Author Archive

22 APRIL 2021, THURSDAY THIRD WEEK IN EASTER

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Today the world celebrates Earth Day 2021.The objective of this annual event is the restoration of our earth by reducing climate change. The theme for 2021, the second ‘Earth Day’ Live digital event, is ‘Restore our Earth.’

President Joe Biden and his Administration will convene a global climate summit today to celebrate Earth Day 2021. EARTHDAY.ORG delights and feels honoured that such an event takes place.  In a two-day Summit 22-23 April 2021, with the participation of 40 world leaders, the aim is ‘to galvanize efforts by the world’s major economies to keep the vital Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.’

Multiple important environmental events have taken place on Earth Day since 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson organised the first Earth Day with the purpose of bringing the environmental issue into the national agenda.  One significant event includes the recent signing of the Paris Agreement.  This shows Earth Day continues to be an important and unifying day every year.

The world hopes that this historic climate summit will make active progress to restore our earth. For this to happen it is essential that the EARTHDAY.ORG’s mission empowers and expands the environmental movement. Every person in the world has a responsibility to engage in this mission for the care of our common home. Each one chooses to take action and make a difference to engage in this mission.

It is important to recognise and mark important events such as Earth Day.

The reading for Mass today (Acts 8:26-40) proclaims an important event in the life of an Ethiopian official, a Good News story. Paul and the Ethiopian official encountered one another on a journey.  The Ethiopian was reading the Scripture and grappling for understanding. Philip, by Divine Providence happened to travel the road at the same time as the Ethiopian. Philip engaged him in conversation. ‘Do you understand what you are reading? The man replied, ‘How can I unless someone explains it to me? As Philip explained Scripture, the Ethiopian found faith in Jesus and asked for baptism. The baptism took place because God was already at work in the life of the Ethiopian and God was at work in the life of Philip. In everyday language, we say Philip and the Ethiopian official were in the right place at the right time. God draws us to his love through prayer and seeking enlightenment through the Holy Spirit. The Ethiopian’s mind was open to the promptings of the Spirit to what he read in Scripture.  Philip represents the disciple who was present to help the man in need of understanding the Scripture.

In our lives, sometimes we seek understanding like the Ethiopian official. Sometimes we are like Philip the disciple who reaches out to help those in need along the way. Pope Francis urges us to be kind and helpful to others. When we do that, we share the Good News so that like the Ethiopian official who went home to share what he learned with others.

Each time we reach out in love, we respond to the call of Earth Day, to restore our Earth. How will we do that today?

The Gospel (Jn 6:44-51) encourages the disciples to nourish their lives with the Eucharist. Jesus says, ‘I am the living bread come down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread that shall live forever.’

Veritas provides online resources for the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme to support the work of restoring the Earth and the care of our common home. These are accessible on the Grow in Love website.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

READ

  • Read the story about the Ethiopian official and Jesus in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 8:26-40)
  • On ‘Earth Day’ 2021, read the Story of Creation from the Book of Genesis

PRAY

  • Pray the prayers to the Holy Spirit/Paidreacha chun an Spiorad Naomh
  • Pray The Care of the Earth/Cúram don Domhan prayer

DO

  • Listen to the news today and find out what happened at the US Climate Summit 2021
  • What part do you play in caring for the Earth?

 

Sr Anne Neylon

20 APRIL 2021, TUESDAY THIRD WEEK IN EASTER

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Each time Pope Francis speaks to the world, he upholds the dignity of human life, while he cautions people about their lifestyle in terms of relationship with self, neighbour, God and the environment.

For example, in Laudato Si’ (no. 23), the Pope states ‘that the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.’ The Pope’s concern is that the world witnesses a ‘disturbing warming of the climatic system.’ This warming ‘is accompanied by a constant rise in sea level’ and by an ‘increase of extreme weather events.’  Both these factors have huge consequences for the planet and especially for people who live in poverty. The Pope calls humankind to ‘recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption’ in order to combat global warming. He also speaks of other factors that cause global warming. Do I  listen to or take heed to Pope Francis through whom the Spirit of God speaks?

