Author Archive

THURSDAY 15TH JULY 2021, FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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Have you ever noticed how some individuals, families, countries and continents, carry more than a share fair of burdens in their lives? Perhaps there are personal issues that weigh people down; sickness, bereavements and losses in families; famine, war, natural disasters, oppression, injustices in countries and continents and yet people live, eek out an existence or just about exist through the daily grind. Yet, many others who witness such situations do their best to support people who find themselves in difficult situations. God provides in God’s own way.

Today’s reading proclaimed at Mass (Ex 3:1-6, 9-12) continues the conversation between God and Moses from the burning bush. God gives Moses his divine mission. God told Moses to go to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.’ God also told Moses to tell them that God saw ‘all that the Egyptians were doing’ to crush the Israelites. In addition, God had a plan to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. God told Moses to go to the king of Egypt and to tell him that the ‘Lord , the God of the Hebrews’ was coming to meet them and Moses will request ‘three days journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ God is aware of the difficult mission he is giving to Moses. He knows that ‘the king of Egypt will not let you [them] go unless he is forced by a mighty hand.’

God chose Moses for a mission. God spoke with him and instructed him in what he should do step-by-step. God did not reveal the whole plan to Moses nor did God leave Moses alone to carry out the mission.

This ever-abiding presence of God is the central theme in the Liturgy of the Word of God today.

Psalm 104:1, 5. 8-9, 24-27 proclaims the psalmist recalling and remembering the wonders the Lord has done including God’s miracles and God’s covenant. The assembly praises God acknowledging, ‘The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.’

The Gospel proclaims (Mt 11:28-30) Jesus’ invitation to God’s people to come to him when they are overburdened and he will give rest. Jesus reveals himself as ‘gentle and humble’ and assures all that ‘my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’

When Jesus speaks these words, he does not mean he will remove the burden from them, but he will give the means of carrying the burden. Jesus the patient and humble teacher enables the disciples to see the presence and mercy of God at work in their lives and in the burdens, they bear.

Who will help the people who are carrying heavy burdens in life at this time? St Teresa of Avila reminds us that ‘Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours.’

Jesus invites each one to go and help others in his name.

This story of Moses, including online resources can be accessed in the Grow in Love /I nGrá Dé religious education programme; as also the Grow in Love /I nGrá Dé Children’s e-book.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • You might like to read the following prayer with your family

Christ has no body but yours

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which He looks

Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,

Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.

Yours are the hand yours are the feet,

Yours are the eyes you are His body.

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

compassion on this world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

(St. Teresa of Ávila (attributed))

READ

  • From your Bible read about God’s call to Moses from the burning bush (Ex 3:1-6, 9-12, 13-20).

ACTION

  • How can you use your hands and your feet to help someone today?

 

Sr Anne Neylon

WEDNESDAY 14TH JULY 2021, FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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During Covid-19 time, as people registered for vaccines, they waited for the medical authorities to call them to their prescribed venue. The call may have come by phone, by text or email. Having received one particular vaccine, people then waited for a call to receive their second vaccine. Sometimes there was a time lapse and people had to wait longer than anticipated for the call for vaccination. The waiting caused a certain amount of anxiety as news was spreading quickly about blood clots and other side effects of some vaccines. Simultaneously, people called the medical authorities seeking information and updates.

Much of our human life is about calling and waiting for calls. Think about the calls in your life. As time passes, automated calls are increasing.

The reading today (Ex 3:1-6, 9-12) proclaims God’s personal call to Moses as he was shepherding. God revealed Godself to Moses from the burning bush. The bush was on fire but did not burn up. Moses drew near to the bush and he heard God calling him, “Moses, Moses.” Moses answered, “I am here.” God told him not to come near, to take off his shoes that he was standing on holy ground. God said, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” God then gave Moses a divine mission. He told him that he knew his people were suffering at the hand of the Egyptians in Egypt and he asked Moses to lead them from slavery in Egypt. Moses was reluctant to do what God asked him but God assured him he would be with him.

God’s personal call comes to each one in many and varied ways and places. Nevertheless, it is always personal and unique.

