“Faith should leave you challenging yourself” – Archbishop Martin

Primate of Ireland speaks about resilience at fundraiser in aid of Aware’s services to the suicidal and depressed at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.

Read more

“Is faith in God so problematic?” CofI Primate asks educational establishment

In an address to mark the quincentenary of the Reformation, Archbishop Michael Jackson said the challenge to universities is whether it is still really necessary to be ‘anti-religious’.

Read more

Is is blasphemous to call the Eucharist ‘haunted bread’?

The presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist has long been a part of Catholic Church teaching, but the doctrine of transubstantiation can provoke eccumenical sensitivities.

Demands on SVP grow as one in twelve Irish people now in ‘consistent poverty’

More needs to be done, otherwise too many of our children will spend their childhoods going without basics like secure housing, healthy food and suitable clothing.

Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly believes Permanent Diaconate will benefit Church

“It is going to become more and more a normal feature of life ... because many of those ordained will be coming in contact with us at funerals and weddings, baptisms, etc.”

Cistercian College Roscrea to close its doors to students

Contribution of the Cistercian College in the areas of Catholic education, sport, politics and public service, business as well as in other key facets of Irish life, has been immense.

Thought for today Saint of the day Today's Readings Sunday's Readings
Thought for today

A Prayer


Holy Spirit of God, take me as your disciple.

Guide me, illuminate me, sanctify me.

Bind my hands that they may do no evil;

Cover my eyes that they may see it no more;

Sanctify my heart that evil may not dwell within me.

Be my God; be my guide.

Wherever you lead me, I will go;

Whatever you forbid me, I will renounce;

Whatever you command me, in your strength, I will do.

Lead me then unto the fullness of your truth.      (Henry Edward Manning).

Source: “Morning Prayer, Evening Praise.” Edited by Douglas Fisher and Brett Hoover.
Saint of the day

Feb 21 - St Peter Damian (11th cent.)

peter damianSt Peter Damian (1007-72) was a hermit and scholar. He denounced clerical sex abuse. He was an influential reforming bishop and cardinal. Pope Leo XII declared him a doctor of the Church in 1828. Patrick Duffy tells his story.

Early life
Peter was born at Ravenna into a large but poor family. He lost both his parents in childhood and while supposedly in the care of his brother was being treated as a slave. Another brother Damian was archpriest at Ravenna. He rescued Peter, gave him a good education in grammar, rhetoric and law at Faenza and Parma and Peter became a professor at Ravenna. In gratitude Peter took Damian as his second name.

peter damian1An ascetic
Peter was already leading an ascetic life, fasting, wearing a hair shirt and using the discipline when he joined the Camaldolese Benedictine followers of St Romuald at Fonte Avellana. On the abbot's death in 1043, Peter became the head of his community and founded five other hermitages. He was kind to his monks and compassionate towards the genuinely repentant, but he also urged reform both of wandering monks and the clergy.

No-nonsense reformer on behalf of the Popes
Because of his disciplined, blunt, and no-nonsense character, the popes of this period kept choosing him to carry out diplomatic missions: Pope St Leo IX (1049-54) chose him to preach against simony, clerical concubinage and sodomy. Pope Stephen IX (1057-58) made him cardinal-bishop of Ostia, near Rome, and apostolic administrator of the diocese of Gubbio. Nicholas II (1059-61) sent him to Milan to stamp out the buying and selling of clerical benefices there and in 1069 Alexander II (1061-73) sent him to Mainz in Germany to dissuade the young King Henry IV from divorcing his wife Bertha.

His writings
peter damian 2Around 1050, during the pontificate of Pope Leo IX, Peter published a treatise on the vices of the clergy entitled The Book of Gomorrah. He denounced as sinful all homosexual practices.  See Not unlike writings on clerical abuse today, it got a mixed response. Another work, written around 1053, entitled Liber Gratissimus, upholding the validity of the orders of simoniacal clerics, though it also got a mixed reception at the time, had a powerful influence in resolving the question. He also was a notable poet; one of his poems praises St Gregory the Great as Anglorum iam apostolus.

Last mission and death
Peter's final mission was to Ravenna where he was again successful. On his way back to Rome, he died of fever at Faenza. Never officially canonised, he was made a doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XII in 1828.
Today's Readings

First Reading                 Ecclesiasticus 2:1-11
Prepare yourself for an ordeal.

My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for an ordeal.
Be sincere of heart, be steadfast,
and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.
Cling to him and do not leave him,
so that you may be honoured at the end of your days.
Whatever happens to you, accept it,
and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient,
since gold is tested in the fire,
and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation.
Trust him and he will uphold you,
follow a straight path and hope in him.
You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy;
do not turn aside in case you fall
You who fear the Lord, trust him,
and you will not be baulked of your reward
You who fear the Lord hope for good things,
for everlasting happiness and mercy.
Look at the generations of old and see:
who ever trusted in the Lord put to shame?
Or who ever feared him steadfastly and was left forsaken?
Or who ever called out to him, and was ignored?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful
he forgives sins, and saves in days of distress.

