Week Reflections – A Vaccine of Hope

Date: 1st - 6th February 2021
Location: Our Lady and St Kevin's Church, Littleton, Co. Tipperary

The Pope Video – February 2021

For women who are victims of violence

Christian Radio Stations

Christian Radio Stations

Bishop Alan McGuckian

The Joy of the Gospel – Reflection 4 by Bishop Alan McGuckian

St Columba – 1500 years

Celebration of the life and legacy of St Colmcille/Columba

Bishop Alan McGuckian

The Joy of the Gospel – April 29th

Churches of the Day

Good and Evil is found in the heart

Good and Evil is found in the heart

It is on rotten prison straw that I felt the first stirrings of good in myself.
Gradually it became clear to me that the line separating good from evil runs not between states, not between classes and not between parties:
it runs through the heart of each one and everyone of us, and through all human hearts.

The line is not stationary.
It shifts and moves with the passage of the years.
Even in hearts enveloped in evil, it maintains a small bridgehead of good.

Alexander Solzehenitsyn

‘The Gulag Archipelago’ .

(Alexandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian novelist, philosopher, historian, short story writer and political prisoner, an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and Communism, and helped to raise global awareness of the Soviet Gulag forced-labour camp system. He died in 2008AD)

Feb 24 - St Ethelbert (560-616)

Ethelbert became the first Christian Anglo-Saxon king of that part of England south of the Humber. A pagan from birth, he married Bertha, a Frankish princess, who was a Christian. It was he who received Augustine and his monks when they arrived in Thanet in 597.

Patrick Duffy tells his story.

Early life
EthelbertDescended from Hengest, the first king of Kent, Ethelbert succeeded his father Eormenric as King of Kent around 560. He made an unsuccessful attempt to wrest the position of Bretwalda from Ceawlin of Wessex. However, his marriage to Bertha, daughter of Charibert, king of the Franks, enabled him to build an alliance with the most powerful state in Europe at that time. This prestige enabled him to claim the title of Bretwalda after Ceawlin's death. He gave Bertha, who had brought her chaplain Liudhard with her to Kent, the old Roman church of St. Martin in his capital of Canterbury for her worship.

Arrival of St Augustine and his monks

Ss Ethel and gus

The influence of Bertha may be not unconnected with Pope Gregory's sending missionaries from Rome. Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet in 597, and Ethelbert first met him under an oak tree, believing that in this way he could dispel any magic the Christians might attempt. Ethelbert retained his pagan beliefs for some time but gave the monks a house and allowed them to preach freely. Many were converted and Ethelbert accepted baptism in 601. He also helped establish sees at Rochester and London.

ethel's shrine

Death and influence
Ethelbert left a written code of laws for Kent, the earliest in any Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It provided for the protection of the Church, exacting high compensation for damage to churches.

He died in 616 and was venerated unofficially at Canterbury, and his feast appears in the calendars in the 13th century.

His body was brought to Hereford, and many miracles were said to have occured at his shrine.

Liturgical Readings for: Wednesday, 24th February, 2021

A reading from the prophet Jonah            3: 1-10
Theme: The people of Nineveh renounced their evil behaviour.

The word of the Lord was addressed  to Jonah: 'Up!' he said 'Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.' Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day's journey. He preached in these words, 'Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed. '

And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least. The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: 'Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?' God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour.

And God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm                   Ps 50:3-4,12-13, 18-19 rv 19
Response                                        A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.

1. Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.                               Response

2. . A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.                     Response

3. For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn. Response

Gospel  Acclamation                 Ex 3:11
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
I take pleasure, not in the death of a wicked man - it is the Lord who speaks -
but in the turning back of a wicket man who changes his way of life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !

Or                                                      Joel 2:12-13
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
Now, now - it is the Lord who speaks -
Come back to me with all your heart, for I am tenderness and compassion
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke           11:29-32
Glory to you, O Lord
The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah..