Psalm 102:1-4, 6-7 proclaims the psalmist’s praise of God.  From his soul, the psalmist acknowledges God’s blessing, forgiveness and love, mercy, compassion, justice and kind action. It is with joy and gratitude that the assembly responds, ‘The Lord is compassion and love.’

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Mt 11:25-27) is a wonderful example of Jesus’ prayer of blessing to the Father. He recognises the great things that God has done in revealing the mysteries of God to those whom the world sees as the least important. He also blesses God for entrusting him with everything in life. Jesus enjoys the intimate relationship he has with the Father. He acknowledges that ‘no one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

As the disciples ponder on this passage, they too delight in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus chooses and calls those who are attentive to his love and action.  Jesus invites every disciple to share Jesus’ loving relationship with the Father. God loves unconditionally and God’s love is inclusive and all embracing. God gives free will to respond his love and call.

Disciples nourish their relationship with Jesus by reading the Scripture, by prayer and by reaching out in love to one’s neighbour. Jesus shows us how to do this and he sends the Holy Spirit to help the disciples to live lives of holiness.

God’s encounter with Moses is explored in the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé (Rang 3) religious education programme. Prayer is an integral part of the programme and all the formal prayers including the prayers of the Mass are printed at the back of the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Children’s textbooks and e-books, all available on the Grow in Love website.  Online resources including a video lyric accompany this Scripture text (Ex 3:1-6, 9-12).

 

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • The Apostle’s Creed/ Cré na nAspal
  • Hail Mary/ ’S é do bheatha a Mhuire

READ

  • From your Bible or your Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé textbook or e-book read the story of God’s encounter with Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3: 1-6, 9-12)
  • Read Psalm 102 from your Bible and sense the compassion and love of God for all

ACTION

  • Count the number of times you hear people call your name today
  • Count the number of times you call people today
  • Have you ever ignored or pretended you did not hear someone call you? Why was that?

 

Sr Anne Neylon

TUESDAY 13 JULY 2021, FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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The birth of a baby in a family brings great joy and excitement. A family lavishes great love and attention on the newborn.  Neighbours, friends and well-wishers shower the baby with all things new, with keen interest in discovering the baby’s name. As the child grows and develops, the parents/ guardians/grandparents have great aspirations for him/her.

The reading today proclaimed at Mass (Ex 2:1-15) tells of the birth of Moses. The circumstances surrounding the birth were extraordinary. Pharaoh commanded that ‘every infant boy must be thrown into the Nile and every girl may live.’ Just imagine Moses’ mother and her distress at the thought of her baby thrown in the river!

Scripture proclaims how the mother saved her son by making a papyrus basket for him and leaving him in the bulrushes. Providence ensured Moses’ return to his mother, in spite of the command of the king. The baby’s name was Moses, which means, he was ‘drawn… out of the water.’ Moses grew up quickly (in the text) and his mother brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter who treated him like a son.

It was not long before Moses discovered how the Egyptians treated the Israelites. He saw an Egyptian striking one of his own people.  On seeing that happen, Moses killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Next day, Moses saw two of his own people quarrelling. Moses questioned the action. However, the man responded with a challenging question and asked Moses was he going to kill him as he had done to the Egyptian. Moses was afraid. Pharaoh tried to kill Moses when he heard what he had done. Moses fled to the land of Midian and sat down at a well. Moses keen sense of justice emerged from an early age.

No doubt the response to Psalm 68:3. 14.30-31.33-34 ‘Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive’ was the prayer heard by Moses’ mother as she rescued her son from the river and from Pharaoh’s daughter. In her ‘poverty and pain’, she knew ‘how the Lord listens to the needy.’

In the Gospel (Mt 11:20-24) Jesus denounces the cities in which he had worked miracles because the people did not change their ways. The people witnessed miracles, love, forgiveness and healing from Jesus. Then, they turned their back on him, ignored his love, and did not obey his teaching.

God regularly calls God’s people to repentance. A call to repentance means changing ones’ ways. Today, disciples of Jesus hear the call to change their ways, which means turning away from sin and turn towards God. God invites us to conversion in life in our reconciliation with him and with one another.  In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we encounter the risen Jesus. We say sorry, pray the Act of Sorrow, and ask forgiveness.  The priest gives penance to the person receiving the Sacrament and tells him/her to go and sin no more. We thank God for forgiving us our sins. Disciples always thank God for his great love, his forgiveness, mercy, and his tenderness. Jesus’ desire for his disciples is to continue to build the Kingdom of God daily. Jesus is with us always in our efforts to do God’s will.

