22 Nov 2014

23rd November 2014 - Year for Consecrated Life - Solemnity of Christ the Universal King

On this weeks programme John and Shane are joined by Friend of  the Blog, Sr Louise O'Rourke PDDM who shares with us her thoughts on reflections on consecrated life and the Year for Consecrated Life which Pope Francis has called. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some notices and other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of the full programme HERE.

Year for Consecrated Life

On this weeks programme we are joined by Sr Louise O'Rourke PDDM to reflect on consecrated life and the Year for Consecrated Life. The special year dedicated to consecrated life was announced by Pope Francis and is similar to previous themed years announced by popes such as Year of the Priest (2009-2010) or Year of St. Paul. (2008-2009).

The year also marks the 50th anniversary of "Perfectae Caritatis," a decree on religious life, and "Lumen Gentium," the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. The purpose of the yearlong celebration, according to a Vatican statement, is to "make a grateful remembrance of the recent past" while embracing "the future with hope."

On the programme we discuss what is consecrated life and what does it mean in modern Ireland especially given that there are fewer religious and so many people's knowledge is limited to stereotypes in film and media such as Sister Act and the Sound of Music.

We reflect on the way that the journey to religious life is a call and response between the individual and God - a different - not better - way to live out their baptismal call in a covenanted way. The person is set aside (not apart) by and for the Lord to be a hidden leaven in the world. Religious can serve in both apostolic works including health care, schools and campaigning for social justice or in contemplation where their work is praying for the needs of the world.

The Year for Consecrated Life is a chance for religious to tell their story, to share their joy and inviting people to discover whether serving as a religious is the way to finding the best person that they are called to be.

You can listen to Sr Louise's interview on YCL excerpted from the main programme HERE.

LORD of the Harvest,

BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call.
Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.
INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving—
for vocations blossom in the
good soil of faithful people.

INSTILL those in religious life, parish
ministries, and families with the confidence
and grace to invite others to embrace
the bold a
nd noble path of a life
consecrated to you.
UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament,
so that we may cooperate
with you in building your reign of mercy
and truth, of justice and peace. Amen.
— Pope Francis

Resources for Year for Consecrated Life:

VISION Vocation Network in the USA has a very comprehensive set of resources for use during the YCL available HERE including homily resources, notices for parish bulletins, posters, banners etc etc

Rejoice! - A letter to consecrated men and women
Sixteen Questions about Church Vocations

Vocations Ireland - website and Facebook page

Explore Away

Year of Consecrated Life Facebook page (administered by Image Sisters USA)


Rise of the Roses has blossomed from friendships formed through the Michaela Foundation. Through volunteering at the Michaela Girls Summer Camps we have discovered a tremendous thirst for God amongst the young girls of Ireland. There is an eagerness to know God and a huge amount of energy and joy that is palpable when young people embrace their faith. Our desire to spread the joy of our faith has led us to some very special ladies – the Poor Clares at Faughart, Co.Louth. They asked us to help them with a special project of their own. They were inspired by Pope Francis’ call for Religious Congregations to ‘wake up the world’ and they asked us to help them come up with a way to promote and celebrate the upcoming ‘Year for Consecrated Life ‘ (Nov 2014-Nov 2015). Together, through the intercession of St Brigid, St Clare, St Therese & St John Bosco, and the inspiration of the late Michaela McAreavey, the Holy Spirit has helped us devise. Check out their website and Facebook page to find out more.

Gospel - Matthew 25: 31- 46 - Solemnity of Christ the King

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe was instituted by Pope Pius XI in the Encyclical Quas Primas in 1925.  This solemnity is always celebrated on the last Sunday of the Church's liturgical year.  It is fitting to reflect on the Kingship of Jesus at this time of the year.  Every time we pray the Our Father or the Creed, we are praying for the fulfilment of the Kingdom of God.  If we truly believe that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords, then we will reflect this in our lives. Perhaps during this coming week and as we move into the new season of Advent we can reflect on the following questions:

(1) Who is the king of my heart and mind and life?  Do submit every part of my day and life to Jesus Christ?  Do I live as if Jesus is the Universal King or do I prefer to keep some parts of my life under my own control and dominion? 

(2) Do I work for the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of man?  Do I pour my energies into working for peace, love, justice, unity and harmony or do I spend most of my energies in the pursuit of status, power, wealth?

This Sundays Gospel begins with Jesus saying to his disciples ... "‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. .."

Who is this glorious King?

What is Jesus Christ the King of?

What is this Kingdom of God that we proclaim we are co-creating with Jesus in the Holy Spirit?

Lets consider what such a Kingdom might look like:

- A kingdom where Jesus values rule

- A world where Jesus vision inspires and informs

- A community of communities who love Jesus and want to live their lives according to his teachings ....

Do you want to be a citizen of that Kingdom?

If so this is what is asked for ... that the hungry are fed, the thirsty given to drink, the stranger made welcome, the naked clothed, the imprisoned visited .... that Jesus Christ's vision is at the centre of all we say and all we do. In this way Jesus is King. King of our hearts - the servant King.

What can you do this week that will make the Kingdom a reality?

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

And as we say goodbye shortly to the Alleluia for the season of Advent, we take this opportunity to play one of the Sacred Space team's favourite hymns: the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah, directed here by Andre Rieu:

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The kingdom of this world
is become the Kingdom of the Lord,
and of His Christ, and of His Christ;
and He shall reign for ever and ever,
for ever and ever, for ever and ever.
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
and Lord, of lords,
and He shall reign forever and ever!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Liturgical Odds and Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2; 34th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

November 24th - St Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions (Vietnam martyrs)
November 25th - St Catherine of Alexandria also St Colman
November 26th - Blessed Hugh Taylor
November 27th - St Fergal
November 28th - Saint Catherine Laboure - Seer of the Miraculous Medal
November 29th - Blessed Denis of the Nativity

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