The crowds got even bigger and Jesus addressed them, 'This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.

'On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation. and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.'

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ


Gospel Reflection          Wednesday,             First Week of Lent          Luke 11:29-32

I have often been struck by those sayings of Jesus in today’s gospel reading, ‘There is something greater than Solomon here… There is something greater than Jonah here’. It was as if Jesus was trying to get his contemporaries to appreciate the full reality of his ministry. They were looking but not really seeing and listening but not really hearing. They were looking for a sign when Jesus was already giving them more signs than they needed, if only they were attentive. The Lord remains present to us in all his ‘fullness’, in the language of the fourth gospel. We can easily fail to appreciate the full reality of his presence and ministry among us. We too can look but fail to see, listen but fail to hear. It can happen that people only discover the richness of their faith after many years, often quite late in life. Their relationship with the Lord has been there but somewhat dormant. Then something comes along that makes them appreciate that relationship more fully. They begin to appreciate in a new way the ‘something greater’ that Jesus talks about in the gospel reading. There is always a ‘something greater’ to be discovered in our relationship with the Lord. There is always more to our faith than we appreciate at any one time in our lives. We are on a journey of endless discovery when it comes to our relationship with the Lord and all it implies for ourselves and our world. It is an adventure that it always before us to be explored. Every day we can discover ‘something greater’.


The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Gospel reflection comes to us with thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2020-2021:  You have the Words of Eternal life: by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications  c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/

For Video Scripture Reflections for next Sunday’s Gospel click here:  https://www.catholicireland.net/lent-videos/
Liturgical Readings for: Wednesday, 24th February, 2021

CÉAD LÉACHT           

Sliocht as an fáidh  Ióna                3: 1-10
Chonaic Dia conas mar a thréig siad a ndrochiompar agus tháinig aithreachas air.

Labhraíodh briathar an Tiarna le Ióna an dara huair:

“Éirigh! Gread leat go dtí cathair mhór Nínivé agus fógair ina haghaidh an t-oracal a thabharfaidh mé duit.” D’éirigh Ióna ach an uair seo as go brách leis go Nínivé faoi mar a d’ordaigh an Tiarna dó. Dar ndóigh, cathair as cuimse mór ba ea Nínivé; thógfadh sé trí lá ó dhuine í a thrasnú. Isteach le Ióna sa chathair agus is ar éigean a bhí turas aon lae amháin siúlta aige agus an t-oracal seo á fhógairt aige: “I gceann daichead lá eile scriosfar Nínivé,” nuair a chreid muintir Nínivé i nDia. D’fhógair siad troscadh agus chuir siad go léir, idir uasal agus íseal sacéadach orthu féin.

Nuair a chuala rí Nínivé an scéal, d’éirigh sé ina sheasamh óna ríchathaoir, bhain a fhallaing ríoga de, chuir sacéadach air féin agus shuigh síos sa luaithreach. Ansin chuir sé an forógra práinneach seo á chraoladh ar fud Nínivé: “Forógra an rí agus a mhóruaisle: Ná blaiseadh duine ná ainmhí, táin ná tréad aon ní; ná hithidís bia, ná hólaidís uisce. Cuireadh idir dhaoine agus ainmhithe sacéadach orthu féin agus glaoidís os ard ar Dhia. Tréigeadh cách a ndrochiompar agus cuiridís díobh an lámh láidir. Cá bhfios ná go ndéanfadh Dia athchomhairle agus go dtiocfadh aithreachas air agus go n-imeodh an fhearg de agus nach gcaillfí sinne?” Chonaic Dia cad a rinne siad agus conas mar a thréig siad a ndrochiompar. Mar sin de, tháinig aithreachas air i dtaobh na tubaiste a bhí sé tar éis a bhagairt orthu agus níor chuir sé i gcrích í.

Briathar Dé

Salm le Freagra                   Sm 50
Freagra                                   Ní eiteoidh tú, a Dhia, croí brúite uiríseal.

