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

Everyday Prayers.


Come to Us.


In the night of doubt,

come to us.

In pain and sickness,

come to us.

In troubled sleep and restlessness,

come to us.

In loneliness and grief,

come to us.

In despair and frustration,

come to us.

In the vale of death,

come to us.

In the seasons of our lives,

come to us.


God’s Care

God, our Sustainer and Preserver,

we commit our broken world to you –

our own burdens we lay at your feet,

the trials of daily life.

We cast all our worries on you,

knowing that you care for us –

and for each sparrow that falls to the ground.


Source: Celtic Prayers & Reflections by Jenny Child.
Saint of the day

Jul 1 - St Oliver Plunkett (1625-81) martyr

oliver pSaint Oliver Plunkett from Loughcrew, Oldcastle, Co Meath, Ireland, was the last person to be martyred for the Catholic faith in England in 1681. Patrick Duffy traces his life and his spiritual journey to martyrdom.

His uncle Patrick
Oliver was born into an aristocratic Norman family at Loughcrew, Oldcastle, Co Meath. The first great formative influence on him was his uncle Patrick, a Cistercian monk, who was Abbot of St Mary's in Dublin and then became bishop of Ardagh and later still of Meath. Oliver was sent to his uncle for his education and he always spoke of him with great respect and affection.

Career in Rome
In 1646, along with John Brennan from Kilkenny (a life-long friend and later archbishop of Cashel), Oliver accompanied Father Peter Scarampi - who had been sent by the Pope as an envoy to the Confederation of Kilkenny - on his journey back to Rome. Due to delays and robbery, this proved a difficult journey that took almost a year. When he eventually arrived in Rome Oliver grew to love the city. By the time he was ordained priest in 1654, the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland was well under way. As it was difficult for him to return home, he requested and was granted permission to remain in Rome. He becaming professor of theology at Propaganda Fide College (1657) and was also the agent representating the Irish bishops in Rome. When in 1669 he was appointed archbishop of Armagh, his uncle Patrick Plunkett was the only active Catholic bishop remaining in Ireland.

Strenuous pastoral efforts
Oliver's return was difficult. The people had faith, but lacked instruction and organisation. The priests of Armagh diocese resented the imposition on them of an "outsider" from Meath. In the absence of bishops, the priests had lost their discipline, and there were rivalries among religious and between them and the secular clergy. There were divisions among Catholics - between native Irish and Anglo-Irish. And his flamboyant and touchy colleague archbishop of Dublin, Peter Talbot, contested Oliver’s precedence and the primacy of the see of Armagh over Dublin.

In the first three years Oliver worked diligently to restore discipline. He established a school staffed by Jesuits in Drogheda for the education of young men and clergy. He pleaded for places in Rome for others, and travelled widely - often in disguise - confirming and instructing the people and promoting peace.

Choice to stay with his flock
But in 1673 the revelation that the Duke of York, the King's brother and heir to the throne, had been a Catholic for years caused a storm in the English parliament and forced the tightening of the penal laws against Catholics both in England and Ireland. This led to the closing down of the school at Drogheda. By law Oliver should have registered with the authorities and waited for a ship to deport him, but he took a decision not to desert his flock and went into hiding. He weathered this crisis and continued his pastoral work as best he could, continually keeping in touch with Rome through letters to the Internuncio in Brussels.

The so-called “Popish Plot”
But in England in 1678 an ex-Jesuit student Titus Oates fabricated his infamous "plot". According to this there was an arrangement that the King (Charles II) was to be murdered and his Catholic brother James put on the throne; in Ireland a Catholic army supported by the Pope and France was alleged to be ready to rise in rebellion. Oliver again had to go into hiding. In December 1679 he was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle - in the next cell to Archbishop Peter Talbot of Dublin who had also been implicated in the plot. Talbot was quite ill and distressed and Plunkett forced his way in to him to console him and give him absolution before he died.