It is never all doom and gloom for Pope Francis. In Laudato Si’ (LS, 61), the Pope recognises that ‘our common home is falling into disrepair.’ However, ‘hope, would have us recognise that there is always a way out, that we can redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems’ (LS, 61). Hope is essential in this Easter season. The liturgy during this season lifts our spirits to rejoice and say Alleluia, because Christ is alive. Christians believe the Spirit of God is always with them. They can choose to listen or ignore the call.

In the reading for Mass today (Acts 7: 51-8:1) the Word proclaims Stephen’s challenge to the elders and scribes. He scolds them for their stubborn ways, resisting the Holy Spirit, persecuting the prophets, for killing Jesus and for breaking the Law. The scribes and elders did not like what they heard. They resisted the Holy Spirit. They were ‘infuriated and ground their teeth at him.’ Stephen turned to God and acknowledged Jesus’ presence. The council members got very angry and they stoned Stephen to death. While they stoned him, Stephen said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ In addition, he asked God ‘not to hold this sin against them.’ These words echo the words of Jesus on the Cross-when he gave up his life to the Father.

The response to the Psalm today (Ps 30:6) reminds the assembly of Jesus’ last words to the Father as he was dying on the Cross- ‘Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.’

In the Gospel (Jn 6:30-35), the people continue to look for signs from Jesus. Jesus explains that God gave them the ‘bread from heaven’ and this bread ‘gives life to the world.’ They want more bread. Then Jesus reveals himself saying, ‘I am the bread of life.’

Jesus, the bread of life comes to us when we receive Holy Communion. In these Covid-19 times, we cannot receive the Body of Christ. We can receive Jesus in a spiritual communion and ‘unite ourselves closely to him.’

The readings today draw us closer to Jesus as we recall his death on the cross. We understand how Jesus forgave his executioners on Calvary and how Stephen did likewise.  We recognise Jesus as the ‘bread of life’ and we give thanks. We play our part in continuing Jesus’ mission, knowing as St Teresa Avila says, ‘Christ has no body now but ours [yours].’

Resources to support the themes of Eucharist and Reconciliation are available in the online VERITAS Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme including the e-books, accessible on the Grow in Love website:

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

READ

  • The Gospel Acclamation for Mass today, ‘Alleluia, Alleluia! I am the bread of life, says the Lord. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst. Alleluia!

PRAY

  • Prayer for Forgiveness/ Paidir ag iarraidh Maithiúnais, Payer after Forgiveness/ Paidir taréis Maithiúnais
  • Prayer before Holy Communion/ Paidir roimh Comaoineach Naofa, Prayer after Holy Communion/ Paidir taréis Comaoineach Naofa
  • Paidreacha chun an Spiorad Naomh/Prayers to the Holy Spirit.

DO

  • Pope Francis believes that humankind can do something about global warming. What can you do in your family to combat global warming?
  • In what way are you and your family protecting our common home?

 

Sr Anne Neylon

19 APRIL 2021, MONDAY THE THIRD WEEK OF EASTER

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During the early days of pandemic, the world waited longingly for a vaccination to eradicate the corona virus. The long awaited vaccine is in situ, but problems exist about type of vaccine, who will receive it, age cohort, frontline workers, and people with underlying health conditions. Many complain saying, one vaccine is better than the next. Then some say that even with two vaccines, a third is essential. Yet others say, the current vaccines will not protect individuals from a variant virus. The talk goes ‘on and on’. That is life as people compromise the truth.

In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles (6:8-15), the word proclaims Stephen, a good man filled with the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. He was one of the seven men chosen for the service ministry in the early Christian community, when the apostles dedicated their lives to prayer and preaching the word of God. The apostles needed extra help with the distribution of material resources so to continue Jesus’ mission.

