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Location: Based in Teach Bhride Education and Spirituality Centre, Tullow, Co. Carlow

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Author of every mercy.


O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness,

who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving

have shown us a remedy for sin,

look graciously on this confession of our lowliness,

that we, who are bowed down by our conscience,

may always be lifted up by your mercy.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Source: From the Collect of the Mass.

Mar 24 - St Macartan of Clogher (d.506)

MACARTANThis is a poor image of St Macartan.  by St Patrick, who made him bishop at Clogher, Co Tyrone. So he became patron of the Diocese of Clogher. Patrick Duffy tells what is known about him.

Tréanfhear of Patrick
Macartan (Aedh MacCairthinn) was a convert from paganism. He is said to have gone south from his home in the north to hear Patrick preach and that their first meeting took place at Drumlease, near Dromahair, County Leitrim. Soon Patrick baptised him and Macartan became Patrick's companion and bodyguard. Because of this, he became known as the "strong man" (tréanfhear) of Patrick. When Patrick became worn out by his labours, Macartan would carry him on his broad shoulders across rivers and over rough ground.

Bishop of Clogher
An ancient life of St Macartan tells the story that as Patrick was crossing a stream at the druidic stronghold of Clogher, Macartan, his strong man, groaned exclaiming: "Ugh! Ugh!" "Upon my good word," said Patrick, "it has become usual with you now to be making that noise." "I am now old and infirm," said Macartan, "and all my early companions in mission-work you have settled down in their respective churches, while I am still travelling." "Found a church then," said Patrick, "that shall not be too near us (at Armagh) for familiarity, nor too far from us for communication." And that is how Patrick made Macartan bishop of Clogher.

The diocese
Macartan preached the gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh. He died in the year 506 from natural causes and is thought to have been buried at Clogher, in Co Tyrone. There are two cathedrals of the Church of Ireland in the Clogher diocese - one in Clogher village and one in Enniskillen. In post-Emancipation times, a great Catholic cathedral designed by architect J. J. McCarthy was built high on a hill above Monaghan town between 1864 and 1892. The diocese of Clogher of which St Marartan is the patron, includes County Monaghan, most of County Fermanagh and portions of Counties Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan.

clogher Cath seat

The Golden Stone (Cloch-Ór)
The Cloch-Ór (Golden Stone), from which this ancient diocese takes its name, may have been a ceremonial or oracle stone originally covered in gold sacred to the druids, and called the Cermand Cestach. It is said to have been given to Macartan by an old pagan noble, who had harassed him in every possible way until the saint's patient love won the local ruler to the faith. The stone is preserved till today inside the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Clogher village, Co Tyrone.

gold stone

The Domhnach Airgid
Patrick is also reputed to have left a reliquary called the Great Shrine of St Macartan containing a fragment of the True Cross, known as the Domhnach Airgid.  This is now preserved in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

Fortis et Fidelis
The spirituality of Macartan is evoked in the crest and motto of the diocesan secondary school for boys on the outskirts of Monaghan town. The crest is a cross and Celtic shield and, underneath, the motto of the college, Fortis et fidelis, recalls St Paul's advice in 1 Cor 16:13: "Be firm in the faith, brave and strong". The words occur in one of the last letters of Father Cornelius Tierney, a former student and priest-teacher in St. Macartan's, and later a Columban missionary who died a prisoner of Communist guerillas in China in 1931.
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 24th March, 2019

A reading from the Book of  Exodus       3:1-18. 13-15
I am has sent me to you.

Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. 'I must go and look at this strange sight,' Moses said 'and see why the bush is not burnt.' Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush.     'Moses, Moses!' he said. 'Here I am' he answered. 'Come no nearer' he said. 'Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father,' he said 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God.

And the Lord said, 'I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow, the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. After you have led the people out of Egypt, you are to offer worship to God on this mountain.'

Then Moses said to God, 'I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you." But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?' And God said to Moses, 'I Am who I Am. 'This' he added 'is what you must say to the sons of Israel: "I Am has sent me to you." And God also said to Moses, 'You are to say to the sons of Israel: " the Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you." This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm          Ps 102
Response                                   The Lord is compassion and love.

1. My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings.                   Response

2. It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals everyone of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion. Response

3. The Lord does deeds of justice,
gives judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses
and his deeds to Israel's sons.                          Response

4. The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
For as the heavens are high above the earth
so strong is his love for those who fear him.  Response

Second Reading               
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians      10:1-6. 10-12
The life of the people was written down to be a lesson for us.