The story of Moses’ birth and the theme of reconciliation with accompanying resources, including the Children’s textbook and/ or e-book are accessible in the  Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • Morning Prayer/Paidir na Maidine
  • Act of Sorrow/Gníomh Dóláis

READ

  • From your Bible or from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé read the story of Moses’ birth and how he was saved from death (Ex2:1-15)
  • What is your favourite miracle that Jesus worked? Can you read it from the Bible

ACTIVITY

  • Have you ever seen a Moses basket? Find out how to make a Moses basket
  • Can you find in your Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé book some of the miracles that Jesus worked?
  • You might like to look at images of your Baptism and the first photographs taken of you as a new baby. Thank God and think about the ways you are growing and developing your gifts and talents
  • Write your name and find out why your parents chose the name for you.

 

 

Sr Anne Neylon

MONDAY 12TH JULY 2021, FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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Pope Francis says that ‘issues of human fraternity and social friendship’ are always a concern for him (FT, no.4). This is obvious as time after time, he highlights the plight of those living in poverty and those governed by unjust structures. Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb met in Abu Dhabi in 2016 and declared, ‘God has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity and has called them to live together as brother and sisters’ (FT, no.5).

Chapter One of Fratelli Tutti, the Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father Francis on Fraternity and Social Friendship (2020), is entitled ‘Dark Clouds Over A Closed World’. It spells out the ‘shattered dreams’, the deconstruction,  the ‘throwaway world’, the poverty, the infringement of human rights, the slavery, loneliness and fear and other issues that inhibit people from the fullness of life in the world. This type of society is not new to these times. History shows that humankind’s inhumanity to humankind is rife for many centuries and continues.

Today’s first reading proclaimed at Mass (Ex 1:8-14) describes how under the authority of a new King in Egypt the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites.  The Egyptians, threatened by the Israelites and their work ethic were afraid that they might bring war on the Egyptians and escape from the country.  The Egyptians began to oppress them and treat them badly. They made them carry heavy loads and had them build the ‘store-cities’ of Pithom and Ramases. They forced them into slavery. However, the more the Egyptians oppressed them the more the Israelites grew in strength and increased in number. Not being able to overcome the Israelites, Pharaoh commanded his subjects ‘Throw all the boys born to the Hebrews into the river, but let all the girls live.’

Slavery, oppression and violence continue in the world but God remains close in time of need. Pope Francis quotes the Bishops of South Africa and their dream to form ‘a society based on service to others, rather than the desire to dominate.’ In addition, ‘a society based on sharing what one has with others, rather than the selfish scramble by each for as much wealth as possible.’ Furthermore, ‘a society in which the value of being together as human beings is ultimately more important than any lesser group, whether it be family, nation, race or culture.’ (FT, 229).

Psalm 123, with the response ‘Our help is in the name of the Lord’ indicates the reliance of people on God’s help always. The psalmist exclaims what might happen the Israelites if God was not on their side. God assures people of God’s presence and support always.

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass (Mt 10:34-11:1) brings to a conclusion Jesus’ instructions to the Twelve. He speaks to them about how in the light of persecution, they must continue to love God and their neighbour. Love of God comes first. This entails the disciple carrying one’s cross and losing one’s life in order to find it. This demands a life of self-sacrifice, prayer and a desire to do God’s will.  God will reward the one who gives a cup of cold water to one in need, the one who welcomes Jesus, the one who welcomes the prophet and God will reward the just person.

Justice and fairness are recurring themes in the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé religious education programme. Access to resources is on the Grow in Love website including access to the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Children’s textbook and/or e-book

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

 

INVITATION

PRAY

  • Our Father/An Phaidir
  • Prayer to Guardian Angel/Paidir chuig an Aingeal Coimhdeachta
  • Act of Hope/Gníomh Dóchais

READ

  • In your Bible or Grow in Love 5/I nGrá Dé 5 (Rang 3) the reading proclaimed at Mass today (Exodus:1:8-14, 22)

FIND OUT

  • In what ways are people oppressed in the world today? Where is there an infringement of human rights in the world? What can citizens do to ensure that every person can live in dignity?
  • Find out about the UN Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the United Nations designed to create a better world for all, by 2030.