The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm  Ps 36
Response                        Commit your life to the Lord, trust him and he will act.

1.  If you trust in the Lord and do good,
     then you will live in the land and be secure.
     If you find your delight in the Lord,
     he will grant your heart's desire.                  Response

2. He protects the lives of the upright,
    their heritage will last for ever.
    They shall not be put to shame in evil days,
     in time of famine their food shall not fail.  Response

3 Then turn away from evil and do good
    and you shall have a home for ever;
    for the Lord loves justice
    and will never forsake his friends.                Response

4. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord,
    their stronghold in time of distress.
    The Lord helps them and delivers them
    and saves them: for their refuge is in him.  Response

Gospel  Acclamation Jn 14: 23
Alleluia, alleluia!
If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him.

or                                         Jn 15: 15
Alleluia, alleluia!
The only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.

 Gospel                            Gal 6: 14
The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men. If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all.

Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, 'The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again'. But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.

They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?' They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, 'If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all'. He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, 'Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me'

Gospel Reflection (Tues, 21st Feb 2017, Week 7 in Ord. Time)
In the gospels Jesus very often identifies with those who had little or no social status at that time. In this morning’s gospel reading he identifies himself with a child. In the culture of that time, children had no social standing, no power or influence. They were valued for who they could become rather than for who they were. They were considered among the least. Yet, Jesus says to his disciples, ‘whoever welcomes one of these children in my name, welcomes me’. He was trying to teach his disciples a lesson. They just had an argument as to which of them was the greatest, who among them was the most important as the world assesses importance. In identifying himself with a child, Jesus was declaring that social standing, importance, status, was not a value for him and was not one of the values of the kingdom of God that Jesus came to proclaim. What is of value in God’s kingdom is becoming servant of all, including servant of those whom the world does not consider of any standing or status, such as children. Like the disciples we can easily buy into a set of values that are not those of the kingdom of God. It is only by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and becoming more attentive to his word that we allow his values to shape how we think and speak and act.


The scripture readings are taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with permission of the publishers.

The Gospel reflection comes from Martin Hogan’s book: WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS: To know the love of Christ 2016/2017 published by  The Messenger c/f

First Reading                 Shíorach 2:1-11
Ullmhaigh thú féin chun cathú a sheasamh.

A mhic, má thugann tú faoi sheirbhís a dhéanamh don Tiarna,
ullmhaigh thú féin chun cathú a sheasamh.
Bíodh croí ionraic buanseasmhach ionat,
agus ná bí buartha in am na hanachana.
Cloígh leis [an Tiarna] agus ná himigh uaidh,
agus tabharfar onóir duit ag deireadh do shaoil.
Cibé cor a thabharfar ort, ná diúltaigh dó;
agus bí foighneach fadaraíonach má thugtar isliú céime duit.
Óir tástáiltear ór sa tine;
agus tástáiltear daoine tofa i bhfoirnéis an anró.
Bíodh muinín agat as an Tiarna agus fóirfidh sé ort;
déan díreach do chuid bealaí agus cuir do dhóchas ann.
Sibhse a bhfuil eagla an Tiarna oraibh, bígí ag tnúth lena thrócaire;
ná hiompaígí i leataobh ar eagla go dtitfeadh sibh ar lár.
Sibhse a bhfuil eagla an Tiarna oraibh, bíodh muinín agaibh as;
agus ní cheilfear bhur luach saothair oraibh.
Sibhse a bhfuil eagla an Tiarna oraibh, bígí ag súil leis an maith,
agus le haoibhneas síoraí agus trócaire.
Breathnaígí na glúine atá imithe romhaibh, agus osclaígí bhur súile,
cé a chuir a mhuinín sa Tiarna riamh agus gur náiríodh é?
Nó cé a raibh eagla air roimhe go buan agus gur tréigeadh é?
nó cé a ghlaoigh air riamh agus gur tugadh cluas bhodhar dó?
Óir tá an Tiarna truachroíoch agus trócaireach;
maitheann sé ár bpeacaí agus sábhálann sé sinn in aimsir na trioblóide.
Salm le Freagra            Sm 92 
Freagra                             Cuir do dhóchas sa Tiarna agus déan an mhaith, agus mairfidh tú sa tír go sábháilte.
1. Má thugann tú taitneamh don Tiarna
tabharfaidh seisean duit mian do chroí.
Taobhaigh do shlí leis an Tiarna;
cuir do dhóchas ann agus déanfaidh sé beart.  Freagra