I want to remind you, brothers, how our fathers were all guided by a cloud above them and how they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in this cloud and in this sea; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they all drank from the spiritual rock that followed them as they went, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, most of them failed to please God and their corpses littered the desert.

These things all happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. You must never complain: some of them did, and they were killed by the Destroyer.

All this happened to them as a warning, and it was written down to be a lesson for us who are living at the end of the age. The man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall.

The Word of the Lord

Gospel  Acclamation           Mt 4:17
Glory and praise to you, O Christ , you are the Word of God!
Repent, says the Lord, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ , you are the Word of God!


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke      13:1-9
Unless you repent you will all perish as they did.

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices At this he said to them, 'Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.'

He told this parable: 'A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, "Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?" "Sir," the man replied "leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down."'

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, 24th March, 2019

Sliocht as  Leabhar  Exodus      3:1-8.13-15
An té atá ann is é a sheol chugaibh mé.

Bhí Maois ag aoireacht tréad athair a chéile, Iatró, sagart Mhidián. Sheol sé a thréad go hiarthar an fhásaigh agus tháinig go Horaeb, sliabh Dé.  Thaispeáin aingeal an Tiarna é féin dó ansiúd i riocht lasair thine ag teacht as lár toir; d’fhéach sé agus b’shiúd an tor ar lasadh ach gan é á dhó.  “Caithfidh mé dul i leataobh,” arsa Maois, “agus an radharc iontach seo a fheiceáil – cen fáth a bhfuil an tor gan do.”  Nuair a chonaic an Tiarna é agus é ag dul i leataobh á fheiceáil, ghlaoigh Dia air ón tor: “A Mhaois, a Mhaois!” “Anseo dom,” ar sé.  “Ná tar níos gaire,” arsa [an Tiarna], “bain do bhróga de do chosa óir an ball ar a bhfuil tú i do sheasamh, is talamh naofa é.”  “Is mise,” ar sé ansin, “Dia d’athar, Dia Abrahám, Dia Íosác, Dia Iacóib.” Agus chlúdaigh Maois a aghaidh mar nár leomhaigh sé féachaint ar Dhia.

  Ansin dúirt an Tiarna: “Chonaic mé an cruatan atá ar mo phobal san Éigipt agus chuala mé a screadaíl de bharr a saoistí saothair; is eol dom a bpianta.  Tháinig mé anuas chun iad a fhuascailt as lámha na nÉigipteach agus chun iad a sheoladh as an tír sin isteach i dtír mhéith fhairsing, i dtír ina bhfuil bainne agus mil ina slaoda.

Ansin dúirt Maois le Dia: “Má théim go clann Iosrael agus a rá leo: ‘Dia bhur n-aithreacha a chuir mise chugaibh,’ agus go bhfiafraíonn siad díom: ‘Cén t-ainm atá air?’ céard a déarfaidh mé leo?”  Dúirt Dia le Maois: “Is mé an te atá ann,” agus lean sé air: “agus abair é seo le clann Iosrael: ‘An té atá ann is é a sheol chugaibh mé.’”

Agus dúirt Dia arís le Maois: “Seo mar a déarfaidh tú le clann Iosrael: ‘An Tiarna, Dia bhur n-aithreacha, Dia Abrahám, Dia Íosác, Dia Iacóib, is é a chuir chugaibh mé.’ Sin é m’ainm ar feadh na síoraíochta agus sin mar a bheidh m’ainm á ghlaoch ó ghlúin go glúin.

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le Freagra               Sm 102
Freagra                              Is grámhar trócaireach é an Tiarna.

I.  Gabh buíochas leis an Tiarna, a anam liom,
beannaíodh a bhfuil istigh ion am a ainm naofa.
Gabh buíochas leis an Tiarna, a anam liom,
agus ná déan dearmad dá thíolaicí go léir.    Freagra

2. Eisean a mhaitheann do chionta go léir,
a shlánaíonn d'easláintí go léir,
a fhuasclaíonn do bheatha ón mbás,
a chorónaíonn thú le grá is le trua.                   Freagra

3. Cuireann an Tiarna an fhíréantacht i bhfeidhm,
túgann sé ceart dá mbíonn faoi dhaorsmacht.
Chuir sé a shlite in iúl do Mhaois
agus a ghníomhartha do chlann Isráél.            Freagra

4. Is grámhar trócaireach é an Tiarna.
foighneach agus lán de cheansacht.
Ní airde neamh os cionn talún
na méid a bhuanghrá do lucht a eaglaithe.      Freagra

Sliocht as céad Litir Naomh Pól chuig na Coirintigh      10:1-6.10-12
Tharla na nithe sin dóibh mar shampla dúinne.