 

Sr Anne Neylon

THURSDAY 8 JULY, FOURTEENTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME

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Each day, thank God, many people in the world wake up to a good day. Blessed with a healthy body, a family who cares, friends, water, food, clothes, warmth, a safe environment, a job, educational opportunities, travel facilities, entertainment, summer projects, freedom to practice faith and much more as people go about daily life.

How much of this do people take for granted? Do we appreciate how much God provides in our daily lives? How can we show God and other people our gratitude? Can we use what we have to help those who have less?

Today’s reading at Mass (Gen 44:18-21, 23-29) continues the story of Joseph and God’s people hear how Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and forgives them. This is a heart-moving story. One of the brothers pleaded with Joseph on behalf of his brothers and his father. He explained to Joseph why he could not bring the down the youngest brother to Egypt. They knew that by bringing down the youngest son the father would be so distressed, if anything happened to him.

When Joseph heard this, he could no longer control his feelings. He told all those who were gathered to go away and he remained with his brothers. He revealed himself to them and asked ‘Is my father still alive?’ Then he cried aloud saying, ‘I am Joseph your brother, yes, it’s me, the one you sold to the Egyptians.’ He told them not to grieve or reproach themselves for what they had done. He assured them that God had sent him to save their lives. Joseph was ready to forgive his brothers by God’s grace.

Moving on to Psalm104, with the assembly responding ‘Remember the wonders the Lord has done’  echoes the goodness of Joseph in looking after his family and forgiving his brothers. When one’s focus is on God’s goodness and generosity, self-reliance does not come into play. God’s people depend on God’s Providence.

Jesus in the Gospel (Mt 10:7-15), instructed the disciples to ‘cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out devils.’  He instructed them to give without charge as they received without charge. He continued to tell them how they should approach their work in the freedom of God, what they should wear and take with them on their journey. Jesus’s instructions hold firm for discipleship today as they strive to build up the kingdom of God in daily life.

So today, the Good News is that we can rely on God’s Providence to take care of us. We also can answer Jesus’ call to build up God’s Kingdom and be grateful that we received without charge and that we can give without charge. Disciples depend on God and trust that God will provide in all circumstances.

The Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé religious education programme offers many of the healing miracles of Jesus and the teachings of Jesus on proclaiming the kingdom. In the parables, Jesus explains what the Kingdom of God is like. Access to the parables and miracles is available in the Children’s Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé textbook and/or e-book on the Grow in Love website.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY

  • Our Father/An Phaidir
  • The Gloria (Prayer of the Mass)

READ

  • From your Bible read Genesis 44 and 45. Here you will read about ‘Joseph’s cup in Benjamin’s sack,’ and read how Joseph revealed himself to his brother

ACTIVITY

  • Read Psalm 104:16-21, R v 5 and name the wonders the Lord has done. Can you find the reference for the story mentioned in the Bible?
  • Write out the names of Joseph’s brothers.
  • What wonders has the Lord done in your life and in that of your family?
  • What in life have you received without charge? What will you give to others without charge today? To whom will you give? From whom will you receive?

 

Sr Anne Neylon

WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY, FOURTEENTH WEEK OF ORDINARY TIME

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St Maelruain, bishop and abbot

Famine is one of the burning issues in the world today. Social media shows organisations such as CONCERN, Trócaire and UNICEF continually showing images of the plight of poverty. They send URGENT APPEALS ‘to save children from hunger and malnutrition.’ Famine continues to threaten the world in these times of climate injustice among other injustices. Pope Francis in his writings continually speaks of famine and its consequences. We pause to remember those who are experiencing hunger at this moment in time.

