Media reports last week told of one woman who is quarantining in a Dublin hotel after her arrival into the State. She asked the High Court for an inquiry into what she claims amounts to unlawful detention. The woman has evidence, which she attached to her medical documentation stating she received the vaccine in her home country. She has proof of a negative PCR test, so she reckoned there is no good reason for her quarantine. In spite of the number of questions she asked on her arrival about the reason for her quarantine, she did not receive the information she required. The authorities mandated her quarantine in a local hotel without giving a reason.
However, at the time of writing media reports declare the young woman received a phone call to say that she could leave the hotel and quarantine at home. Subsequently, mandatory hotel quarantine is not essential for anyone travelling from this particular country from where the woman travelled, due to improved health conditions.
Something similar happened to Peter and John in the reading proclaimed at Mass today (Acts 4:23-31). The rulers, elders and scribes detained Peter and John because they taught the people about the resurrection. The authorities also knew that it was through Peter and John, that Jesus cured the lame man. However, the authorities could find no way to punish them, so they released Peter and John. Once released, the two men went off and told the community. The community gathered to pray to God. They recalled how the authorities crucified Jesus after which, three days later he rose to new life. The community continued to pray to the Lord, that the disciples would proclaim the good news ‘with all boldness’. They asked the Lord to help them to stretch out ‘your’ [the Lord’s] hand to ‘heal and to work miracles through Jesus’ name.’ The prayer was so powerful that the Gospel says, ‘the house rocked’ and ‘they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the Word of God boldly.’
The Gospel (Jn 3:1-8) proclaims ‘how Nicodemus went to Jesus by night’. The light of Jesus led him to faith and Jesus spoke to him about being born ‘from above’. At first, Nicodemus could not understand what this meant. Jesus told him about Baptism. In Baptism, a person takes on a new life in the Spirit. Infants cannot do this until they are instructed. Adults awaken in Baptism and grow in strength and enlightenment and in faith; they live the life of the Spirit. This life of the Spirit helps them to love God and love their neighbour.
So in the readings today, God’s people learn about the importance of the assembled community, prayer, the coming of the Holy Spirit and Baptism.
The Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme covers these themes throughout the various class standards. VERITAS provides online resources including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-books. Access available at:
- Pray ‘Rejoice, Queen of Heaven’ from Grow in Love Fourth Class/P6, and ‘Regina Coeli’ as Gaeilge I nGrá Dé Rang VI, (video lyric)
- An Phaidir/Our Father
- Morning Prayer/Paidir na Maidine
- Prayer to the Holy Spirit/ Paidir chuig an Spiorad Naomh
- Night Prayer/Paidir na hOíche
- Read the Baptismal promises. You will find them in Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Rang V/Rang VI
- Do you have any family photographs taken at your Baptism? Chat with your family about your Baptism. You may like to visit the Church where you received the sacrament of Baptism. What does the sacrament of Baptism call you to do? How can you share the Good News today?
- Together with family, you can make the Sign of the Cross, ‘In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’
Sr Anne Neylon