Ní háil liom nach mbeadh a fhios agaibh, a bhráithre, go raibh ár sinsir uile faoi scáth an scamaill agus go ndeachaigh siad uile tríd an muir, agus gur baisteadh iad uile sa scamall agus sa mhuir i gcomhar le Maois. Chaith siad uile an bia spioradálta céanna   agus d’ól siad an deoch spioradálta chéanna mar gur ól siad deoch ón gcarraig spioradálta a bhí á leanúint – agus ba é Críost an charraig sin. Mar sin féin ní raibh Dia buíoch dá bhformhór agus dá chomhartha sin fágadh sínte iad faoin bhfásach.

Is mar shampla dúinne a tharla na nithe sin, á fhógairt dúinn gan dúil a chur i ndrochnithe faoi mar a chuir siad siúd. Agus ná déanaigí monabhar mar a rinne cuid acu sin monabhar gur scrios an scriosadóir iad.

Tharla na nithe sin dóibh mar shampla dúinne agus scríobhadh iad mar rabhadh dúinne ar ar tháinig críoch na n-aoiseanna. Dá réir sin an té ar dóigh leis go bhfuil sé ina sheasamh, tugadh sé aire ar eagla go dtitfeadh sé.

Briathar Dé.  

Véarsa                                     Mth 4: 17
'Deanaigi aithri,' a deir an Tiarna,
'mar ta riocht na bhflaitheas in achmaireacht.'


Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh  Lúcás           13:1-9
Mura ndéana sibh aithrí millfear sibh uile mar an gcéanna.

San am sin féin tháinig daoine I láthair á insint D’Íosa faoi na Gailíligh, go raib Piolát
éis a gcuid fola agus fuil a n-íobairtí a mheascadh ar a chéile. Dúirt sé leo á bhfreagairt:  “An é is dóigh libh, agus a rá gur fhulaing siad an méid sin, gur mhó de pheacaigh na Gailíligh sin ná na Gailíligh eile go léir? Níor mhó, deirim libh; ach mura ndéana sibh aithrí millfear sibh uile mar an gcéanna. Nó an t-ocht nduine dhéag úd ar thit an túr orthu i Siolóam agus gur mharaigh iad, an dóigh libh gur mhó a bhí siad i bhfiacha ná an chuid eile d’áitritheoirí Iarúsailéim? Níor mhó, deirim libh, ach millfear sibh uile mar an gcéanna mura mbíonn aithrí déanta agaibh.”

Dúirt sé an parabal seo: “Bhí fear ann a raibh crann fígí curtha ina fhíonghort aige, agus tháinig sé ag lorg toraidh air agus ní bhfuair. Dúirt sé le curadóir na fíniúna: ‘Féach, táim le trí bliana ag teacht ag lorg toraidh ar an gcrann fígí seo agus ní bhfaighim é. Gearr anuas é. Cad chuige a mbeadh an talamh ó rath aige i gcónaí?’ Ach dúirt seisean leis á fhreagairt: ‘A mháistir, lig an bhliain seo leis chomh maith, nó go ndéanfaidh mé romhar ina thimpeall agus aoileach a chur leis, agus b’fhéidir go dtabharfadh sé toradh uaidh; ach mura dtugann, gearrfaidh tú anuas é feasta.’”

Soiscéal Dé

Machtnamh ar Bhriathar Dé dia Domhnaigh

Ceacht ón Garraíodóir

Léitear sa Soiscéal gur chuir an garraíodóir ceist ar úinéar an fhíonghoirt deis eile a thabhairt don chrann fige le súil go mbeadh sé torthúil. Gheall sé go ndéanfadh sé tochailt timpeall air agus go gcuirfeadh sé aoileach air, chun an deis déanach a bhronnadh ar an gcrann. Dála an garraíodóir, b’hfearr dúinn ár gcreideamh a chothú, agus iarracht a dhéanamh ar theacht i gcabhair ar daoine eile. An bhfuil ár gcreideamh á chaomhnú againn, agus grá Dé á chleachtadh chun go mbeimíd torthúil mar a bhfuil súil ag Dia linn?

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

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 31st March, 2019

A reading from the Book of Joshua     5:9-12
The People of God kept the Passover on their entry into the promised land

The Lord said to Joshua, 'Today I have taken the shame of Egypt away from you'.

The Israelites pitched their camp at Gilgal and kept the Passover there on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening in the plain of Jericho. On the morrow of the Passover they tasted the produce of that country, unleavened bread and roasted ears of corn, that same day. From that time, from their first eating of the produce of that country, the manna stopped falling. And having manna no longer, the Israelites fed from that year onwards on what the land of Canaan yielded.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm         Ps 33
Response                              Taste and see that the Lord is good.

