to proclaim the word of faith; to speak about Jesus Christ who called us all to a new belonging in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit and that we would live in the love of the Blessed Trinity. The bishop also has to sanctify the faithful by ensuring the proper celebration of the Chrisitian mysteries so that we can gorw in faith and the final role is to undertake the role of governance in the diocese taking decisions and responsibility for the practicalities of life as a community.
It is not an easy calling in this modern age but it is made difficult because we all think we know about the faith and we just have to do it. A bishops role is to help us to be learners in the ways of God.
Each bishop is a successor of the apostles. Gathered together around the Pope, they are the successors of the Eleven. Each bishop is a sign of the apostolic continuty amongst us going right back to our early ancestors in faith in Ireland walking among us, with us in union with Peter. But it is also a reminder that to walk as a christian is not the easiest thing in the world as the poem reminds us:
The fair, fair wind that will arise for us
is suffering, trouble and expulsion;
And when everyone thinks we are going to be drowned,
it is then we will be saved.
Is é an cóir gaoithe éiríos duit,
páis, trioblóid agus díbeart,
agus an uair síltear tú a bheith báite,
is ann a bheidh tú sábháilte.
Paschal mystery for us as christians is that the dynamic of suffering is the fuel of resurrection, after all if there was no Cross there would be no glory!
The Rite of Ordination of a Bishop is wonderfully rich in word, in symbol and even in movement. It is, above all else, a time of prayer. Some parts of the rite of ordination reach back into Old Testament times; such as the ancient rite of the laying on of hands, this has been part of the rite of Ordination since the time of the early church. It is seen as a calling down of the Holy Spirit. Then follows the prayer of Consecration of Fr. Brendan as Bishop of Limerick, the Book of the Gospels is held over his head during this prayer, to remind Fr. Brendan and all of us of the central role of God’s Word in our lives. Bishop Brendan will then be anointed with the oil of Chrism, again a very ancient action. After this he will be presented with the insignia / symbols of the office of Bishop; the ring, a sign of the Bishop’s fidelity to the Church, the mitre, the headdress of a Bishop and the pastoral staff symbolising his shepherding role. He, then, shares the sign of peace with the other bishops and is brought to the Bishop’s Chair called the Cathedra, from which comes the word ‘Cathedral’. In this moment then Bishop Brendan is said, to use the traditional phrase, to ‘take possession of the Diocese.’
Liturgical Odds and Ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Week 3
Saints of the Week
April 15th - St Ruadhrán of Lothra
April 16th - St Bernedette of Lourdes
April 17th - St Kateri Tekakwitha
April 18th - St Laserian
April 19th - St Emma of Bremen
April 20th - St John Payne (martyr)