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And Then What?


“A young student came to St Philip Neri one day and told him he was to study law. ‘What a happy man I am. I am going to study and become a learned man.’

‘And then what?’ asked Father Philip.

‘Then I shall become a great lawyer and win fame.’

‘And then what?’

‘Then I shall become very rich and build a beautiful home for myself.’

‘And then what?’

‘Then I shall marry and live in comfort to a ripe old age.’

‘Francis, then what?’

Francis knew no further answer. After some thought, he said, ‘Then, like everybody else, I shall die.’

‘And then what, Francis?’

The young man was disturbed, but he answered gravely, ‘Then I shall await to learn what judgement will come upon me.’ Here he stopped. He could not answer further. This question made him change all his plans for the future.”

Source: “Stories and Parables for Preachers and Teachers,” by Fr. Paul J. Wharton.

Oct 23 - St John of Capistrano (1386-1456) reforming Franciscan

Summary: St John of Capistrano, Priest. Born in Capestrano (Italy) in 1386; died on this day in 1456 at Ilok (Croatia). Though a married man and governor of Perugia, he decided to join the Friars Minor and was released from his marriage vows. Professed as a Franciscan at the age of thirty and ordained a presbyter three years later. A successful preacher, committed Franciscan reformer, zealous inquisitor in Vienna, and spiritual leader of a victorious crusade against the Ottoman forces. Noted for his preaching and austerity of life.

Joseph of CupertinoJohn of Capistrano was a leading figure in the Observant (strict observance of poverty) movement in the Franciscan Order in the fifteenth century. Because he rallied an army to defend Belgrade against the Turks, he is the patron of military chaplains. His zeal in persecuting Hussites and his anti-Semitic sentiments have been points of criticism of him by later historians. Patrick Duffy tells his story.

Early career as lawyer and governor of Perugia
John was born in Capestrano, a medieval fortress town in the Abruzzo region, east of Rome. His father was possibly a French or German knight who came to Italy with the army of Louis I of Anjou, but he died when John was still young. John studied law at the University of Perugia and worked as a lawyer in Naples. In 1412 he was appointed governor of Perugia by King Ladislas of Naples and married the daughter of a Perugian nobleman. When war broke out between Perugia and Sigismundo Malatesta of Rimini in 1416, John tried to broker a peace, but his opponents ignored the truce, and took John as a prisoner of war.

Conversion experience
While in prison, John had a conversion experience in which St Francis appeared to him in a dream telling him to enter the Franciscan order. His marriage had not been consummated, so with his wife's consent John got an annulment. On the feast of St. Francis, October 4, 1415, he was received into the Franciscans of the Strict Observance at Perugia.

J Capis2An Ascetic
Although he had been a successful secular man, John cultivated extraordinary asceticism and genuine humility. A disciple of St Bernardine of Siena, after his ordination in 1418 both worked successfully as itinerant preachers throughout the Italian peninsula and later in Germany, Bohemia, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Russia, preaching to tens of thousands.

 Observants and Conventuals
At this time there was a split in the order between the Conventuals and the Observants about the interpretation of the rule of St Francis. The Conventuals stressed the value of community life and choral recitation of the Divine Office; the Observants stressed the strict observance of poverty. Bernardine and John were on the Observant side.

Accused to Rome of heresy for preaching devotion to the Holy Name, John in speaking in his defence so impressed the commission of cardinals that from then on he was frequently employed as a papal legate and as an inquisitor by Popes Eugene IV and Nicholas V, visiting all part of the empire.

As legate or inquisitor John went into action against heretical groups in Italy - the Fraticelli of Ferrara, the Jesuati of Venice - and around Europe - especially the Hussites of Germany, Hungary and Bohemia. He is also accused of anti-Semitism. His methods and attitudes were those of his time, but would not be condoned today.

J Capis 2Crusade against the Turks
In 1454 Pope Callistus III ordered John to preach a crusade against the Muslim Turks who under Mahomet II were then outside Belgrade. Early in 1456 he rallied an army led by the Hungarian general, John Hunyadi, to defend Belgrade. Hunyadi conquered the foe by sea on July 14. Friar John, personally headed the troops on July 21, and, invoking the Holy Name, was principally responsible for the land victory and was hailed as the "apostle of Europe."