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. Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free.          Response

3. Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress.  Response


A reading from the second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 5:17-21
God reconciled us to himself through Christ

For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God's work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men's faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ's name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.

Gospel  Acclamation      Lk 15:18
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
I will leave this place and go to my father and say:
'Father,  I have sinned against heaven and against you.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke    13:1-9
Your brother here was dead and has come to life. 

The tax collectors and the sinners, meanwhile, were all seeking his company to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. 'This man' they said 'welcomes sinners and eats with them. So he spoke this parable to them:
'A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, "Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me." So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

'When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, "How many of my father's paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants." So he left the place and went back to his father.

'While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found." And they began to celebrate.

'Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. "Your brother has come" replied the servant "and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound." He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, "Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property - he and his women - you kill the calf we had been fattening."
The father said,
"My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found."'
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, 31st March, 2019

Sliocht as  Leabhar Iósua      5:9-12
Choimeád  muintir Iosrael an Cháisc ar an gceathrú lá déag den mhí.

Dúirt an Tiarna le Iósua: “Inniu féin rinne mé aithis na hÉigipte a dhíbirt uaibh.”

Uime sin tugadh Gilgeál ar an áit go dtí an lá atá inniu ann. Fad a bhí muintir Iosrael ag cur fúthu i gcampa i nGilgeál, choimeádadar an Cháisc ar an gceathrú lá déag den mhí, um thráthnóna, ar mhachairí Ireachó. Amárach na Cásca, an lá sin díreach, d’itheadar cuid de thorthaí na tíre, cístí gan ghabháile agus arbhar tíortha. As sin ar aghaidh, ón uair a d’itheadar cuid de thorthaí na tíre, níor thit an manna a thuilleadh; bhí clann Iosrael gan mhanna as sin amach, ach d’itheadar torthaí thír Chanán an bhliain sin.

Briathar Dé. 

Salm le Freagra              Sm 33
Freagra                             Blaisigí agus feachaigí a fheabhas atá an Tiarna.

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

2. Móraigí an Tiarna mar aon liom,
agus adhraimis a ainm in éineacht.
Chuardaigh mé an Tiarna is d'fhreagair sé mé,
agus shaor mé ar gach uile eagla.                               Freagra

3. Féachaigí ina threo chun go mbeadh gliondar oraibh
is nach mbeadh luisne náire ar bhur n-aghaidh.
Scread an t-ainniséoir is chuala an Tiarna é,
agus shaor sé é óna anacraí go léir.                           Freagra


Sliocht as dara Litir Naomh Pól chuig na Coirintigh        5:7-21
Is é Dia a thug sinne chun athmhuintearais leis féin trí Chríost

Aon duine atá i gCríost, is duine é atá cruthaitheas an nua; tá an sean i léig, féach, agus tá an nua tagtha.Is é Dia a thug an t-iomlán igcrích, mar is é a thug sinne chun athmhuintearais leis féin trí Chríost agus a d’fhág ant-athmhuintearas ina chúram orainne.Is é sin le rá go raibh Dia i gCríost ag tabhairt an domhain chun athmhuintearais leis féin, gan cionta na ndaoine a agairt orthu, agus gurfúinne a d’fhág sé fógairt an athmhuintearais sin.Dá réir sin is ambasadóirí thar ceann Chríost sinne mar gur trínne atá Dia ag achainí.Is é a impímid oraibh in ainm Chríost athmhuintearas a dhéanamh le Dia.Mar an té údnárbh eol dó an peaca, rinne Dia peaca de ar mhaithe linne, d’fhonn go ndéanfaí dínnefíréantacht Dé ann.

Briathar Dé.  

Véarsa                                         Lc  15. 18
Cuirfidh mé chun bóthair agus ráchaidh me chun m'athar agus dearfaidh me leis:
'A athair. pheacadh mé in aghaidh na bhfaitheas agus i do láthairse.'


Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Lúcás        15:1-3.11-32
Bhí an deartháir seo agat marbh agus tá sé beo arís.

San am sin bhí na poibleacánaigh agus na peacaigh, uile ag teacht ina ghar chun bheith
ag éisteacht leis. Agus bhí na Fairisínigh agus na scríobhaithe ag monabhar: “Glacann an duine seo peacaigh chuige,” deiridís, “agus itheann sé ina gcuibhreann.”