2. Ar an Tiarna atá cúram na neamhurchóideach,
agus mairfidh a n-oidhreacht go brách.
Ní thabharfar a náire in am na tubaiste,
agus líonfar iad in am an ghorta.                          Freagra

3. Seachain an t-olc, déan an mhaith
agus mairfidh tú go buan mar a bhfuil tú.
Óir is geal leis an Tiarna an fhíréantacht
agus ní thréigfidh sé a dhílseoirí go deo.             Freagra

4. Ón Tiarna a thagann slánú na bhfíréan,
is é a ndídean é in am na trioblóide.
Tiocfaidh an Tiarna i gcabhair orthu lena bhfuascailt;
sábhálfaidh sé iad ó na hurchóidigh
de bhrí gurb ann atá a ndóchas.                          Freagra
An Soiscéal                     Marcas 9:30-37
Tabharfar Mac an Duine ar lámh do dhaoine.  Más mian le haon duine a bheith ar tosach, ní foláir dó bheith ar deireadh cách

San am sin ag imeacht as an áit sin dóibh, ghabh d’ Íosa agus dá dheisceabail tríd an nGailíl agus níorbh áil leis go mbeadh fios ag aon duine, mar bhí sé ag teagasc a dheisceabal, a rá leo: “Tabharfar Mac an Duine ar lámh do dhaoine agus cuirfidh siad chun báis é, agus tar éis a mharaithe, éireoidh sé tar éis trí lá.”Ach níor thuig siad an focal, agus bhí eagla orthu ceist a chur air.

Tháinig siad go dtí Cafarnáum, agus sa teach do d’fhiafraigh sé díobh: “Cad a bhí á chur trí chéile agaibh sa tslí?” Ach ní raibh focal astu, óir bhí siad ag díospóireacht le chéile, ar an tslí, féachaint cé acu ba mhó. Shuigh sé agus ghlaoigh chuige an dáréag agus dúirt leo: “Más mian le haon duine a bheith ar tosach, ní foláir dó bheith ar deireadh cách agus ina sheirbhíseach ag cách.” Agus ag breith ar leanbh dó, chuir sé é ina sheasamh i lár baill eatarthu, agus, ag tabhairt barróige dó, dúirt sé leo: “Cibé duine a ghlacfaidh a leithéid seo de leanbh ar son m’ainm, glacann sé mise, agus cibé a ghlacfaidh mise, ní mise, ach an té a chuir uaidh mé, a ghlacann sé.”

© An Sagart
Sunday's Readings
First Reading                          Isaiah 49:14-15
I will never forget you.

JerusalemZion was saying, The Lord has abandoned me,
the Lord has forgotten me'.
Does a woman forget her baby at the breast,
or fail to cherish the son of her womb?
Yet even if these forget,
I will never forget you.

The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm         Ps 61
Response                                In God alone is my soul at rest.

1. In God alone is my soul at rest;
    my help comes from him.
    He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
    my fortress: I stand firm.                 Response

2. In God alone be at rest, my soul;
    for my hope comes from him.
    He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
    my fortress: I stand firm.                 Response

3. In God is my safety and glory,
    the rock of my strength.
   Take refuge in God all you people. 
   Trust him at all times.
   Pour out your hearts before him.  Response

Second Reading                      1Cor 4:1-5
The Lord will reveal the secret intentions of men's hearts.

eople must think of us as Christ's servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God. What is expected of stewards is that each one should be found worthy of his trust. Not that it makes the slightest difference to me whether you, or indeed any human tribunal, find me worthy or not. I will not even pass judgement on myself. True, my conscience does not reproach me at all, but that does not prove that I am acquitted: the Lord alone is my judge. There must be no passing of premature judgement. Leave that until the Lord comes; he will light up all that is hidden in the dark and reveal the secret intentions of men's hearts. Then will be the time for each one to have whatever praise he deserves, from God.

The Word of the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation          Jn 17: 17
Alleluia, alleluia!
Your word is truth, O Lord,
consecrate us in the truth.

or                                                 1 Jn 2:5
Alleluia, alleluia!
The Word of God is something alive and active;
it can judge secret emotions and thoughts.

Gospel                                      Matthew 6:24-34
Do not worry about tomorrow.

esus said to his disciples: 'No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

Emmanuel'That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are we not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith? So do not worry; do not say, "What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?" It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'

The Gospel of the Lord.

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used by permission of the publishers.
An Chéad Léacht                  Íseáia 49:14-15
Ní dhéanfaidh mise dearmad ortsa go deo!