Death, influence and patronage
However, soon after the battle of Belgrade he took ill and died. He was canonised in 1724. Two missions of San Juan Capistrano were founded by Spanish Franciscans in the 18th century - one in California and one in San Antonio, Texas. It is the one in California that inspired the popular song When the swallows come back to Capistrano. St John of Capistrano is the patron saint of jurists and military chaplains.
Liturgical Readings for: Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019
FIRST READING                   

A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans      6:12-18
Consider yourselves dead and brought back to life in Jesus

You must not let sin reign in your mortal bodies or command your obedience to bodily passions, why you must not let any part of your body turn into an unholy weapon fighting on the side of sin; you should, instead, offer yourselves to God, and consider yourselves dead men brought back to life; you should make every part of your body into a weapon fighting on the side of God; and then sin will no longer dominate your life, since you are living by grace and not by law.

living by Jesus graceDoes the fact that we are living by grace and not by law mean that we are free to sin? Of course not. You know that if you agree to serve and obey a master you become his slaves. You cannot be slaves of sin that leads to death and at the same time slaves of obedience that leads to righteousness. You were once slaves of sin, but thank God you submitted without reservation to the creed you were taught. You may have been freed from the slavery of sin, but only to become 'slaves' of righteousness.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm       Ps 123
Response                           Our help is in the name of the Lord.

1. 'If the Lord had not been on our side,'
this is Israel's song.
'If the Lord had not been on our side
when men rose against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive
when their anger was kindled.               Response

2. 'Then would the waters have engulfed us,
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
the raging waters.'
Blessed be the Lord who did not give us
a prey to their teeth!                                Response

3. Our life, like a bird, has escaped
from the snare of the fowler.
Indeed the snare has been broken
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.                Response

Gospel  Acclamation         Jn 10: 27
Alleluia, alleluia!
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, says the lord,
I know them and they follow me.

Or                                            Mt 24: 42-44
Alleluia, alleluia!
Stay awake and stand ready, because you do not know the hour when the Son of Man is coming.


 A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke     12:39-48
When people has had a great deal given to them, a great deal will be demanded of them.

Jesus and parablesJesus said to his disciples: You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.'

Peter said, 'Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?' The Lord replied, 'What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master's arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, "My master is taking his time coming", and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.

The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Gospel Reflection      Wednesday,       Twenty Ninth Week in Ordinary Time        Luke 12:39-48

As well as the group of Beatitudes that are well known to us, there are single beatitudes scattered throughout the gospels. One such beatitude is to be found in today’s gospel reading. Jesus declares, ‘happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at his employment’. This is the ‘faithful and wise’ servant who provides for the needs of the members of the household while the master of the household is away from the house. The master/slave relationship is not one that we are comfortable with today. Yet, it was an integral part of the world in which Jesus lived. In sharing his vision for human life, Jesus regularly drew on the day-to-day experience of the people amongst whom he was moving. Although the social world presupposed by Jesus’ image may be foreign to most of us, the message it embodies retains its validity for disciples of every age. We all seek to be the Lord’s faithful and wise servants. He needs such servants, people he can trust to provide for the needs of all the members of his household, all who have been created in God’s image and likeness and whom the risen Lord desires to draw to himself. We are all servants of one Lord, which means that none of us can set ourselves up as lord of others. Rather, our task is to care faithfully and wisely for the needs of those alongside us. We are called to embody the Lord’s concern for the members of the family of God. If we are faithful to that calling, we too will be embraced by the Lord’s beatitude in today’s gospel reading.


The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers. The Gospel reflection comes from WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS 2018-19: To know the love of Christ by Martin Hogan published by  The Messenger c/f

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.
Liturgical Readings for: Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019

Sliocht as litir N.Pól chuig na Rómhánaigh     6:12-18
Ná tugaigí bhur mbaill bheatha suas don pheaca

A bhráithre, ná bíodh an peaca i réim in bhur gcolainn bhásmhar le go mbeadh sibh ag géilleadh dá hainmhianta. Agus ná tugaigí bhur mbaill bheatha suas don pheaca le bheith ina n-uirlisí urchóide ach, mar dhaoine a bheadh éiríthe beo ó mhairbh, déanaigí sibh féin a thabhairt suas do Dhia agus bíodh bhur mbaill bheatha ina n-uirlisí fíréantachta ag Dia. 14Mar ní bheidh aon tiarnas ag an bpeaca oraibh de bhrí nach faoin dlí atá sibh ach faoin ngrásta.

living by Jesus graceCad é mar sin? An ndéanfaimid an peaca nuair nach faoin dlí atáimid ach faoi ghrásta? Nár lige Dia sin! Nach bhfuil a fhios agaibh, má thugann sibh sibh féin suas do dhuine chun umhlú dó mar sheirbhísigh, gur seirbhísigh sibh don mháistir sin a n-umhlaíonn sibh dó, cibé acu don pheaca chun báis, nó don umhlaíocht chun fíréantachta. Bhí sibh tráth ag seirbhís don pheaca, ach a bhuí le Dia, ghéill sibh ó chroí do riail an teagaisc ar cuireadh sibh faoina threoir, fuasclaíodh sibh ó chuing an pheaca agus chuaigh sibh faoi chuing na fíréantachta.