Agus labhair sé an parabal seo leo:
“Bhí fear ann a raibh beirt mhac aige. Agus dúirt an duine ab óige acu lena athair: ‘A athair, tabhair dom an chuid den sealúchas atá ag titim chugam.’ Agus roinn sé a mhaoin shaolta eatar thu. Agus i gcionn beagán laethanta, tar éis don mhac ab óige gach ní a bhailiú le chéile, d’imigh sé ar an gcoigrích go tír i gcéin, agus scaip a shealúchas ansiúd, ag tabhairt a shaoil go drabhlásach. Nuair a bhí gach aon ní caite aige, tháinig gorta millteach sa tír sin, agus thosaigh sé féin bheith in uireasa. D’imigh sé agus rinne fostú le duine de mhuintir na tíre sin, agus chuir seisean faoina chuid talún éag aoireacht mhuc. Agus ba é ba mhian leis a bholg a líonadh de na féithleoga a d’itheadh na muca, agus ní thugadh aon duine dó iad. Ach tháinig sé chuige féin agus dúirt: ‘Cá liacht de lucht tuarastail ag m’athair a bhfuil fuílleach aráin acu, agus mise anseo ag fáil bháis den ghorta! Cuirfidh mé chun bóthair agus rachaidh mé chun m’athar agus déarfaidh mé leis: A athair, pheacaigh mé in aghaidh na bhflaitheas agus I do láthairse; ní fiú mé feasta go dtabharfaí mac duit orm; déan díom mar a bheadh duine de do lucht tuarastail.’ Chuir sé chun bóthair ag triall ar a athair.

Ach le linn dó fós bheith i bhfad uaidh, chonaic a athair é agus ghabh trua é, agus rith sé chuige, á chaitheamh féin ar a bhráid agus á mhúchadh le póga. Dúirt an mac leis: ‘A athair, pheacaigh mé in aghaidh na bhflaitheas agus i do láthairse; ní fiú mé feasta go dtabharfaí mac duit orm.’  Ach dúirt an t-athair lena sheirbhísigh: ‘Beirigí amach gan mhoill an éide is uaisle agus cuirigí air í, agus cuirigí fáinne ar a mhéar agus cuaráin ar a chosa, agus tugaigí libh an lao biata agus maraígí é, agus bímis ag ithe agus ag aoibhneas; óir bhí an mac seo agam marbh agus tá sé beo arís, bhí sé caillte agus fuarthas é.’ Agus thosaigh siad ag déanamh aoibhnis.

“Bhí an mac ba shine aige ar fud na talún, agus nuair a tháinig sé i ngar don teach, chuala an ceol agus an rince. Ghlaoigh sé chuige duine de na giollaí agus d’fhiafraigh de cad é an rud é seo a bhí ar bun. Dúirt seisean leis: ‘Do dheartháir a bheith tagtha, agus mharaigh d’athair an lao biata de chionn go bhfuair sé ar ais slán é.’ Ach bhí fearg air agus níorbh áil leis dul isteach. Tháinig a athair amach ag achainí air. Ach dúirt sé lena athair á fhreagairt: ‘Féach féin a bhfuilim de bhlianta ag seirbhís duit agus ní dheachaigh mé riamh thar do réir, agus riamh níor thug tú dom mionnán gabhair chun go ndéanfainn aoibhneas le mo chairde.  Ach an mac seo agat nuair a tháinig sé, tar éis do mhaoin shaolta a ídiú le striapacha, mharaigh tú an lao biata dó.’  Ach dúirt sé leis:
‘A mhic, bíonn tusa liom i gcónaí, agus gach a bhfuil agam is leat;  ach bhí sé ceart aoibhneas a dhéanamh agus áthas, óir bhí an deartháir seo agat marbh agus tá sé beo arís,  bhí sé caillte agus fuarthas é.’”

Machtnamh ar Bhriathar Dé dia Domhnaigh

An deartháír níos sine
Spreagann freagra fiachmhar an deartháír níos sine ár ndearcadh i dtaobh stráinséirí a scrúdú. An bhfuil breis agus ár gcuid tuillte againn thar éinne eile? An dtugamíd adhradh do Dhia mar dhualgas orainn ach le doicheall mar gheall ar thrócaire Dé ar na h-aithrí. An bhfearaimíd fáílte le tuiscint rompu siúd a iarann cead isteach chughainn aineoinn a n-oidhreacht? An fearr dúinn ballaí a thógáil in áit an lámh fáilte a shíneadh. An bhfuilimíd cáirdiúil cneasta nó an gcuirimíd droch bhail agus amhras ar eachtrannaigh?

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

© An Sagart