At that time, there were two social groups, the Hellenists and the Hebrews. A conflict arose between both groups. The Jews, called the Hebrews never left their land and they spoke Aramaic. The Hellenists lived abroad and usually spoke Greek. They refused to follow the Temple rituals and were uncomfortable with community life and with the liturgy. The apostles decided to give some autonomy to the Hellenists and Stephen was a member of that group. Stephen worked great signs among the people and he responded to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Others contested him and debated with him. They could not get the better of Stephen because of his wisdom. These men tried to turn the people against Stephen, arrested him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They accused him of blasphemy. However, the Sanhedrin ‘looked intently at Stephen and his face appeared to them like the face of an angel.’  They knew deep down, he told the truth.

The Gospel (John 6:22-29) proclaims Jesus’ challenge to the people who came looking for him. He worked the miracle by giving them food to eat and showing other signs. Jesus taught them to work for food ‘that endures to eternal life.’ They did not understand what he meant. They asked him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’ He said ‘You must believe in the one he has sent.’

Today, Jesus’ message is the same. It is post resurrection time. We are an Easter people and God desires that God’s people believe in Jesus. God sent Jesus to proclaim the Good News, to heal the sick and forgive sins. Our faith helps us to believe in Jesus who is present and with us always until the end of time. In life, there will always be forces of opposition to the truth.

The online resources, including the e-books, in the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme explore the resurrection stories in all class standards from Junior Infants/ Naíonáin Shóisearacha  to Sixth Class/Rang VI. These accounts help God’s people including the children to understand in faith, Jesus’ appearances to the disciples after the resurrection. The disciples found it difficult to recognise Jesus at first but when he shared bread with them, they recognised him. We too recognise Jesus in the breaking of bread, in prayer, in his word, in others, in the environment and in the Eucharist.

Access the resources on the Grow in Love website.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

READ

  • From your Bible or from the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book read the following Scripture passages, Jn 20:1-9, Mt 28:8-15, Jn 20: 11-18, Lk 24: 13-35, Lk 24:35-48, Jn 21:1-14.

PRAY

  • The Church prays ‘Alleluia’ because Jesus is risen. Have you ever heard the word ‘Alleluia’ proclaimed at Mass? When does the assembly of people say the word ‘Alleluia’?
  • Grace before Meals/ Altú roimh Bhia and Grace after Meals/ Altú taréis Bia.

DO

  • Visit your local parish Church and see the Easter garden. Take a photo and tell your family the symbolism of the garden.

 

Sr Anne Neylon

14 APRIL 2021, WEDNESDAY, SECOND WEEK IN EASTER

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation either good or bad and said to yourself, ‘I just don’t believe this happened’… ‘How could this situation turn out in this way?’ ‘This is impossible’?

Well, in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 5: 17-26), this is exactly what happened to the high priest and the authorities. The high priest supported by the supporters from the party of the Sadducees were jealous and annoyed, that the apostles Peter and John continued to teach the people about the resurrection of Jesus; in spite of being forbidden to teach. The high priests and supporters did not like what they saw or heard. They imprisoned Peter and John in gaol. Something unbelievable happened. The ‘angel of the Lord’ opened the prison gates and released them with this instruction, ‘Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’  The apostles obeyed and went to the Temple to preach.

Meanwhile, the high priest asked for Peter and Johns’ release from prison. When the officials went to release them, the prison was empty. They went out and reported to the high priest. The captain of the temple was perplexed. A man arrived with an update on the situation. He said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple preaching to the people.’ The captain went with his men to fetch Peter and John. They were afraid to use force in case the people stoned them.

Why would the assembly of people not shout aloud the lines of the psalm in the presence of God, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times’, ‘I sought the Lord and he answered me’, ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ ‘He is happy who takes refuge in him’? Christians believe that with God everything is possible.