Mar bhí Síón á rá: “Tá mé tréigthe ag an Tiarna, Jerusalem
tá mé ligthe i ndearmad ag mo Dhia.”
An ndéanann bean dearmad ar leanbh a cíche,
an mbíonn deireadh lena grá do mhac a broinne?
Agus dearmad dá ndéanfadh féin,
ní dhéanfaidh mise dearmad ortsa go deo!

Salm le Freagra                   Sm49
Freagra:                                   Bíodh do shuaimhneas i nDia amháin, a anam liom.

1. In Dia amháin a fhaigheann m'anam suaimhneas;
    is uaidh a thagann mo shlánú.
    Is é sin amháin mo charraig is mo shlánu
    is mo dhaingean: ní bhogfar me.                    Freagra

2. Bíodh de shuaimhneas i nDia amháin, a anam liom,
    óir is uaidh a thagann me dhóchas.
    Eisean amháin mé charraig is mé shlánú,
    eisean mé dhaingean: ní bhogfar mé.           Freagra

3. Ag Dia atá mo shlánú is mo ghlóir;
    is é carraig mo nirt é is mo dhídean.
    Cuirigí bhur ndóchas ann de shíor, a phobal;
    doirtigí bhur gcroí amach ina fhianaise.    Freagra

An Dara Léacht         1 Coirintigh 4:1-5
Tabharfaidh an Tiarna agus nochtfaidh sé rúin na gcroíthe.

A bhráithre, tuigeadh daoine gurb é atá ionainne, seirbhísigh do Chríost agus maoir ar rúndiamhara Dé. Éilítear ansin ar na maoir duine a bheith dílis. Is róchuma liomsa, más ea, sibhse nó cúirt daoine ar bith a thabhairt breithe orm. Go deimhin ní thugaim féin breith orm féin mar siúd is go bhfuil coinsias glan agam ní fhágann sin neamhchiontach mé. Is é an Tiarna féin a thugann breith ormsa. Ná bígíse, dá bhrí sin, ag tabhairt breithe roimh ré, nó go dtiocfaidh an Tiarna agus tabharfaidh seisean chun solais na nithe atá folaithe sa dorchadas agus nochtfaidh sé rúin na gcroíthe, agus ansin gheobhaidh cách a mholadh ó Dhia.

Alleluia Véarsa                   Eo 17: 17
Alleluia, alleluia!
Is fírinne do bhriathar. Déan sinn a naomhú san fhírinne.

An Soiscéal                           Matha 6: 24-34
Ná bígí imníoch faoin lá amárach.

San am sin dúirt Íosa lena dheisceabail: “Ní féidir do dhuine ar bith dhá mháistir a riaradh; óir beidh fuath aige do dhuine acu agus grá aige don duine eile, nó beidh sé ag déanamh dúthrachta do dhuine acu agus ag déanamh neamhshuime den duine eile. Ní féidir daoibh Dia a riaradh agus an t-airgead.

Jesus choice2Sin é an fáth a ndeirim libh: ná bígí imníoch faoi bhur mbeatha i dtaobh bia nó dí, na faoi bhur gcorp i dtaobh éadaigh. Nach mó le rá an bheatha ná an bia agus an corp ná an t-éadach? “Féachaigí éanlaith an aeir: ní dhéanann siad síolchur ná fómhar ná cnuasach sna sciobóil, agus tugann bhur nAthair neamhaí bia dóibh. Nach mó is fiú sibhse ná iad sin? Cé agaibh a d’fhéadfadh, le bheith ag déanamh imní, aon bhanlámh amháin a chur le fad a shaoil? Agus cé an fáth a bhfuil sibh imníoch i dtaobh an éadaigh? Tugaigí faoi deara lilí an bháin, mar a fhásann siad; ní dhéanann siad saothar ná sníomh. Ach deirim libh nach raibh ar Sholamh féin, dá mhéad a ghlóir, cóir éadaigh mar atá ar cheann díobh seo. Lus an bháin a bhíonn ann inniu agus atá le caitheamh sa sorn amárach, má éadaíonn Dia mar sin é, nach móide go mór dó sibhse a éadú, a lucht an bheagán creidimh? Dá bhrí sin, ná bígí go himníoch ag fiafraí: ‘Cá bhfaighimid bia, nó deoch, nó éadach?’ Nithe iad siúd uile a mbíonn na págánaigh ar a dtóir; rud eile, tá a fhios ag bhur nAthair neamhaí go bhfuil gá agaibh leis na nithe sin uile. Ach déanaigí ríocht Dé agus a fhíréantacht a lorg ar dtús, agus tabharfar na nithe sin uile daoibh chomh maith. Mar sin, ná bígí imníoch faoin lá amárach; beidh an lá amarach imníoch faoi féin. Is leor do gach lá a chuid féin den trioblóid.

© An Sagart