The reading proclaimed at Mass today (Gen 41: 55-57, 42:5-7, 17-24) begins the long story of Joseph’s meeting with his brothers.  At this time, there was a famine in the land of Egypt and the people came to Pharaoh looking for bread. He told the Egyptians to go to Joseph, who opened the storehouses and sold grain to them. As the famine worsened, people also came from other countries to buy grain. Among those who came were Joseph’s brothers who were jealous of him, rejected him, and threw him in a pit. Joseph recognised them but did not acknowledge them. The brothers did not recognise him. Joseph punished them by making them repent for the crime they committed against him. He told them that one of them must sacrifice himself, before his brother Joseph will reveal who he is. Joseph imprisoned them for three days. The brothers felt guilty and regretted their treatment of Joseph. They stood arguing among themselves, not knowing that Joseph understood what they were saying (with the presence of an interpreter). Joseph withdrew for a while and wept. On his return, he took Simeon and had him put in prison.

While Joseph desired to forgive his brothers, forgiveness did not cancel out the necessity of making amends for the violence they had done. Joseph had a plan. It is not part of today’s reading….

Psalm 32 proclaimed at Mass, expresses the desire of the psalmist for God’s love as God’s people place their hope in God. The assembly respond with one voice saying, ‘May your love be upon us. O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.’

The Gospel (Mt 10:1-7) names the twelve apostles. This group of twelve will understand that they are the foundation of the Church.  The Word outlines Jesus’ summoning the twelve and giving ‘them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sicknesses.’ As Jesus teaches them and gives them their mission, he sends them to proclaim the Kingdom of God. This group of twelve are the witnesses of Jesus among people, so he is teaching them what he wants them to do.  In turn, these twelve missionaries will call others as Jesus called them. These successors will be missionaries continuing the mission of Jesus. They will strive to do God’s will as they pray, live and serve those who live in poverty with love and tenderness. Jesus promised to remain with them until the end of time. He did this by sending the Holy Spirit. Jesus continues to nourish the lives of the disciples through the sacraments.

Stories about the apostles and their time spent with Jesus are available in the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé religious education programme and access to the Children’s Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé textbook and /or e-book is available on the Grow in Love website.

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

PRAY:

  • Act of Hope/ Gníomh Dóchais
  • Act of Sorrow/ Gníomh Dóláis
  • Prayer for Forgiveness/ Paidir ag iarraidh Maithiúnas
  • Prayer after Forgiveness/ Paidir taréis Maithiúnas

READ

  • From your Bible read the part of the story of Joseph proclaimed at Mass today ( Gen 41: 55-57; 42:5-7. 17-24)
  • Search the Gospels and find the miracles where Jesus fed the people who were hungry.

ACTION

  • You might like to watch the musical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’
  • Write down the names of the twelve apostles. What is Jesus asking his disciples to do today in July 2021?
  • Find out the places in the world that are most threatened by famine. How might your family help?
  • Browse the Trócaire website and find out how Trócaire is helping to alleviate famine in Africa.

 

Sr Anne Neylon

TUESDAY 6 TH JULY, FOURTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

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ST MARIA GORETTI, 1890-1902, Virgin and Martyr

ST MONINNE, one of Ireland’s early women saints

Anyone who endures a sciatica nerve pain in the leg knows the discomfort it causes. Sciatica originates in the lower back and travels down the leg.  Jewish religion forbids the Jewish people to consume the sciatic nerve.

The explanation for this is proclaimed in the reading at Mass today (Gen 32: 23-33). The reading commemorates Jacob’s victory over an angel after they wrestled all night. The angel dislodged Jacob’s sciatic nerve. At the end of the fight, the angel struck a nerve in Jacob’s leg. The blow caused a dislocated hip, leaving Jacob to limp. Due to this incident, ‘Therefore the Israelites do not eat the displaced nerve (gid ha-nasheh) on the hip joint to this very day.’ (Gen 32:33). In his wrestle with God, Jacob remained firm in his dialogue with God. God changed Jacob’s name. His new name was Israel, which expresses a new mission for Jacob.  God blessed Jacob and then Jacob ‘called the place “Penuel”, saying ‘I have seen God face to face and survived.’ This new mission meant that Jacob led a new life from the past. In addition, he had a noticeable limp because of the struggle with God.

Just like Jacob, God calls each one of us daily in a new way, sometimes inviting us to change our lives in serving God and the Church. Jacob’s story gives us new strength. One thing we can be sure in our relationship with God is that he promised to be with us always until the end of time. We place our trust in his Providence in all of life’s changes.