The Gospel (Jn 3:16-21) continues with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. The listener hears that God gave his Son Jesus, ‘so that believers in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.’ That meant that believers would be with God forever in heaven. God also sent Jesus so that through Jesus ‘the world might be saved.’  God sent Jesus because Jesus is the light. However, people preferred darkness to light and did not live by the truth. Jesus invites all people to live by the truth ‘so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’

When Christians say they have faith in God, they believe even though they cannot see. It is just like the experience that Thomas had in his encounter with Jesus after the resurrection. Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

VERITAS provides online resources on the Grow in Love website to support the season of Easter on the Grow in Love website including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • Pray Act of Faith/Gníomh Creidimh
  • Apostles’ Creed/Cré na nAspal

 

READ

  • From your Bible read the ‘The apostles arrested again’ (Acts 5:12-20)

DO

  • Did you ever read a book or watch a film that you actually could not believe something that happened? Share it with your family.

 

Sr Anne Neylon

13 APRIL 2021, TUESDAY, SECOND WEEK OF EASTER

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I invite you to read these lines and imagine living in this kind of world!  The people are united, heart and soul. They own nothing themselves but hold everything in common. They witness to a life of love and the common good. There is no one living in poverty in the community. This is because those who own land or houses sell them and bring the money to the apostles to distribute to those in need.

The good news is that this sharing and generosity are hallmarks of our society today. We recall the numerous charities who engage in fundraising, not least the charities represented on the Late Late Show during the pandemic. However, statistics show that more outreach is essential to those who live in poverty throughout the world.

The first reading proclaimed at Mass today (Acts 4:32-37) describes the early Christian communities.  God poured love into the hearts of the people through the Holy Spirit.  Pope Francis prompts God’s people to such a way of life. The early Christian communities received the Holy Spirit and so ‘were united, one heart and soul’.  Today, the faithful hear about the first group of believers.  What was so special about them? They shared. They cared for one another and the common good. They lived by the Spirit of Jesus, similar to how people care for one another in this time of pandemic. Citizens strive to maintain social distance and exercise hand hygiene and are vigilant to restrictions.

We hear in Acts 4:32-37, what one man, Joseph did- ‘He owned a piece of land and he sold it and brought the money and presented it to the apostles.’ To act in this way Jesus explains later to Nicodemus, is ‘to be born from above.’

This spirit of Christianity passed down through the centuries in people. The first Christians believed in Jesus and his way of life. Their faith was strong and enlightened. They proclaimed the Word of God and they responded in love to one another as Jesus showed them. People still show this love and care today, as they are inspired and prompted to support various charities and needs.

Humankind shares one planet. Presently, while many people strive to care for the planet by being eco-friendly, there are many ways that our lifestyle is destructive and causing terrible harm. Pope Francis calls the planet our common home. Owning things in common is ideally good but such an ideal is open to abuse. The challenge is to maintain a healthy planet so ‘there is full respect for the human person’ and there must be ‘concern for the world around us.’ (LS, no. 5).

St Francis of Assisi images our common home ‘like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.’ Two beautiful images of relationship model care, protection, love and nurturance. Throughout his letter to the whole world (Laudato Si’), Pope Francis encourages us to ‘accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbours on a global scale.’ (LS, 9).

In the Gospel (Jn 3:1-8), Jesus continues his conversation with Nicodemus. He explains to him what it is to be born ‘from above’. Jesus explains it is to live by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus, the third person of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit teaches God’s people to live like Jesus, to pray like Jesus and to love like Jesus. That is why it is so important to encounter the person of Jesus. This happens in prayer and in reading Scripture. To those who give time to prayer, Jesus reveals himself. He teaches his way of love to those who listen in the silence of their hearts.

Being born ‘from above’ means being ‘born of the Spirit.’ The Spirit is like the wind. The wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirt. When we think of the wind, we cannot see it but we can hear its sound. The wind blows where it wills. Nicodemus found this teaching difficult to understand. Then Jesus told him about himself, the Son of Man.  God sent Jesus from heaven. Then he ‘was lifted up’ on the cross and now is glorified by the Father.  Everyone who believes this Jesus says ‘will have eternal life.’

