31 Oct 2015

1st November 2015 - Solemnity of All Saints - Interview with Bishop Brendan Leahy

On this weeks programme John, Ann and Lorraine are joined by Bishop Brendan Leahy for a catch up and chat. We have our regular reflection on this weeks Sunday gospel as well as some other liturgical odds and ends.

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

Solemnity of All Saints

As the clocks change and the evenings draw in, we head into Samhain (November) and the dark days of Winter here in Ireland. As the earth heads into hibernation and rebirth, the ancient Celts saw this time as a "thin place" between this world and the next. All Hallows Eve (Halloween) and the celebrations of All Saints and All Soul's are a reminder to us that our nearest and dearest who have died are not really that far away and that we honour and pray for and with each other in the Communion of Saints especially at this time of the year. Whilst you remember your own loved ones at this time, also remember to pray for those that are mourning. While time may change the pain of loss, it can never be said to truly go away; remember those who mourn and feel that pain at this time too especially for those who have lost loved ones in the last twelve months.
"For centuries the church has confronted the human community with role models of greatness. We call them saints when what we really often mean to say is 'icon,' 'star,' 'hero,' ones so possessed by an internal vision of divine goodness that they give us a glimpse of the face of God in the center of the human. They give us a taste of the possibilities of greatness in ourselves."
Joan D. Chittister in "A Passion for Life"
On this Sunday in particular we celebrate and are called to rejoice for the Solemnity of All Saints.

"Let us all rejoice in the Lord and keep a festival in honor of all the saints. Let us join with the angels in joyful praise to the Son of God"

"After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.... [One of the elders] said to me, ‘These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’”
(Revelation 7:9,14).

"When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple - true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts."  - Pope Benedict XVI (read more of the sermon here)

Today the Church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. During the early centuries the Saints venerated by the Church were all martyrs. Later on the Popes set November 1 as the day for commemorating all the Saints. We all have this "universal call to holiness." What must we to do in order to join the company of the saints in heaven? We "must follow in His footsteps and conform [our]selves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. [We] must devote [our]selves with all [our] being to the glory of God and the service of [our] neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history" (Lumen Gentium, 40).

Sleepers awake, Christ is now risen
Empty the tomb risen the son X2
Alleluia x4
Marked with the cross, sealed with the Spirit
Risen with Christ, sing out our joy x2
Alleluia x4
Death has been slain; life is victorious
Winter is past; Springtime returns x2
Alleluia x6

Interview with Bishop Brendan Leahy

We are joined this week by Bishop Brendan to reflect on a number of things which are happening at the moment. Two and half years into his episcopate Bishop Brendan reflects on how things are going for him as a "newbie" bishop and what it has been like moving into Limerick diocese.

We have a short discussion on the Synod to date and what is coming up in the next few months for the delegates but Bishop Brendan reminds us that Synod isn't just for the delegates - it is to involve the whole diocese. And as such there is a opportunity for people to become more involved with reflection on the Acts of the Apostles called 'Who leads the Church? - Noticing the Holy Spirit at work'. Bishop Brendan reminds us that all renewal in the church cannot be fruitful without a reflection on scripture which was something stressed in the pastoral letter calling the synod. The reflection on the Acts of the Apostles is a tool or guide to help people to pray, think and reflect on how challenges and opportunities have always been with the church throughout its history from the very earliest days. The text can be read by ourselves or in groups and there will be short video clips and reflections available on the Synod2016 website or the diocesan website (and we will also link on SS102fm).

Now that the Synod on the Family is over in Rome and it is expected that Pope Francis will shortly be publishing an Apostolic Exhortation on its findings, Bishop Brendan shares his perspective on the challenges of it. First off how messy the process is of discerning what the Spirit is telling us. Secondly for us to realise that the message of the love of God needs to be got out to people.

Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy will run from December 8th which was announced by Pope Francis. Bishop Brendan reflects on how the theme of mercy has been a strong message in the pontificates of the popes in the last century from John XXIII right up to now to Pope Francis. Again it is the idea that we need to stress the mercy of God, that no matter what we think we have done, when we know we have messed up, the love of God is always there for us to fill in the gaps that may be there in our lives. In Limerick we will have Jubilee Doors of Mercy, 24 hours for the Lord and a diocesan pilgrimage to Rome. But also there will be more local based items and celebrations during the year.

You can listen to Bishop Brendan's interview excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 5:5-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Reflections on this weeks gospel

Word on Fire - What does it mean to be a saint?
Sunday Reflections
English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends
Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 2

Saints of the Week

November 2nd - Commemoration of the All the Faithful Departed
November 3rd - St Malachy
November 4th - St Charles Borromeo
November 5th - Blessed María del Carmen Viel Ferrando
November 6th - All the Saints of Ireland (First Friday)
November 7th - Blessed John Duns Scotus

Pope's Intentions for November
  • Universal: That we may be open to personal encounter and dialogue with all, even those whose convictions differ from our own.
  • Evangelization: That pastors of the Church, with profound love for their flocks, may accompany them and enliven their hope.

Indulgence for the Holy Souls

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin." The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.83 (CCC 1471)

In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things."87 In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin. (CCC 1475

Norms for the Indulgence
  • From 12 o’clock noon on the 1st of November until midnight on the 2nd November, all who have confessed, received Holy Communion, and prayed for the Pope's intentions (one Our Father and Hail Mary, or any other prayer of one's choice) can gain one plenary indulgence by visiting a church or oratory, and there reciting one Our Father and the Apostle's Creed. This indulgence is applicable only to the souls of the departed. Confession may be made at any time within the week preceding or the week following the 1st of November. Holy Communion may be received on any day from 1 November to 8 November.
  • The faithful who visit a cemetery and pray for the dead may gain a plenary indulgence applicable only to the Holy Souls on the usual conditions once per day from the 1st to the 8th November. The conditions mentioned above apply to this day.

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