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le freagra        Sm 123
Freagra                     Tá ár gcúnamh in ainm an Tiarna.

1. Murach an Tiarna a bheith inár leith;
abradh Iosrael anois:
Murach an Tiarna a bheith inár leith,
nuair a tugadh fúinn,
is amhlaidh a shlogfaí beo beathach sinn.
Nuair a bhladhmfadh a mbuile inár n-aghaidh.  Freagra

2. Sea, scuabfadh na tonnta chun siúil sinn,
go ndéanfadh ár mbá.
Moladh leis an Tiarna nár thug sinn
inár gcreach dá bhfiacla.                                            Freagra

3. Sciobadh ár n-anam amhail éan
as líon na bhfoghlaeirí.
Go deimhin, briseadh an líon;
agus d’imíomar slan.
Tá ár gcúnamh in ainm an Tiarna
a rinne neamh agus talamh.                                      Freagra


Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Lúcás      12:39-48
An té ar taobhaíodh mórán leis, iarrfar níos mó air.

Jesus and parablesSan am sin dúirt Íosa lena dheisceabail: bíodh a fhios agaibh é seo: dá mb’eol don fhear tí cén uair a thiocfadh an bithiúnach, ní cheadódh sé a theach a bhriseadh isteach. Bígí sibhse ullamh freisin, óir is ar an uair nach síleann sibh a thiocfaidh Mac an Duine.”

Dúirt Peadar ansin: “A Thiarna, an linne atá tú ag tagairt an pharabail seo, nó le cách eile chomh maith?” Dúirt an Tiarna: “Cé hé más ea, an maor úd atá iontaofa géarchúiseach a gceapfaidh an máistir os cionn a lucht tís é chun a gcion den arbhar a thabhairt dóibh i dtráth? Is méanar don seirbhíseach sin a bhfaighidh a mháistir é ag déanamh amhlaidh ar theacht dó. Deirim libh go dearfa, ceapfaidh sé os cionn a mhaoine go léir é. Ach má deir an seirbhíseach sin ina chroí: ‘Is é an teacht mall ag mo mháistir é,’ agus go dtosóidh ag bualadh na mbuachaillí aimsire agus na gcailíní, agus ag ithe agus ag ól agus ag meisceoireacht, tiocfaidh máistir an tseirbhísigh sin sa lá nach mbíonn súil aige leis agus ar an uair nach eol dó, agus coscróidh sé é, agus tabharfaidh cion na míthairiseach dó. An seirbhíseach sin arbh eol dó toil a mháistir agus nach ndearna ullmhú ná beart de réir a thola, gabhfar de mhórán buillí air; ach an té nárbh eol dó í agus a rinne nithe ba dhíol buillí, gabhfar de bheagán buillí air. An té ar tugadh mórán dó, beifear ag lorg mórán uaidh, agus an té ar taobhaíodh mórán leis, iarrfar níos mó air.

Soiscéal Dé.

© An Sagart

Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 27th October, 2019

A reading from the Book of Ecclesiasticus         35:12-14. 16-19
The humble person's prayer pierces the clouds.

The Lord is a judge
who is no respecter of personages.
judge-godHe shows no respect of personages to the detriment of a poor man,
he listens to the plea of the injured party.
He does not ignore the orphan's supplication,
nor the widow's as she pours out her story.

The man who with his whole heart serves God will be accepted,
his petitions will carry to the clouds.
The humble man's prayer pierces the clouds,
until it arrives he is inconsolable,
nor will he desist until the Most High takes notice of him,
acquits the virtuous and delivers judgement.
And the Lord will not be slow,  nor will he be dilatory on their behalf.

Responsorial Psalm       Ps 32
Response                            This poor man called; the Lord heard him.

1. I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad.                         Response 

2. The Lord turns his face against the wicked
to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The just call and the Lord hears
and rescues them in all their distress.                     Response 

3. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
those whose spirit is crushed he will save.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.
Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.  Response


A reading from the second letter of St Paul to Timothy  4:6-8. 16-18
All there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me

My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.

The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me - may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Word of the Lord

Gospel  Acclamation        Mt 11: 25
Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children.

Or                                            2 Cor 5: 19
Alleluia, alleluia!
God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,
and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.


A reading from the Gospel according Luke       18:9-14
The publican, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the Pharisee did not.

JPublican and Phariseeesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else,

'Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, "I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get."

The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner".
This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.'

The Gospel of the Lord

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.
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 27th October, 2019

Sliocht as Leabhar Sírach        35:12-14. 16-19
Gabhann guí an duine uirísil trí na néalta suas.