1. Déan trócaire orm, a Dhia, de réir do bhuanghrá:
cealaigh mo choir as iomad do thrua.
Nigh go huile mé ó mo chion,
agus déan mo pheaca a ghlanadh díom.           Freagra

2 Cruthaigh ionam croí glan, a Dhia,
agus cruthaigh spiorad daingean as an nua ionam.
Ná díbir amach as do radharc mé
agus ná beir do naomhspiorad uaim.                Freagra

3. Óir ní bhfaigheann tú taitneamh in íobairt
agus an loiscíobairt a dhéanfainn ní ghlacfá.
M’íobairtse, a Dhia, an croí aithríoch;
ní eiteoidh tú, a Dhia, croí brúite uiríseal.       Freagra


Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Lúcáis               11: 29-32
Ní thabharfar comhartha  di ach comhartha Ióna.

  San am sinuair a bhí na sluaite ag tiomsú chuig Íosa, thosaigh sé ag rá: “Is drochghlúin an ghlúin seo: tá sí ag lorg comhartha, agus comhartha ní thabharfar di ach comhartha Ióna. Óir, amhail mar bhí Ióna ina chomhartha do na Nínivéigh, is amhlaidh sin a bheidh Mac an Duine don ghlúin seo. Éireoidh banríon an deiscirt in am an bhreithiúnais le muintir na glúine seo agus daorfaidh sí iad, óir tháinig sise as imill na cruinne ag éisteacht le heagna Sholaimh, agus tá anseo neach is mó ná Solamh. Éireoidh muintir Nínivé ina seasamh in am an bhreithiúnais leis an nglúin seo, agus daorfaidh siad í, óir rinne siad aithrí nuair a d’fhógair Ióna é, agus tá anseo neach is mó ná Ióna.

Soiscéal Dé.

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 28th February, 2021
Scripture Themes
God sacrifices his own Son as part of the plan of salvation of the world. Calvary is a sign of God’s love for us. This story of Abraham’s sacrifice will be told again at the Easter Vigil as a preparation for Baptism.


A reading from the book of  Genesis     22:1-2.9-13.15-18
Theme: The sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith.

od put Abraham to the test. 'Abraham, Abraham' he called. 'Here I am' he replied. 'Take your son,' God said 'your only child Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him as a burnt offering, on a mountain I will point out to you.'

When they arrived at the place God had pointed out to him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood. Then he stretched out his hand and seized the knife to kill his son.

thesacrifice-of-isaacBut the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven. 'Abraham, Abraham' he said. 'I am here' he replied. 'Do not raise your hand against the boy' the angel said. 'Do not harm him, for now I know you fear God. You have not refused me your son, your only son.' Then looking up, Abraham saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. Abraham took the ram and offered it as a burnt-offering in place of his son.

The angel of the Lord called Abraham a second time from heaven. 'I swear by my own self - it is the Lord who speaks - because you have done this, because you have not refused me your son, your only son, I will shower blessings on you, I will make your descendants as many as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your descendants, as a reward for your obedience.'

The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Responsorial Psalm      Ps  115
Response                            I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

1. I trusted, even when I said:
'I am sorely afllicted.'
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.          Response

2. Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make:
I will call on the Lord's name.    Response

3. My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.       Response


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans              8:31.34
Theme: God did not spare his own Son.

God'd love 2With God on our side who can be against us? Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give. Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen? When God acquits, could anyone condemn? Could Christ Jesus? No! He not only died for us-he rose from the dead, and there at God's right hand he stands and pleads for us.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God

Gospel  Acclamation         Mt 17:5
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
From the bright cloud the Father's voice was heard
'This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.'
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark        9:2-10
Thanks be to God
Theme: This is my Son, the Beloved.

esus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in This is my sontheir presence he was transfigured: his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. 'Rabbi', he said it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, 'This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.' Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

As they came down the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what 'rising from the dead' could mean.