The readings today present the faithful with great challenges. The Word of God invites each person to encounter the risen Jesus and to live in love and respect of our neighbour. The Holy Spirit will help God’s people to love, to pray, and to live like Jesus if each one asks for an outpouring of the Spirit into our hearts.

VERITAS publications provides online resources including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-books to support these themes. They are available on the Grow in Love website.

Website: growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • Prayers to the Holy Spirit/Paidreacha chuig an Spiorad Naomh

READ

  • From your Bible or from the Grow in Love e-book for Sixth Class, I nGrá Dé, Rang VI, read Acts (Gníomhartha na nAspal) 2: 44, Acts (Gníomhartha na nAspal) 2:45, Acts (Gníomhartha na nAspal) 2: 46, Acts (Gníomhartha na nAspal) 5:16.

DO

  • When you are at home today are there any ways that you can see the Holy Spirit at work in your life? (by showing kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, love, joy, peace, patience, self-control). Say thanks to God.
  • Have you seen the Holy Spirit at work in any members of your family today? Say thanks to God
  • Remember to return your Trócaire box to the Church.

 

Sr Anne Neylon

 

12 APRIL 2021, MONDAY, SECOND WEEK OF EASTER, YEAR B

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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:

Website: growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • 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

  • Read the Baptismal promises. You will find them in Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Rang V/Rang VI

DO

  • 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

8 APRIL 2021, EASTER THURSDAY YEAR B

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The world and its people have a heightened awareness of the damage caused to the planet in recent decades.  In 2015, Pope Francis wrote a letter to people in the whole world alerting them to the effects of climate change on the lives of people, especially to those who live in poverty. This letter is called Laudato Si’, On care of our common home. He wrote of the harmful effects of pollution, of consumerism and of the throwaway culture.  Pope Francis recorded in detail what is happening to our common home. Simultaneously, he directs people towards a new lifestyle and an ecological conversion. Time will tell how far countries have come in their conversion since 2015. A major challenge lies ahead in our ecological education.

People can choose to listen or ignore the call to change. The Word of God proclaims how Jesus Christ through Peter, challenged the Israelites to repent.

The reading at Mass (Acts 3: 11-26) continues with Peter’s address to the Israelites. He asks them why they are so surprised of the miracle God worked for the lame man who sat at the gate every day. Peter tells them it was not he or John that made the man walk, but it was Jesus. Then he recounts how they had treated Jesus in his last days. They handed him over to death; disowned him in the presence of Pilate; they rejected him and killed him. However, God raised Jesus from the dead and Peter proclaimed himself and John as witnesses. The Gospel proclaims, ‘it is faith in that name that has restored this man to health, as you all can see.’

Peter tries to make excuses for them saying, ‘I know that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing.’ Peter calls them to repentance, to turn towards God and turn away from sin. Now, Jesus comes to save us from our sins.

The Gospel (Lk 24:35-48) proclaims Jesus’ appearance to the disciples. While they were talking, he stood in their midst and offered them the gift of peace. The disciples were terrified.  Jesus showed them his hands and his feet saying he was not a ghost. Their joy was so great that they were reluctant to believe, so he asked for something to eat. They gave him grilled fish and he ate it in their presence. Again, Jesus instructed them by opening ‘their minds to understand the Scriptures.’

These readings help us to have a deeper understanding of the resurrection of Jesus and to strengthen our faith in him. We continue to acknowledge our belief in God and pray an Act of Faith. We repent of our sins by turning towards God.

