Archive for April, 2010
When we listen to the news, read the daily paper, hear the many voices in the supermarket, our hearts can easily be troubled, and all this on top of our personal or family worries. Amidst all this, can I hear the voice of Jesus,’ Do not be troubled. Trust in God and trust in me?’ I find that when I worry about things, whether they be present problems or problems I foresee, I find consolation in looking back over my life. I turn the clock back in my mind to particular events which did cause me worry and fear at the time and as though I’m drawing it from an archive shelf, I go over the situation and the eventual outcome. Putting back the archive I say, ‘How did I come through that?’ Here I am some years later, apparently none the worse for the pain and struggle. Yes, the Lord has guided me through all that and he will continue to guide me in spite of myself!
Though we are in the Easter season and perhaps remember the ‘washing of the feet’ during the liturgy of Holy Thursday, we are reminded today of Jesus’ teaching throughout the gospel of the dignity of the human person. Each of us is created in the image of God our Father. This means we have a uniqueness not shared by any other part of God’s creation. This uniqueness is our spirit which enables us to love and experience God and to be capable of making moral decisions. It is this uniqueness that makes all humans equal. In the Kingdom of God, which also includes our earthly dwelling, there is no one person, even those who hold high offices in the Church or in the State, who is above another in the eyes of God. All are loved equally.
Those of us old enough to remember the Second World War will have experienced the discomfort and fear brought into our lives by the ‘blackout,’ when street lighting was dimmed or removed, and we dare not allow even a glimmer of light to be seen in our homes. Even a torch had to be shielded. Eventually peace came so the lights went on and brought much happiness back into the lives of the people. The darkness had caused much anguish and fear. Today, we feel we have too much light in our streets and buildings, yet because of the dangers of burglary and attacks on the person we feel that the light will help to keep us safe.
So it is that we can understand the words Jesus speaks to us in today’s gospel. He is the light that has come into our lives. He lets us see where our life is leading; what it is that darkens our thoughts, words and actions. As long as he is with us we can trust him to sweep away all that causes us fear. He will bring peace and love into our lives
This quotation from psalm 87 immediately brings to mind the gospel passage: ‘Make your home in me as I make mine in you.’ (Jn 15:4) Thoughts of home remind me of the comfort, love and warmth I experienced as a child. There was rootedness, security and safety. I belonged.; there was no need to worry about anything, I trusted those around me as they took care of everything. So how do these thoughts of home help me to understand what Jesus wants from me now. In my family life, we never had to reassure the family that we wanted to stay there; it was understood. Our relationships with each other were such that when we had to leave home, or lost a member of the family through death, we cherished photographs which were a constant reminder of our home, of the times we had together. In our relationship with God, our depth of prayer stems from the love, security and rootedness of our faith in him. Often there is no need for words; it is enough to feel the presence of God and experience the love, security and wholeness which his presence brings.
This quotation gives a personal touch to our relationship with God our Father and Creator. God has created us uniquely, endowed us with specific gifts and talents, and knows each one by name. There is this difference between a flock of sheep and the human race: we have been called personally by God and endowed with all we need to fulfil his plan for each one. Each person is special to God. We have our own path to follow, a way which is unique to each person, but throughout life we need to keep close to him and to hear his voice, for each day, he calls us by name. Amen.
Location: St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth,Co.Kildare
20th Anniversary Mass in the College Chapel. Light buffet reception in Pugin Hall, St. Patrick’s College from 2.00-4.30pm.
CONTACT: Mairead Behan 01-6288459.
Today we celebrate ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’ when the Church asks the faithful to pray for vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate and religious life. The word ‘vocation’ derives from the Latin word ‘to call.’ Those called to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life are the ‘shepherds’ who devote their lives to the spiritual care of people, a vocation which encompasses all that the word ‘care’ denotes.
Jesus likened himself to a shepherd, so as well as remembering those whose calling is to minister the sacraments or guide others in the service of the Lord, we pray too for parents and teachers who guide young people to follow the teaching of Christ, the ‘Good Shepherd.’.
Reading the situation before him Jesus realised the people were complaining about the words of Jesus among themselves. They could not accept that He is the bread of Life and they were walking away. They had had enough. It was then that Jesus turned to his disciples to sound them out he asked ’ Will you also go away’ A very straightforward question but what a lonely time for Jesus waiting for their answer. Here he was having come down from heaven and giving his life for the redemption of mankind. He became one with us, like us in all things except sin and here he is waiting for an answer. Peter saved the day with his answer ’ To whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.’
Jesus continues his discourse on the Bread of Life announcing eternal life to anyone who eats this bread. Here he uses the verb ‘eat’ and in the same breath mentions eternal life. It is the second time in this discourse that he promises life forever. The crowd listened and the disciples listened and with what understanding I wonder. Perhaps like the crowds we cannot take in his meaning, and begin to wonder what it is all about. We shy away from the real meaning. Jesus is not like us. He always means what he says. We gorge ourselves on what is not the bread of life. We are searching for the bread of life but get carried away by the trivialities of the world.