Jacob pleaded with God in prayer for a blessing. He persevered in his prayer. Psalm 16 is also a plea for help and the assembly responds to the steadfastness and the conviction of the psalmist saying, ‘Lord, in my justice, I shall see your face.’

The Gospel (Mt 9: 32-38) describes Jesus ministry through the towns and villages. What did Jesus spend his days doing? He was ‘teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.’ As Jesus travelled around he saw the crowds of people and he felt sorry for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He turned to his disciples and he explained to them about the lack of labourers to serve the rich harvest. This call of Jesus to ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into the harvest is a key text used in vocation ministry today.

The Christian vocation is a key theme of the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé programme particularly in the Fifth and Sixth class religious education programmes. Resources include IT resources, Scripture, prayer, the lives of Christian heroes, which can be accessed on the Grow in Love website and the Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé Children’s textbook and e-book. Access at:

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

God calls his followers today to follow Jesus and engage in his mission in tending the multiple needs in society. Disciples do this through prayer, through receiving the sacraments and reaching out in love to their neighbours. The Holy Spirit inspires the disciples to persevere in prayer and in the mission in spite of obstacles that might arise. Like Jacob, there will be wrestling along the way and perseverance is essential to carry the cross of discipleship. The Good News is that God desires to guard each one as the apple of his eye.

INVITATION

PRAY:

  • Our Father/ An Phaidir
  • Hail Mary/ Sé do Bheatha a Mhuire

READ:

  • Read Psalm 16:1-3. 6-8.15 from your Bible. Notice all the ways the psalmist is asking God to help him
  • Read the story of Jacob as told in Genesis 32: 23-33

FIND OUT:

  • Look at an image of the human body and find out where the sciatic nerve is located
  • In the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Mt 9: 32-38) we hear that Jesus cured all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. Can you tell one of these stories where Jesus healed a person who was sick?
  • In what way can you continue the mission of Jesus in your life today?
  • Find out about St Maria Goretti and why she became a saint
  • Find out about St Moninne, an early Irish woman saint

 

Sr Anne Neylon

MONDAY 5TH JULY, FOURTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, ST ANTHONY ZACCARIA, PRIEST (1502-1539)

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Good human relationships build on the foundation of trust. A quote printed recently on trust read, ‘To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.’ Trust once broken is difficult to re-establish. With God, all things are possible because God loves unconditionally. The ability to trust does not happen automatically in a relationship. Trust demands loyalty, compassion, dialogue and integrity.

The readings proclaimed at Mass today tell of a variety of individuals’ trust in God and God’s presence. In the Book of Genesis (Gen 28: 10-22) the assembly hears how Jacob was on a journey from Beersheba to Haran. Night came and Jacob lay down where he took a stone for a pillow. He had a dream about a ladder standing on the ground and reaching to heaven. The angels of God were going up and down the ladder. God spoke to Jacob in the dream. God revealed Godself to Jacob, made a promise to him and assured him of his presence and protection. When Jacob woke, he recognised and acknowledged God’s presence as he said, ‘Truly the Lord is in this place and I never knew it.’ Jacob wished to honour God in the ‘awe inspiring place’ and took the stone he used as a pillow and set it up as a monument to God.   Then Jacob made a vow to God.

Jacob was ‘open to God’s humble and hidden presence’ as Pope Francis asked God’s people to be in his address at the Angelus on Sunday 4th July 2021, in the Vatican. That remark of Jacob deserves reflection, ‘Truly the Lord is in this place and I never knew it.’ Do I recognise that God’s omnipresence in my life?

The psalmist proclaims his trust in God in Psalm 90: 1-4, 14-15). The assembly at Mass respond with one voice and heart to the verses of the psalm saying, ‘My God, in you I trust.’

The Gospel also proclaims Jairus’ trust in Jesus as he asks Jesus to heal his daughter. God’s people also hear about the woman who had a haemorrhage and her faith in Jesus led Jesus to restore her to health.

These Scripture passages give those who hear God’s word courage to trust and have faith in God. These are stories of love and trust and they help those who read the word to reflect on his/her relationships with family, friends and God. It is good to ponder on what God might be saying in the events and encounters of one’s life. God assures us in prayer of his trust and love.