VERITAS provides online resources to support the teaching of the Easter stories including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-books. You will find the Easter theme explored in all class standards of the Catholic primary school, available on the Grow in Love website.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • The Gloria/ An Ghlóir, The Nicene Creed/ An Chré-Nicé Chathair Chonstantín
  • Care for the Earth/ Cúram don Domhan
  • Act of Faith/ Gníomh Creidimh

READ

  • From your Bible or from your Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé books read ‘The Empty Tomb’ (John 20:1-10)/ ‘An Tuama Folamh’ (Eoin 20:1-10) and ‘Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene’ (John 20:11-18), ‘Íosa á thaispeáint féin do Mháire Mhaigdiléana’ (Eoin 20:11-18)

DO

  • Go outside on your street or look out the window. What signs of God’s creation can you see? Is there anything for which you might like to be thankful? Can you see any destruction caused to the environment? Is there anything you can do about that?
  • On the Grow in Love website, find the video lyrics for the following songs from Fifth Class/P7 and show them to a member of your family, ‘God has Given Us the Earth’, ‘Without Seeing You’, ‘Spirit Filled Day’, ‘Regina Coeli’

Sr Anne Neylon

7 APRIL 2021, EASTER WEDNESDAY

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In a recent discussion on homelessness, the group attempted to draw up a strategy to help alleviate homelessness in the world. The foundation from which the group worked was from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGSs, often called the UN Global Goals are a charter of 17 interconnected objectives designed to create a better world for all, by 2030. Goals numbered 1, 2, 3, 8, 16 and 17 relate to homelessness directly. To eradicate poverty and to work for the common good, it is of paramount importance that governments and societies take cognisance of these goals.

In the discussion, two people took part who had the lived experience of being homeless. Firstly, they suggested that a homeless person needs someone to recognise his/her presence. The second thing that would help people who are homeless they added, was more digital connectivity. One might have thought that the priority for a homeless person was a house! Sometimes it is not about strategies people draw up! The beginning of hope for one who is homeless is recognition as a human being.

In the reading for Mass today (Acts 3:1-10), the word proclaims the healing of a lame man. Paralysed from birth, the people brought him every day to the temple gate to beg from those who went into the temple. One day, Peter and John went to the temple. They saw the man who asked them for alms. Peter said to him, ‘Look at us’. The man expected to receive something from them but Peter said he had neither silver nor gold but acknowledged, ‘what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth: the Messiah, walk!’ Peter helped the man up and he began to jump up and down. He went into the temple, praised God, and shared the good news. It was not Peter or John that worked the miracle. Jesus worked through them. Jesus also works through each one of us. We can claim nothing of our own as everything comes through God and other people. Jesus is always alive and present among us.

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Lk 24:13-35) describes the disciples’ surprise at their encounter with Jesus. It was only when the disciples shared the table with him and when Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them that they identified him in the action. Having recognised Jesus, they too ‘told their story of what happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.’

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to many of the disciples. None of them initially recognised him. When Jesus spoke to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, he began with Moses and the prophets and explained to them everything that was written in the Scriptures about himself.

So today, let us explore what Scripture tells us about Jesus so we too may share the Good News of Jesus’ life death and resurrection.

VERITAS publications provides online resources for the Easter theme in the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme.  These include the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-books and are available on the Grow in Love website:

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

 

INVITATION

PRAY

  • Pray the Nicene Creed / An Chré Nicé-Chathair Constantin from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Rang VI
  • Pray St Patrick’s Breastplate/ Lúireach Phádraig from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

READ

  • From your Bible or Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé e-book for Fifth Class read the story of ‘The Road to Emmaus’ (Lk 24:13-35)/ An tSiúlóid chuig Eamáús (Lúcás 24:13-35).

DO

  • Look at a map and find Jerusalem. Then find out how many kilometres Emmaus is from Jerusalem.
  • On the internet, find the Sustainable Development Goals. What progress do you think our country is making to be a better place for everyone by 2030?
  • Find the video lyrics of the following songs in the Grow in Love Fifth Class programme: ‘The Welcome Table’, ‘We come to your Feast’.

 

 

Sr Anne Neylon

6 APRIL 2021, EASTER TUESDAY

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Leaders and those in authority regularly take to the podium in this time of pandemic to tell citizens about the latest directives concerning the distribution of vaccines and the imposition and lifting of restrictions about travel, lifestyle, family visits etc. Citizens continue to ask questions, ‘What can we do?’ ‘What will happen my business, my job, my mortgage, my family?’ In the midst of all, the world knows there are many transitions taking place in life at every level. This is daunting for some, but we trust that all will be well. Meanwhile, we listen carefully to the authorities and maintain social distance, hand hygiene etc.