Gradual realisation
Only gradually did Oliver realise that he was being framed as the prime mover of a supposed Irish branch of the Popish plot and charged falsely with conspiring with foreign kingdoms to import troops through Irish ports. Brought to Dundalk for trial, the prosecution witnesses failed to attend: no jury in Ireland could have convicted him on such trumped-up charges. He was then taken to London for trial, but was not allowed time to bring his own witnesses and documents. Here, with four renegade priests testifying against him, he was convicted.

His last week
In the process of facing these false allegations and then death by being hanged, drawn and quartered, Oliver prayed and fasted. His servant and friend James McKenna and a fellow prisoner Fr Maurus Corker were the companions of his last days and he celebrated the Eucharist daily for the last week of his life. When his moment came, he was calm and at peace.

Oliver P 2At peace
In his speech from the gallows at Tyburn, he detailed the charges brought against him and declared himself innocent of them all. He forgave those who brought him from Ireland to London for trial, his judges who did not allow him time to bring his records and witnesses from Ireland, and all who concurred directly and indirectly in taking away his life. Finally, he asked forgiveness of all whom he ever offended. He was the last person to be martyred for the Catholic faith in England in 1681.

Beatification and Canonisation
Oliver Plunkett was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, the first new Irish saint for almost almost seven hundred years. 

St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Armagh

Today's Readings
FIRST READING:           Amos 8:4-6. 9-12
I will bring famine on the country, a famine not of bread,  but of hearing the word of the Lord.

Listen to this, you who trample on the needy
and try to suppress the poor people of the country,
you who say, 'When will New Moon be over
so that we can sell our corn,
and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?
Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,
by swindling and tampering with the scales,
we can buy up the poor for money,
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat.'

''That day-it is the Lord who speaks-
I will make the sun go down at noon,
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
I am going to turn your feasts into funerals,
all your singing into lamentation;
I will have your loins all in sackcloth,
your heads all shaved.
I will make it a mourning like the mourning for an only son,
as long as it lasts it will be like a day of bitterness.
See what days are coming-it is the Lord who speaks-
days when I will bring famine on the country,
a famine not of bread, a drought not of water,
but of hearing the word of the Lord.
They will stagger from sea to sea,
wander from north to east,
seeking the word of the Lord
and failing to find it.'

Responsorial Psalm:        Ps 118
Response:                         Man does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

1. They are happy those who do his will,
seeking him with all their hearts. '
I have sought you with all my heart:
let me not stray from your commands.     Response

2. My soul is ever consumed
in longing for your decrees.
I have chosen the way of truth
with your decrees before me.                  Response

3. See, I long for your precepts:
then in your justice, give me life.
I open my mouth and I sigh
as I yearn for your commands.               Response

Gospel  Acclamation         Ps 24: 4. 5

Alleluia, alleluia!
Teach me your paths, my God,
make me walk in your truth.

or                                       Mt 11: 28

Alleluia, alleluia!
Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.

GOSPEL:                           Matthew 9: 9-13
It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. What I want is mercy, not sacrifice.

s Jesus was walking he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, 'Follow me.' And he got up and followed him.

While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, 'Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?'

When he heard this he replied, 'It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.'

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
AN CHÉAD LÉACHT:  Amós 8:4-6. 9-12
Cuirfidh mé gorta sa tír, nach gorta bia ná dí é, ach díth dúile in éisteacht bhriathra an Tiarna.

Éistigí leis seo,
sibhse a shatlaíonn ar na hainniseoirí
chun bochtáin na tíre a dhíothú.
Sibhse a deir: Cathain a chuirfear deireadh leis an ré nua,
ionas go ndíolfaimid arbhar,
agus leis an tsabóid,
ionas go gcuirfimid ár gcruithneacht ar an margadh,
agus go ndéanfaimid an t-éafá beag agus an seicil mór
trí chaimiléireacht a dhéanamh ar na scálaí,
go dtig linn an bochtán a cheannach le hairgead
agus an t-ainniseoir le péire cuarán,
agus go dtig linn fiú barraíl na cruithneachta a dhíol?