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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, 28th February, 2021

 Sliocht as an céad leabhar Genesis                     22:1-2. 9-13. 15-18
Íobairt Abráhám, ár n-athair sa chreideamh.

Tamall ina dhiaidh sin chuir Dia promhadh ar Abrahám: “A Abrahám, a Abrahám,” ar sé. “Anseo dom,” ar seisean.  “Tóg leat do mhac,” arsa Dia leis, “d’aonmhac Íosác ar a bhfuil do ghreann, agus imigh go tír Mhoiriá, agus déan é a íobairt ansiúd ina íobairt dhóite ar chnoc a thaispeánfaidh mé duit.”

Nuair a shroicheadar an áit a thaispeáin Dia dó, thóg Abrahám altóir ann agus chóirigh an t-adhmad uirthi. Chuir sé ceangal faoina mhac agus leag ar an altóir é, anuas ar an adhmad. Shín Abrahám a lámh amach, agus rug greim ar an scian chun a mhac a mharú.

thesacrifice-of-isaacAch ghlaoigh aingeal an Tiarna air ó neamh agus dúirt: “A Abrahám, a Abrahám.” Dúirt sé: “Anseo dom.” Dúirt sé: “Ná leag lámh ar do mhac, agus ná déan aon dochar dó; óir tá a fhios agam anois go bhfuil eagla Dé ort, mar níor dhiúltaigh tú do mhac, d’aonmhac, dom.” Ansin d’ardaigh Abrahám a shúile agus féach, laistiar de bhí reithe agus a adharca in achrann i dtor; thóg Abrahám an reithe agus d’ofráil é mar íobairt dhóite in áit a mhic.

Agus ghlaoigh aingeal an Tiarna ar Abrahám athuair ó neamh:  “Mhionnaigh mé dar mise féin – focail an Tiarna iad seo – ós rud é go ndearna tú an rud seo agus nár dhiúltaigh tú do mhac, d’aonmhac féin, dom, dáilfidh mé na frasa beannachtaí uaim anuas ort. Cuirfidh mé an rath ar do shíol ionas go mbeidh siad líonmhar mar réaltaí neimhe nó mar ghaineamh na trá; agus beidh seilbh ag do shliocht ar gheataí [cathrach] do naimhde. Beannóidh ciníocha uile an domhain iad féin dar do shliocht mar gur ghéill tú do mo ghlór.”

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le Freagra                    Sm 115
Freagra:                                    Siúlfaidh me i bhfianaise an Tiarna i ndúiche na mbeo.

1. Bhí muinín agam fiú nuair a dúirt mé:
'Táim do mo bhuaireamh go mór.'
Is luachmhar i bhfianaise an Tiarna
bás a chuid naomh.                               Freagra

2. A Thiarna, is mise do ghiolla;
scaoil tú mo chuibhreacha díom.
Ofrálfaidh mé duit íobairt an mholta,
gairfidh mé ar ainm an Tiarna.           Freagra

3. Comhlíonfaidh mé ar mhóidigh mé don Tiarna
i láthair a phobail go léir,
i gcúirteanna theach an Tiarna,
i do lár baill, a Iarúsailéim                   Freagra

DARA LÉACT         

Sliocht as litir N.Pól chuig na Rómhánaigh              8:31-34
Níor lig Dia uaidh a Mhac Féin.

God'd love 2A bhráithre, má tá Dia ar ár dtaobh, cé atá inár gcoinne? Nuair nár lig sé uaidh a mhac féin ach é a thabhairt suas ar mhaithe linne go léir, cén fáth nach mbronnfaidh sé gach grásta eile orainn ina theannta chomh maith?  Agus cé a dhéanfaidh lucht tofa Dé a chúisiú? Nuair atá Dia dár saoradh, cé a dhéanfaidh ár ndaoradh? An é Críost a dhéanfaidh é, an té a fuair bás agus a tógadh ó mhairbh, atá fós ar dheis Dé agus atá ag idirghuí ar ár son?