It is the season of Easter, one of hope, celebration and joy. Jesus died and rose to new life. Without Good Friday, there would be no Easter eggs!

The reading today (Acts 2:36-41) for Mass proclaims Peter’s address to the crowd. This is the first proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection. Peter spoke on behalf of the Twelve as he addressed ‘fellow Jews and all foreigners staying in Jerusalem.’ He appeals to them to listen to what he has to say. He speaks to them about Jesus of Nazareth, telling them they ‘must know for sure that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.’

Of course, the people ‘were cut to the heart’ at what Peter and the apostles said.  On hearing it they asked, ‘What must we do?’ Peter told them to repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for ‘the forgiveness of your sins.’ Then, he said they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter continued to give the message and appealed to them to save themselves. Many people responded positively, accepted the teaching and were baptised. Three-thousand new people joined the community that day.

Today, disciples commit to Jesus by opening their hearts to the message of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The good news is that Jesus Christ is alive. Pope Francis encourages everyone to renew his or her encounter with Jesus Christ.

John’s account of the Gospel (Jn 20:11-18) proclaims Mary of Magdala standing outside the tomb on Easter Sunday morning. She cried as she bent down to look inside the tomb. It was empty except for two angels sitting where ‘the body of Jesus had been’ laid, one at the head and the other at his feet. They asked Mary why she was weeping and she told them they had taken the body of her Lord away and she did not know where they put it. As she spoke to the angels, she turned around and she saw Jesus standing there. She did not recognise him. He asked her why she was crying and whom she was looking for. Then he called her name, ‘Mary’ and she recognised Jesus. She said ‘Rabbuni’, which means Master. He told her not to cling to him, indicating to Mary that there was now a change in their relationship.  Jesus told her ‘to go and find the brothers and tell them that he ‘was now ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and told them the things he said to her. Mary was the apostle to the apostles.

From now on, the disciples related to Jesus as Lord. The characteristic of the new relationship of calling Jesus Lord meant that they related to him in faith. Jesus is now one with God.

Like the first disciples, we get to know Jesus through the dim light of faith in times of sorrow and joy, day by day. Disciples grow in thier understanding of what Jesus means when he says ‘happy are those who do not see and yet believe.’

The accounts of the resurrection are available online for each of the class standards of the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé programme. Access to the online resources on the theme of Easter, including the Grow in Love /I nGrá Dé e-books are available on the VERITAS Grow in Love website.

Website: growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • In the Easter season God’s people pray ‘Regina Coeli’ at 12 noon and 6.00 p.m. instead of the Angelus. ‘Regina Coeli’ is the Latin Word for Queen of Heaven. Mary, Mother of God is Queen of Heaven. You will find the video lyric for this song in Grow in Love /P6 for Fourth Class
  • Pray ‘The Nicene Creed’ from Grow in Love /I nGrá Dé Rang V & Rang VI

READ

  • From your Bible or from the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book read ‘The Empty Tomb’ (John 20:1-10) and ‘Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene’ (Jn 20:11-18)

DO

  • When Jesus rose to new life, he brought new life to the apostles and the Christian community. Look out your window or go outside and see the new life of spring. Record the ways in which the environment is changing. You may like to take some photos of new life in spring.

 

Sr Anne Neylon

31 MARCH 2021, WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

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An anonymous post on Facebook recently read, ‘The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.’ A challenging question arises, ‘Will you still love even if you are hurt?’  Betrayal is probably one of the worst things that can happen in a relationship. Betrayal breaks trust and trust is not easy to restore. Has someone betrayed you? Have you betrayed another?

Today is Spy Wednesday, called because of the actions of Judas Iscariot. Sadly, betrayal in relationship with God, self and with others is part of the sinful nature of humankind. God loves each one unconditionally.