An lá sin, a deir an Tiarna mo Dhia,
tabharfaidh mé ar an ngrian dul faoi um nóin,
agus clúdóidh mé an tír le dorchadas i lár an lae ghil.
Déanfaidh mé údar bróin de bhur n-oilithreachtaí
agus is caointe a bheidh in bhur gcainticí uile;
cuirfidh mé sacéadach um an uile leasrach,
agus bearrfaidh mé bhur gcinn go léir.
Beidh sibh ag caoineadh amhail is dá mba aonmhac a bhí á chaoineadh;
agus is é an chríoch a bheidh air, lá searbh.
Féach, tá na laethanta chugaibh,
a deir an Tiarna Dia,
nuair a chuirfidh mé gorta sa tír,
nach gorta bia ná dí é,
ach díth dúile in éisteacht bhriathra an Tiarna.
Tuisleofar ó fharraige go farraige;
seachránfar ón tuaisceart soir, ar lorg bhriathar an Tiarna agus gan teacht air.

Salm le Freagra                    Sm 118
Freagra:                                  Ní ar arán amháin a,mhairfidh an duine,
  ach ar an uile fhocal a thagann as béal Dé.
1. Is aoibhinn dá gcoimeádann a fhorálacha,
á lorg ó lanchroí.
Iarraim thú le mo chroí go hiomlán;
nár imí mé ó d’aitheanta.                             Freagra

2. Bíonn m’anam ag meirtniú de shíor,
is é ag tnúth le d’fhoraitheanta.
Rinne mé rogha de shlí na fírinne;
chuir mé d’aitheanta os mo chomhair.       Freagra

3. Féach, is mian liom do phroiceapta;
tabhair dom an bheatha i d’fhíréantacht.
Bíonn mo bhéal ar leathadh ag osnaíl dom
agus mé ag tnúth le d’aitheanta.                 Freagra
AN SOISCÉAL:                Matha 9: 9-13
Ní ag na daoine slána a bhíonn gá le lia ach ag na daoine tinne. Ní hiad na fíréin ach na peacaigh a tháinig mé a ghlaoch.”

San am sin bhí Íosa ag imeacht leis ón áit sin, agus chonaic sé duine darbh ainm Matha ina shuí i dteach an chustaim agus dúirt leis: “Lean mise.” D’éirigh seisean agus lean sé é.

Ina shuí chun boird dó sa teach, tháinig mórán de na poibleacánaigh agus de na peacaigh agus shuigh siad isteach le hÍosa agus lena dheisceabail. Nuair a chonaic na Fairisínigh é sin, dúirt siad lena dheisceabail: “Cén fáth a mbíonn bhur máistir ag ithe leis na poibleacánaigh agus na peacaigh?”Chuala sé iad agus dúirt: “Ní ag na daoine slána a bhíonn gá le lia ach ag na daoine tinne. Ní miste daoibh a chiall siúd a fhoghlaim: ‘Trócaire is áil liom agus ní íobairt.’ Ní hiad na fíréin ach na peacaigh a tháinig mé a ghlaoch.”

© An Sagart
Sunday's Readings
FIRST READING:         Isaiah 66:10-14
Towards her I send flowing peace, like a river.

Rejoice, Jerusalem,
be glad for her, all you who love her!
Rejoice, rejoice for her,
all you who mourned her!

That you may be suckled, filled,
from her consoling breast,
that you may savour with delight
her glorious breasts.

For thus says the Lord:
Now towards her I send flowing
peace, like a river,
and like a stream in spate
the glory of the nations.

At her breast will her nurslings be carried
and fondled in her lap.
Like a son comforted by his mother
will I comfort you.
And by Jerusalem you will be comforted.

At the sight your heart will rejoice,
and your bones flourish like the grass.
To his servants the Lord will reveal his hand.

