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12 JANUARY 2021, 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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‘Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’

The Prayer of the Church offers God’s people this prompt today, ‘Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’  God created heaven and earth and God’s help is always available to those who desire and seek it. Everyone needs help from time to time. During this time of Covid, people were never more in need of help. Sometimes a person needs to ask for help in a situation. At other times people take the initiative to help. In our relationship with God a person just has to believe and ask God in faith to help. God promises to answer our prayers in the way God sees best.

In his Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis entitled Chapter 5, A Better Kind of Politics. He explains ‘the development of a global community of fraternity based on the practice of social friendship on the part of peoples and nations calls for a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good’ (no.154).

In the Pope’s concern for the vulnerable he sees governments and politicians neglecting their needs, through unjust political structures and creating situations of poverty by ‘promoting an economy that favours productive diversity and business creativity.’ The Pope is always advocating for those who live in poverty because he recognises Jesus mission was to the most neglected and those who lived on the margins of society. He calls his disciples to continue this mission.

In the Word proclaimed at Mass today (Heb 2:5-12), the faithful hear that God appointed Jesus to be in command of everything. In the world we see that such a power of being in command of everything can be abused. God knows that the reign of God brings justice for the poor, the eradication of poverty, the dignity of the human person and the defence of human rights. God desires for all his children (God calls us children because we are heirs) to be with Jesus in heaven at God’s right hand. In order for that to happen they must go through the suffering as Jesus did on the cross. God saw it fitting that Jesus would die on the cross. By suffering, the Christian discovers the love of the Father for the Son. God called Jesus our Saviour and Redeemer.

In the world people experience suffering like Jesus did on the cross. Christians are asked to take up their cross as Jesus did. Suffering and the cross take different forms in life; maybe at this time enduring sickness or bereavement due to Covid, or when we feel rejected, ignored or slighted by people. God is always present in situations of suffering. Jesus knows our suffering because of his personal experience of suffering. He offers us a shelter in his heart and wants to give us strength in our weakness and comfort in our sorrow.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) on his reflection on the Cross said that ‘the cross provides an example for every virtue…charity, patience, humility, obedience’ and love for discipleship.

In the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Religious Education programme at every level, families accompanying their children in faith can read Bible stories showing Jesus’ compassion towards people who were sick, suffering and those who experienced any form of poverty. Families can also read how Pope Francis and the Church teaching continually invites people to defend the dignity of every person by upholding human rights. Sometimes this did not happen in history and today human dignity is still not upheld as Jesus desires.

The Good News is that VERITAS PUBLICATIONS are granting free access to the Grow in Love series during this time of pandemic.

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Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

TO PRAY (from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé)

ST PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE

Christ be with me,

Christ be beside me,

Christ be before me,

Christ be behind me,

Christ be at my right hand,

Christ be at my left hand,

Christ be with me, wherever I go,

Christ be my friend forever and ever.

Amen.

 

LÚIREACH PHÁDRAIG

Críost liom.

Críost romham.

Críost I mo dhiaidh.

Críost ionam.

Críost ar mo lámh dheas.

Críost ar mo lámh chlé.

Críost I mo chuideachta is cuma cá dtéim.

Críost mar chara agam, anois go buan. Áiméan.

 

TO READ (from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé or the Bible)

Jn 19:26-27

 

Sr Anne Neylon

11 JANUARY 2021, 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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‘Let us come before the Lord giving thanks.’

Ordinary time in the Church Liturgical year doesn’t mean that life is dull and unexciting! The Word of God is alive and active and God is always saying something new to us giving us life, joy, hope and energy, even when we think times are bad. God loves us unconditionally.

As the Church begins Ordinary time, the faithful are urged today, ‘Let us come before the Lord giving thanks.’

For what can I give thanks today? I can thank God for family and people who love me, friends, food to eat, clean water, frontline workers and lots more. One way of saying thanks to God is to pray.

The Word of God proclaimed at Mass today (Hebrews 1:1-6, Mk 1:14-20) prompts God’s people to be thankful. For example we are thankful that God spoke in the past to our ancestors through the prophets. When God spoke to the prophets, God wanted them to tell the people how much he loved them and asked them to love their neighbour and treat everyone with kindness.

In later times and continuing today God speaks to us through his Son Jesus.  God appointed Jesus to inherit everything. God sent Jesus to show God’s love, compassion, forgiveness and generosity. God is love.

We are thankful that Jesus chose Simon, Andrew, James and John as apostles to help him in his mission.  These men left their jobs as fishermen, listened to Jesus and followed him. Jesus taught them how to proclaim the Good News, to teach the people about God’s love, to heal people and forgive sins.

Today God’s people are thankful that Jesus chose them as disciples to continue his mission of love and care. The Holy Spirit helps the disciples to pray, to love God and our neighbour.

Pope Francis always shows a spirit of gratitude.

The Grow in Love Religious Education programme for Catholic primary schools tells all about God and God’s love. It also tells about such prophets as Jeremiah and Isaiah. Yesterday, the Church celebrated the Baptism of the Lord. After Jesus was baptised he began the work that God sent him to do. You can read all about Jesus in the various levels of Grow in Love. At Mass we can hear many of the Bible stories from Grow in Love.

VERITAS PUBLICATIONS are granting free access to the Grow in Love series during this time of Pandemic.

Logon: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

TO PRAY (from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé)
PRAYER TO GUARDIAN ANGEL

Angel sent by God to guide me,

Be my light and walk beside me;

Be my guardian and protect me;

On the paths of life direct me.

PAIDIR CHUIG AN AINGEAL COIMHDEACHTA

A Aingil dhil Dé, cuir mé faoi do smacht,

Mar d’ordaigh Mac grámhar Dé ina

reacht.

Seas le mo thaobh gach am den lá.

Soilsigh is cosain is seol mé slán.

Áiméan.

TO READ (from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé or the Bible)

Mk 1: 14-20

 

Sr Anne Neylon