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St Anthony Zaccaria (1502 -1539). He was born in Cremona in Lombardy. He practised medicine for some time and as a doctor spoke to his patients about spiritual matters. Later he was ordained a priest. He taught children catechism and led the youth in their formation in faith.  He worked for the reform of the clergy and the evangelisation of all. He formed the Clerks Regular of St Paul, later known as the Barnabites. Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged the efforts St Anthony Zaccaria made to evangelise the people of his time because of his true zeal and lively faith.

Stories of faith and trust abound in the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé programme and these are accessible on the Grow in Love website

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

We can pray to God to keep our faith strong and steadfast so to renew our efforts to grow in God’s love.

INVITATION

PRAY:

  • Act of Faith/ Gníomh Creidimh
  • Apostle’s Creed/ Cré na nAspal

SCRIPTURE:

  • In your Bible read the story of ‘Jacob’s Dream’ (Genesis 28:10-22)
  • In Grow in Love P6/ Fourth class, listen to the words of Ps 37, ‘Trust in the Lord and do good’ as you watch the video lyric
  • Read the accounts of the healing of Jairus’ daughter and the woman with the haemorrhage in St Matthew’s Gospel (Mt 9:18-26).

ACTION:

  • Write down the names of people whom you trust. Then write down the names of people whom you know trust you. Thank God for the gift of trust
  • You might like to draw an image of Jacob’s dream
  • Find out what Pope Benedict XVI said about St Anthony Zaccaria
  • To evangelise means to share the Good News. What Good News will you share today about God’s love and mercy?

Sr Anne Neylon

4 MAY 2021, FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

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To stand up for truth or in the cause of defence of human rights has cost many people their lives.  Numerous people die and many are in prison for speaking and witnessing to the truth in love and justice. We have seen examples of this in the lives of St Oscar Romero, Jean Donovan and countless others. This is not a recent phenomenon.  People from time began, have stood up for what is right. The witness of the lives of the prophets in the Old Testament indicates this stance.

Today the reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 14:19-28) proclaims how there was continued aggression shown by certain Jews to the disciples. They stoned Paul in Antioch and Iconium for proclaiming the Good News. Those who stoned Paul thought they killed him, but he stood up and went back to the town to stay the night.  Next day, he and Barnabas set out for Derbe, where they preached the Good News again. On hearing and accepting the Good News, more people became disciples. Then Paul returned to Antioch and encouraged the disciples, giving them ‘a fresh heart.’ Paul truthfully told them the challenge of discipleship and said, ‘We all have to experience many hardships before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In the churches of those days, when a leader such as Paul and his colleagues gathered the flock, ‘they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.’ Then Paul moved on to Antioch. There Barnabas and he stopped off and continued their missionary work. They continued on to Pamphylia, Pergia and Attalia. Arriving at Attalia, they assembled the Church and gave an account of ‘all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans.’

The road of discipleship is challenging and demands great sacrifices for the Lord. This is a constant theme addressed in the Acts of the Apostles. Jesus witnessed this in his own life to the point of his sacrifice of love on the cross.

The psalm response encourages the assembled people at Mass today to acknowledge their role as disciples. Together they respond, ‘Your friends, O Lord, shall make known the glorious splendour of your reign.’  Will we do that personally and collectively? Those who believe and love the Word of God with all the difficulties and challenges, God fills with joy and grace as they delight in sharing the Good News.

The Gospel (Jn 14:27-31) proclaims Jesus speaking to his disciples. He offers them his personal gift of peace. It is not the peace the world gives but the peace for doing God’s will and doing what one knows is right and just in the eyes of God. Jesus is preparing the disciples for his coming Ascension. He tells them he is going to his Father. He tells them not to be afraid and they ought to delight in his going. However, this is difficult for them to understand. Jesus confirms his love for the Father and that he is doing exactly what his Father wants him to do. Jesus’ desire for his disciples is that they live in peace.

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St Conleth. We believe Conleth came from the Wicklow area and that he lived as a hermit. Brigid persuaded him to minister to her community in Kildare. The church venerated Conleth as a great saint and Cogitosus, in his Life of Brigid calls him bishop and abbot of the monks of Kildare. His burial place is beside Brigid in the great church there.