Responorial Psalm:  Ps 65
Response                       Cry out with joy to God all the earth.

1. Cry out with joy to God all the earth,
O sing to the glory of his name.
O render him glorious praise.
Say to God: 'How tremendous your deeds!    Response

2. 'Before you all the earth shall bow;
shall sing to you, sing to your name!'
Come and see the works of God,
tremendous his deeds among men.                 Response

3. He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the river dry-shod.
Let our joy then be in him;
he rules for ever by his might.                         Response

4. Come and hear, all who fear God.
I will tell what he did for my soul.
Blessed be God who did not reject my prayer
nor withhold his love from me.                        Response

SECOND READING:    Gal 6:14-18
The marks on my body are those of Jesus.

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. It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.

I want no more trouble from anybody after this; the marks on my body are those of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.

Gospel  Acclamation Jn 15: 15
Alleluia, alleluia!
I call you friends, says the Lord,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.

or                                        Col 3:15. 16
Alleluia, alleluia!
May the peace of Christ
reign in your hearts,
because it is for this that you were called together
as parts of one body.

GOSPEL:                        Luke 10:1-12. 17-20
Your peace will go and rest on that man.

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, "Peace to this house!" And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, "The kingdom of God is very near to you". But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, . "We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near." I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. 'Lord,' they said 'even the devils submit to us when we use your name.' He said to them, 'I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.'

Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.
AN CHÉAD LÉACHT:  Íseáia 66:10-14
Cuirfidh mé an tsíocháin uaim ag triall uirthi mar bheadh abhainn ann.

Bíodh lúcháir ort, a Iarúsailéim,
bíodh áthas oraibh, a lucht na páirte, mar gheall uirthi!
Gáirigí le gairdeas mar gheall uirthi,
sibh uile a raibh éide bhróin oraibh ina diaidh!

Ionas go dtálfar bhur sáith oraibh
ó chíocha na sólás,
ionas go mblaisfidh sibh go fonnmhar
de dhiúl a glóire.

Óir is mar seo a deir an Tiarna:
Cuirfidh mé an tsíocháin uaim
ag triall uirthi mar bheadh abhainn ann,
agus ar nós tuile ag sceitheadh thar bruacha
saibhreas na gciníocha.

Beidh a leanaí cíche á n-iompar ar an leis
agus á luascadh ar ghlúine.
Mar a bheadh máthair ag cur páiste chun suaimhnis,
mise chomh maith, tabharfaidh mé suaimhneas daoibhse.
(In Iarúsailéim a gheobhaidh sibh suaimhneas.)

Ar a fheiceáil daoibh, beidh lúcháir ar bhur gcroí,
agus beidh bhur gcnámha chomh húr le geamhar féir.
Léireoidh an Tiarna a neart dá sheirbhísigh
agus cuirfidh a naimhde aithne ar a fhearg.

Salm le freagra.         Sm 65
Freagra:                        Déanaigí gairdeas do Dhia, a thíortha uile.

1. Déanaigí gairdeas do Dhia, a thíortha uile,
canaigí clú a ainm.
Tugaigí moladh mórghlórach dó.
Abraigí le Dia: 'Nach éachtach iad d'oibreacha!'      Freagra

2. Adhrann an talamh uile thú,
canann sí duit, canann sí do d'ainm.
Tagaigí agus feachaigí oibreacha Dé,
na héachtaí a rinne sé i measc na ndaoine.               Freagra

3. Chlaochlaigh sé an mhuir ina talamh thirim;
chuathas de chois thar an abhainn.
Da bhrí sin déanaimis lúcháir.
Rialaíonn sé lena chumhacht go síoraí.                     Freagra

4.Sibhse uile ar a bhfuil eagla Dé, tagaigí, éistigí,
is inseoidh mé daoibh faoina ndearna sé dom.
Go moltar Dia nár thug an diúltú do mo ghuí,
is nár tharraing siar a bhuanghrá uaim.                   Freagra

AN DARA LÉACHT:   Galataigh 6:14-18
Tá marcanna ár dTiarna Íosa Críost ar mo chorp agam.

