22 Dec 2013

22nd December 2013 - 4th Sunday in Advent (Year A) - Interview with Bishop Brendán Leahy

On this weeks programme John and Lorraine were joined by Bishop Brendan Leahy for a year in review. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel and our liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to this weeks full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to Bishop Brendáns interview excerpted from the programme HERE.

Interview with Bishop Brendán Leahy - A Year in Review
Bishop Brendan Leahy joins John and Lorraine on this weeks programme and talks about what 2013 has been for him and the challenges of presenting the joy of the gospel in the modern age.

You can listen to Bishop Brendáns interview excerpted from the programme HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 1:18-24

Rembrandts - Dream of Joseph - 1645
"Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah* took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.",

Joseph was a man with a plan. It was time to marry and he had arranged a suitable match. There is little written of Joseph, but I think we can assume that he was happy with his plan and his life. ... Then his world fell apart.

"Mary ...betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly."

How many of us have plans - good plans - for ourselves, our children, our loved ones. ...As we enter the final week of Christmas planning, it might be worth remembering that what we celebrate is an act that says 'Gods plans are bigger than ours'.

"...as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear ...When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,"
In being open to Gods plan, Josephs life changed utterly. And in his openess he not only changed his own life - he altered everything. Though he is spoken of little in scriptures, his Yes is a sacred moment that allows so much more to happen.

This week, the world will tell us all that we must have a plan. That we must have a tree, a turkey, laughter and family to show that all is well and the plan is working.

However God reminds us, in Joseph's story, that our plans are small and Gods plan for each of us is far greater and more beautiful than we could know.

Trust that God has a great plan, even when your plan seems to be falling apart. Trust that God has us in cradle of Gods hands and that all is well.

There will be new life and hope and healing this Christmas time. Let us allow God into our plans, putting love before regulations and kindness before good impressions.

Let us be open as Jospeh was. Let us say yes to God.

Reflections on this weeks gospel

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
English Dominicans

Liturgical odds and ends

Saints of the Week

December 23rd - St John Kanty
December 24th - Christmas Eve
December 25th - Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord
December 26th - St Stephan (Martyr)
December 27th - St John the Evangelist
December 28th - Holy Innocents
December 29th - Feast of the Holy Family
December 30th - St Egwin
December 31st - St Sylvester (Pope)
January 1st - Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
January 2nd - St Basil & St Gregory of Nazianzen
January 3rd - St Munchin - patron of the diocese of Limerick
January 4th - St Benedicta of Rome

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