Forming conscience and helping children to make good choices is a recurring theme in the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé religious education programme. The Holy Spirit helps people to make God’s choice. Children explore the online resources available on the website including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-book accessible on the VERITAS Grow in Love website:

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

READ

  • Read about Christian heroes and heroines such as St Oscar Romero and Jean Donavan

PRAY FROM Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé

  • Pray for mercy and peace by saying the prayer of the Mass Lamb of God/A Uain Dé
  • Pray the Act of Faith/ Gníomh Creidimh and Apostles’ Creed/Cré na nAspal
  • Pray the Gloria to say thanks to God
  • Pray the Prayer of St Francis/Paidir Naomh Proinsias Assisi

DO

  • Offer a sign of peace to some member of your family today
  • Pray for peace in your heart
  • Find out more facts about St Conleth.

 

Sr Anne Neylon

3 MAY 2021, FEAST OF SS PHILIP AND JAMES, APOSTLES

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Springtime brings new hope to peoples’ lives and hope brings joy. The world of nature unfolds with emerging shoots, birth of animals, spring flowers, increased daylight hours and more sunshine. However, grief, sadness, despair, loneliness and isolation abound in the world also, due to poverty and infringement of human rights. Never have these feelings been so pronounced worldwide, on such a large scale for a long time in history. The corona virus hit the whole world at one time and it recurs in one country or continent then another in these past months, bringing a sense of insecurity and vulnerability. Life is fragile. In such a climate, some people despair and some remain hopeful and trust for better times to come.

Today, the Church celebrates the feasts of Saints Philip and James. Philip was born at Bethsaida. He was formerly a disciple of John the Baptist and he became a follower of Christ.  St James was the son of Alphaeus and he was a cousin of our Lord. He ruled the Church at Jerusalem and lived a life of penance. He wrote an epistle (letter) and he converted many people to the faith and in the year 62 died by martyrdom.

The reading at Mass today (1 Cor 15:1-8) proclaims Paul speaking to the people of Corinth and he reminds them of the Good News. The news is good because it confirms the peoples’ hope in the resurrection. Paul tells them that he has passed on to them the teaching he received himself, ‘that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures, that he was raised to life on the third day, that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve.’  He continues saying that he appeared to five hundred of the brothers, to James and to all the apostles. Paul acknowledges last of all he appeared to him. In this teaching, Paul presents the resurrection as a fact to them.  From this, there are consequences for our own resurrection. We know and believe because there are witnesses. This is our hope in life today. No matter what the circumstances Jesus is present. We too are witnesses.

The Gospel (Jn 14:6-14) proclaims Jesus conversation with Thomas and Philip. Jesus identifies himself, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ Philip persists with Jesus and wants to see the Father. Jesus challenges him in his response and explains that he is in the Father and the Father is in him.  Jesus promises two things.  He says that if anyone believes in Jesus he/ she will do the same works (and even greater ones) that Jesus did.  He also promises that anyone who asks Jesus for anything he will do it.  Do we believe this Good News?

This Scripture fills followers of Jesus with hope. Disciples follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Disciples can live life to the full in times of joy and sorrow, as they pray and reflect on his word and his works. They pray in trust and with confidence that if he/she asks for anything in His name, Jesus will do it.

The Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé religious education programme supports the theme of hope and the resurrection with online resources including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Children’s e-book. These are available on the Grow in Love website available at:

Website: www.growinlove.ie

Email: trial@growinlove.ie

Password: growinlove

INVITATION

READ:

  • In your Bible, find the letter of James in the New Testament. Read what he says about treating the rich and the poor equally (James 2:1-4).

PRAY:

  • Pray a decade of the Rosary today with a family member in honour of Our Lady this month of May. As it is Monday, you might choose on of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
  • Pray the Act of Faith/Gníomh Creidimh, Apostles’ Creed/Cré na nAspal

Do

  • Look out your window or go for a walk and notice all the signs of Spring in the world of nature
  • May is the month of Mary. You might like to make a space in your house for a statue or an image of Mary, Mother of God. You might find some fresh spring flowers or blossoms to honour her.

 

Sr Anne Neylon