Briathar Dé.  

Comhgháir an tSoiscéil                          Mth 17:5

Glóir duit, a Chríost: is tú Briathar De!
Cloiseadh glór an Athar as an scamall solasmhar:
'Is é seo mo Mhac muirneach dár thug mé gnaoi: éistigí leis.'
Glóir duit, a Chríost: is tú Briathar De!


Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh  Marcas      9:2-10
Is é seo mo Mhac muirneach.

San am sin rug Íosa leis Peadar, Séamas agus Eoin, agus sheol sé suas iad sliabh ard ar leithligh. Agus tháinig claochlú air os comhair a This is my sonsúl, agus d’éirigh a chuid éadaigh dealrach, iad gléigeal thar cuimse, nach bhfuil úcaire ar domhan a dhéanfadh chomh geal iad. Agus chonacthas dóibh Maois mar aon le hÉilias agus iad ag comhrá leis. Agus labhair Peadar le hÍosa: “A Mháistir, “ ar sé, “is maith mar a tharla anseo sinn: déanaimis trí bothanna, ceann duit féin, ceann do Mhaois agus ceann d’Éilias” – mar ní raibh a fhios aige cad ba mhaith dó a rá óir tháinig uamhan orthu. Agus tháinig scamall ina scáil anuas orthu, agus an glór as an scamall: “Is é seo mo Mhac muirneach dár thug mé gnaoi: éistigí leis!” Agus go tobann, ar dhearcadh dóibh ina dtimpeall, ní fhaca siad duine ar bith níos mó ach Íosa in éineacht leo ina aonar.

Ar a slí anuas dóibh ón sliabh, chuir sé mar acht orthu gan a raibh feicthe acu a insint do dhuine ar bith nó go mbeadh Mac an Duine éirithe ó mhairbh. Agus choinnigh siad an scéal chucu féin ach go mbídís ag fiafraí dá chéile cad ba chiall leis an éirí úd ó mhairbh.

Soiscéal Dé.

Machtnamh ar Bhriathar Dé dia Dara Domhnach den Charghas

Is iontach linn a bheith anseo

Tógann Íosa Peter, Seamus agus Eoin árd ar an tsléibh Tabor, agus tugann sé taithí iontach leó a thugann a n-anáil amach. Bhí sé mar thaithí chomh luachmhar nach bhféadfadh Peter é a ligeant as a mheabhair, coíche. Bhí sé ag iarraidh é a éascú ar feadh tréimhse éiginnte agus mar sin deir sé le Íosa, 'Rabbi. . . lig dúinn trí phubaill a dhéanamh, ceann ar do shon, ceann do Mhaois agus ceann do Elijah '. Bhí léargas mór aige ar an áilleacht neamhaí Chríost sé féin agus an dá dheisceabail eile, agus ní raibh sé ag iarraidh ligean dó. Meallann an áilleacht an tsúil agus an croí; glaonna sé chugainn. Ach, ní mór do Peter agus do na daoine eile an taithí luachmhar seo a ligean; ní raibh sé i gceist ach a bheith i láthair na huaire. Gheobhaidh siad é ar ais sa chéad uair eile mar bhronntanas. Ar a shon sin, bhí an tasc acu éisteacht le Íosa, 'Is é seo mo Mhac beloved. Éist leis '. Is é sin ár tasc freisin. Caitheamar ár saol ag éisteacht leis an Tiarna mar a labhraíonn sé linn ina fhocal agus i gcúinsí ár saol; éisteacht leis mar ullmhúchán don mhéid iontach sin nuair a fheiceann muid aghaidh le duine i gcónaí agus is féidir linn a rá go deireanach, 'tá sé iontach a bheith anseo.'

Pádraig Ó Rúairí, cp,                                                                                                                                                                              Sliabh Argus, Átha Cliath.