1 Mar 2014

2nd March 2014 - Preparing for Lent - 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

On this weeks programme John and Anne are joined by Fr Phonsie Cullinan to discuss the joyful season of Lent and preparations we can make for it as Ash Wednesday falls next week on March 5th. We have our regular sharing on the gospel of the day as well as some liturgical odds and ends including the saints of the week.

You can listen to this weeks full programme HERE.
Preparing for Lent

Fr Phonsie Cullinan joins John on this weeks programme to reflect on Lent and having a good Lent with the traditional focus on penance, alms and fasting giving us some insight into the meaning behind the traditions and the meaning of the ashes.

You can listen to Fr Phonsies reflection HERE.

Frequently asked questions about Lent

Gospel - Matthew 6:24-34
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.

From Limerick Diocese Weekly Newsletter:

We live in a world of busy, anxious people. We rush from morning til night, and worry as we go. What does it do to us when we live low-level anxious lives? Do we becomes accustomed to being betwen two minds? to feeling tossed from side to side? to not knowing where you stand, or standing on unsure ground which makes for paralysed or over-busy thinking?... To live with anxiety is to be slowly torn apart.

This Sunday Jesus invites us out of our anxieties, our worries, our busy-ness. Jesus invites us into the present. Into the moment.Remember that Gods name is not 'I will be', 'I should be', 'I used to be'. Gods name is 'I am'. (Exodus 3: 11-14). The best place to encounter God is in the present moment. To choose to live in the present moment gives us access to God and thus to being grounded, centred, balanced ... with God, we know our ground. Like the Lillies of the field, we can bloom where we have been planted. 

This is not an invitation to ignore the future or avoid the past. On the contrary, to be really present allows past and future to exist in harmony with the present. When we remember a task, we put it on our to-do list, and then we return to the present and do one thing from that list, savouring the delight of each job well done. This allows us to develop a grateful heart, to acknowledge God present in each and every moment, to give thanks and praise to God who loves us deeply and dearly. 

May we have the courage to slow down a little and breathe in the presnt moment. God is here, so it is a holy time and place. We are not alone, we stand on holy ground

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds and ends

Pope's Intentions March 2014

Universal prayer intention for March. It is “that all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women”.

Prayer intention for evangelisation is “that many young people may accept the Lord's invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel”.

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4, 8th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

March 3rd - St Katherine Drexel
March 4th - St Casimir
March 5th - Ash Wednesday (Day of Fast & Abstinence)
Fast and Abstinence – Have we forgotten?  A thought for Lent: - Perhaps we need a reminder on the Church’s regulation regarding fast and abstinence.  There are only two days in the year when we are bound to observe fast and abstinence – Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  All people between the ages of 14 and 60 are required to observe these 2 days.  The Gospel value which underpins penances such as fast and abstinence is self-denial.  The concept of self-denial has been looked on as a negative thing in the self-serving, self-satisfying culture which dominates our society today.  However, the Gospel looks on self-denial as a very positive concept which has the effect of liberating us from our own selfishness, which is the most enslaving force we encounter in life.
March 6th - St Colette
March 7th - St Perpetua & Felicity (First Friday)
March 8th - St Senan of Scattery also St John of God
As always for readers and listeners in the Limerick Diocese we draw your attention to the weekly newsletter from the Dioceasan Pastroal Centre and also to the calendar of events on the diocesan website.

Lenten Talks – Limerick: The Dominican Biblical Institute on Upper Cecil Street, Limerick is presenting a Lenten Talks Series: Understanding our Faith Today on five Tuesdays, beginning on March 4th at 7.30pm.   The topic of the opening talk is The Church through the eyes of Pope Francis.  The speaker is Fr. John Harris O.P, who comes from St Saviour’s Parish in Limerick.  Admission is free – donation is invited.

Lenten Talks on the Word of God: Our Lady’s Pastoral Area is hosting 5 talks on the Word of God for Lent this year. Different speakers will address how we can break open the Scriptures and apply them to our daily lives:
Wednesday, March 12th: Fr. Seamus Enright CSsR in Dromcollogher Day Care Centre;
Wednesday, March 19th: Fr. Brendan Clifford OP in Raheenagh Community Centre;
Wednesday, March 26th: Bishop Donal Murray in Newcastle West Parish Centre;
Wednesday, April 2nd: Fr. Micheál Liston in Newcastle West Parish Centre;
Wednesday, April 9th: Dr. Jessie Rogers in Castlemahon.
All talks begin at 8.15pm.  Admission is free and all are welcome to attend. 

Lectio Divina: - Lent offers a great opportunity to spend more time in prayer and reflection with the Word of God.  Lectio Divina, a gentle non-threatening approach to praying and reflecting with Scripture, takes place in Newcastle West Parish Centre every Monday night from 8.00pm to 9.00pm.  Everyone is welcome.

Short-term Pledge for Lent: - Lent is an ideal occasion to take a break from alcohol. Why not consider taking the Short-Term Pledge?  Make a difference to others by your witness and example.  To take the Short-term Pledge and abstain from alcohol for Lent, please apply online www.pioneerassociation.ie or ring 01-8749464.  If your local community has a PTAA group, you can also apply there.

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