The reading proclaimed at Mass today (Is 50:4-9) is taken from the prophet Isaiah. On reflection one asks, ‘Who is the prophet talking about, himself or another?’ The prophets in the Old Testament endured cruelty, suffering and rejection from others because they loved God. They wanted to do what God asked of them. These prophets heard the call of God and they knew their mission was to speak God’s word. The people did not like the prophets’ messages and they tried to suppress them and kill them.  God asks each prophet to listen to his word like a disciple and to proclaim it. Because the prophet was obedient, ‘he made no resistance to those who struck him and pulled at his beard.’ What Isaiah describes is a foretaste of what will happen to Jesus, as he faces his trial and death on Calvary.  The language is violent. In the face of violence, the prophet did not rebel. The prophet knows in his heart that ‘the Lord is coming to my [his] help.’

Prophets speak the voice of God today, but many people choose to ignore what they hear. For some years now, the people of the world hear regularly of the damage humankind by its lifestyle causes the planet. Pope Francis prompts the world to take note of the destructive forces damaging the environment. He calls for an eco-conversion. His message to the whole world in Laudato Si’ is an enlightening document instructing care for our common home. Are God’s people prepared to listen to the prophets today? God calls each one to be a prophetic voice to speak God’s word. Are the people of the world prepared to undergo an eco-conversion as the Pope challenges them to hear the cries of the poor, to save the planet and God’s creation?

The psalmist (Ps 68) commits his life to God. He is prepared to suffer the taunts and the shame. He burns ‘with zeal for your [God’s] house.’ The psalmist will praise God’s name and give thanks because he trusts in God. The assembly answers, ‘In your great love, O Lord, answer my prayer for your favour.’

The Gospel (Mt 26:14-25) read at Mass today proclaims the betrayal of Jesus by Peter. Judas went to the chief priests and asked them what they were prepared to give him if he handed Jesus over to them. They paid him thirty pieces of silver. Judas awaited an opportunity to betray him.

Meanwhile, Jesus instructed the disciples to go and prepare the Passover. That evening, the disciples were at table with Jesus and he confronted them saying, one of them was to betray him. They were distressed as they wondered who was going to do that. In turn, they asked ‘Not I surely?’ Judas also asked that question. Jesus said to Judas, ‘They are your own words’.

Jesus knew what was in Judas’ mind. Judas chose to betray Jesus in spite of Jesus calling him to be one of his twelve apostles. Judas considered 30 pieces of silver were worth more to him than his friendship and commitment to Jesus. There were consequences for Judas and Jesus.

Jesus also knows what is in our mind better than we know ourselves. That is why we pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us in God’s ways.  God gives us free will and stands ready to forgive our sins. Towards the end of Lent, we reflect on the ritual of Ash Wednesday and the words ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel.’ Our Lenten journey for 2021 is almost at a close. We thank God.

VERITAS publications offers free online resources for Holy Week in all standards of the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme available at:

Website: growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • Pray the Prayers to the Holy Spirit/ Paidreacha chuig an Spiorad Naomh
  • Pray the Act of Faith/Gníomh Creidimh
  • Pray the Act of Sorrow/ Gníomh Dóláis

READ

  • From your Bible or from your Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book for Sixth Class read ‘Jesus Eats the Passover Meal with his Disciples’ (Mt 26:20-30) and ‘The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus’ (Lk 22:47-53)
  • Read the poem ‘Remember’ from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book for Fourth Class ‘AT HOME’ page, p. 57

VIDEO LYRIC

  • From the Grow in Love programme for Fifth Class, watch ‘The Summons’.
  • What might God be summoning you to do?

DO

  • Check out the times of the Easter ceremonies on the webcam from the local parish Church during Holy Week. Consider which ones you will attend and invite your family to join you
  • It will be soon time to return your Trócaire box to the Church… Read the stories of the suffering families on the box and consider donating some of your pocket money to help people in need.

 

Sr Anne Neylon