Is breitheamh é an Tiarna,
agus is ionann íseal agus uasal aige.
Ní dhéanfaidh sé leathchuma ar an duine bocht,
ach éistfidh sé le hachainí an té a ndearnadh éagóir air.
Ní thabharfaidh sé cluas bhodhar d’achainí an dílleachta,
ná don bhaintreach nuair a inseoidh sí a scéal dó.

An té a fhónann le dea-thoil, glacfar leis,
agus bainfidh a achainí na néalta féin amach.
Gabhann guí an duine uirísil trí na néalta suas,
agus ní bhfaighidh sé sólás go mbainfidh sí ceann sprice amach.
Ní stopfaidh sé choíche go dtabharfaidh an té is Airde aird air,
agus go seasfaidh sé ceart don dream macánta agus go dtabharfaidh sé breithiúnas
Ní dhéanfaidh an Tiarna aon mhoill, ná ní dhéanfaidh sé foighne ar a son,

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le Freagra        Sm 33
Freagra                        Scread an t-ainniseoir is chuala an Tiarna é.

1. Beannóidh mé an Tiarna gach uile thráth,
beidh a mheladh ar mé bhéal de shíor.
Déanann m'anam mórtas as an Tiarna:
cluineadh lucht na huirísle is déanaidís lúcháir.               Freagra

2.Bíonn gnúis an Tiarna iompaithe ó lucht déanta an oilc
chun go scriosfadh sé a gcuimhne as an talamh.
Glaonn na fíréin ar chabhair, is éisteann an Tiarna leo
agus saorann sé iad óna n-anacraí go léir.                          Freagra

3. Is gairid an Tiarna do lucht an chroí bhrúite,
agus tarrthaíonn sé lucht an spioraid bhriste.
Saorann an Tiarna anamacha a sheirbhíseach,
ní ghearrfar pionós ar aon dúine a thriallann chuige.       Freagra


Sliocht as dara Litir Naomh Pól chuig Timóteas      4:6-8. 16-18
Tá craobh na fíréantachta in áirithe dom feasta. 

I dtaca liom féin de, táim do mo dhoirteadh amach cheana féin mar a bheadh deoch íobartha agus tá uair na scarúna buailte liom. Tá an comhrac maith tugtha agam, tá mo rás rite, tá an creideamh coinnithe agam. Tá craobh na fíréantachta in áirithe dom feasta agus bronnfaidh an Tiarna féin, an breitheamh cóir, orm í an lá sin agus ní ormsa amháin é ach ar an uile dhuine a bheidh ag tnúth lena thaibhsiú.

Ag plé mo chúise dom don chéad uair ní raibh duine ar bith a sheas ceart dom; thréig an uile dhuine mé. Nár agraí Dia orthu é. Sheas an Tiarna liom, áfach, agus thug an neart dom go bhfógróinn an teachtaireacht ina hiomláine agus go n-éisteodh na gintlithe uile léi. Saoradh mé ó bhéal an leoin agus saorfaidh an Tiarna mé ó gach olc agus tabharfaidh sé slán chun a ríochta ar neamh mé, moladh go deo leis. Amen.

Briathar Dé.

Alleluia Véarsa           Mt 11:25  
Alleluia, alleluia!
Tugaim buíochas duit, a Athair,  a Thiarna neimhe agus talún,
de chionn mar a cheil tú na nithe seo ar lucht eagna agus éirime agus mar a d’fhoilsigh tú do naíonáin iad.                                         

Publican and PhariseeSOISCÉAL                     

Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir Lúcás       18:9-14
Chuaigh sé seo síos abhaile fíréanaithe, ní ionann is é siúd.

San am sin labhair Íosa an parabal seo chun daoine áirithe a bhí teann astu féin bheith fíréanta, agus gur bheag orthu cách eile: “Chuaigh beirt fhear suas don Teampall ag guí; Fairisíneach duine acu agus poibleacánach an duine eile. Rinne an Fairisíneach, agus é go ceannard, guí mar seo leis féin: ‘A Dhia, tugaim a bhuíochas duit nach bhfuilim ar nós cách eile, atá ina sladaithe, ina lucht éagóra, ina n-adhaltranaigh, ná fiú amháin ar nós an phoibleacánaigh úd. Déanaim troscadh dhá uair sa tseachtain, íocaim na deachúna ar gach ní dá bhfaighim.’ Ach sheas an poibleacánach i bhfad siar, agus níorbh áil leis fiú amháin a shúile a ardú chun na bhflaitheas, ach é ag bualadh a uchta, ag rá: ‘A Dhia, glac trua dom, an peacach.’ Deirim libh, chuaigh sé seo síos abhaile fíréanaithe, ní ionann is é siúd. Óir gach aon duine a ardaíonn é féin, ísleofar é, agus an té a íslíonn é féin ardófar é.”

Soiscéal Dé

© An Sagart