A bhráithre, nár lige Dia go ndéanfainnse maíomh as rud ar bith ach amháin as crois ár dTiarna Íosa Críost, an chros trína bhfuilimse céasta i dtaca leis an saol agus trína bhfuil an saol céasta i dtaca liom. Is cuma timpeallghearradh, nó ga timpeallghearradh, ach cruthú as an nua. Síocháin agus trócaire ar an uile dhuine a leanann an prionsabal seo agus ar Iosrael Dé.

Ná bíodh aon duine do mo bhuaireamh as seo amach, mar tá marcanna ár dTiarna Íosa Críost ar mo chorp agam.Go raibh grásta ar dTiarna Íosa Críost agaibh, a bhráithre. Amen.

Alleluia Véarsa            Eo 15: 15
Alleluia, alleluia!
Sibhse mo chairde, a deir an Tiarna,
óir gach a gcuala ó m’Athair,
chuir mé in iúl daoibh é.

AN SOISCÉAL:             Lúcás 10:1-12. 17-20
Fanfaidh bhur síocháin aige.

San am sin cheap an Tiarna a dó seachtód eile agus chuir sé amach roimhe féin iad ina mbeirt agus ina mbeirt go dtí gach cathair agus gach áit a raibh sé féin le teacht ann. Dúirt sé leo: “Tá an fómhar fairsing, ach níl ann ach meitheal bheag. Dá bhrí sin, guígí Máistir an fhómhair go gcuirfeadh sé meitheal uaidh isteach ina fhómhar. Imígí: féach, táim do bhur gcur uaim ar nós uan i measc faolchon. Ná beirigí sparán libh, ná tiachóg, ná cuaráin, agus ná beannaígí d’aon duine ar an mbóthar. Cibé teach a rachaidh sibh isteach ann, abraigí ar dtús: ‘Síocháin don teach seo,’ agus má bhíonn mac síochána ann, fanfaidh bhur síocháin aige; ach mura mbíonn fillfidh sí oraibh féin. Fanaigí sa teach sin, ag ithe agus ag ól na nithe a bhíonn acu; óir is fiú an fear oibre a thuarastal. Ná bígí ag aistriú ó theach go teach. Agus cibé cathair a rachaidh sibh isteach inti agus go nglacfar sibh, ithigí na nithe a chuirfear os bhur gcomhair agus leigheasaigí na daoine tinne a bhíonn inti, agus abraigí leis na daoine: ‘Tá ríocht Dé in achmaireacht daoibh.’ Ach cibé cathair a rachaidh sibh isteach inti agus nach nglacfar sibh, téigí amach ar na sráideanna agus abraigí: ‘Fiú amháin a leanann dár gcosa de dheannach bhur gcathrach, glanaimid dínn oraibh é; ach bíodh a fhios agaibh é seo, go bhfuil ríocht Dé in achmaireacht.’ Deirim libh, is saoire a bheidh ag Sodom an lá úd ná ag an gcathair sin.

Tháinig an dó seachtód ar ais agus áthas orthu, ag rá: “A Thiarna, tá na deamhain féin faoinár smacht i d’ainmse.” Dúirt sé leo: “Bhí mé ag breathnú ar Shátan agus é ag titim ó fhlaithiúnas mar bheadh splanc. Féach, tá cumas tugtha agam daoibh chun satailt ar nathracha nimhe agus ar scairpe agus ar gach neart den namhaid, agus ní dhéanfaidh rud ar bith dochar daoibh. Ach, ná bígí ag déanamh áthais faoi na spioraid a bheith faoi bhur smacht, ach déanaigí áthas faoi bhur n-ainmneacha a bheith scríofa sna flaithis.”

© An Sagart