22 Jun 2013

23rd June 2013 - 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) - Focolare

On this week's programme Grégoire Murphy joined John and Lorraine in study to share with us his family's experience of the Focolare movement.  We also have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday Gospel and some liturgical odds and ends including the saints of the week.

This weeks programme is available on podcast HERE.

Grégoire Murphy came on the programme to introduce us and our listeners to the Focolare movement. Focolare was founded by Chiara Lubich in  Trent, Northern Italy in 1944.  During the Second World War, Chiara and a group of her friends, would read the Gospel together as they took refuge in the air-raid shelter each night and started to put the Gospel into action in their lives.  The word Focolare means 'hearth' and those involved in the movement came to be known as focolarini, 'people of fire'.  This nickname is appropriate because "there, even in the midst of the appalling destruction of the war, there was a joy, a light" (Susan Gately, God's Surprise).  In living the Gospel, especially the call of John 17:21 "Father, may they all be one", the Focolare movement involves a strong inter-faith dimension and follows a communitarian spirituality which places a "deep emphasis on the communitarian dimension of Christian life" (See HERE).  You will find more about Chiara HERE and the history of the Focolare movement HERE.

John Keily (Back Row) with
Ann Keily, Lorraine Buckley and Grégoire Murphy (Front Row)
Grégoire and his wife, Paula, heard about Focolare by word of mouth from one of their friends and now there are at least four families in Limerick who are in regular contact with the Focolare centre in Curryhills, Prosperous, Kildare.  Grégoire and Paula were first invited to attend the yearly summer gathering of Focolare, known as a Mariapolis, (city of Mary), which this year is held from July 1st to 6th in Dungarvan.  A Mariapolis is a holiday/retreat in which the Focolare community comes together to relax and be in each other's company.

Grégoire shares how the Focolare movement caters for all age groups within his family.  They meet once a month for Mass followed by a picnic lunch and then the family splits up into different peer groups to receive input and share on a particular theme. 

The Cube of Love
Grégoire also spoke about how Focolare helps the family to live the Gospel in a very practical way using the Cube of Love.  The Cube of Love is a dice with various messages (e.g. Be the First to Love) written on each side to help children to practice the art of loving.  Rolling the dice in the morning, the children receive a Gospel message to live by during that day.  In the evening, the children share how they lived that Gospel message during the day. 

Grégoire spoke about how the Focolare movement helps his family to respond to the opportunities and the challenges of the Gospel.  To hear Grégoire's interview, please click HERE.

On next week's programme we will be speaking with Paula Murphy and her family and also with the Tracey and Gorham families to hear how Focolare supports their family's living out of the Gospel.

To find out more about Focolare in Ireland, contact:

Focolare Centre,

Or contact HERE.


Gospel - Luke 9:18-24

"When Jesus was praying alone in the presence of his disciples, he put this question to them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?'" (Lk 9:18).  When we are distracted while praying, what is our reaction?  Do we get frustrated?  Maybe even give up praying because the distractions seem too frequent?  Yet, it is while Jesus is praying that this question comes to mind, a question so compelling that He puts it to the disciples: 'Who do the crowds say I am?'   Understanding Jesus' identity is essential to understanding what He came on earth to do for us.  Jesus is true God and true man - and it is as true God and true man that He saves us.  It also prompts us to answer honestly the question, 'Who do I say that Jesus is?', in other words, Who do I think Jesus is?  This is an important question, because if I say that Jesus is My Lord, and My God, do I act as if He is that?  Does my daily life reflect my belief in Jesus as true God and true Man?
When St. Peter answers that Jesus is 'The Christ of God', Jesus explains what this means.  The Christ was not going to be a mere political messiah that would free Israel from the grips of the Roman Empire, but the 'Anointed One' who would be "put to death, and to be raised up on the third day." 
Jesus outlines the great paradox of Christianity: if anyone wants to save his life he will lose it, "but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it" (Lk 9:24).  When we are baptised, we are told that we are baptised into the death of Jesus, so that we may enter into eternal life.  Yes, we must die to our selfish tendencies and live for others, but the reward is incredible, eternal life with the Blessed Trinity!
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Centre for Liturgy
Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical Odds & Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 4, 12th Week of Ordinary time
Saints of the Week
June 24th - The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
June 27th - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
June 28th - St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
June 29th - St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles

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