Pictorial Thought for Today

Pictorial Thought for Today

Dec 7 - Saint Ambrose, 340-97 bishop and doctor of the Church

Summary: St  Ambrose, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, born in Trier (Germany) c 340, ordained bishop on this day in 374 and died at Milan (Italy) on Holy Saturday 397. He was a lawyer who became governor in Milan, while still a catechumen was elected bishop by popular acclaim. He upheld orthodoxy against the Arians and won many Christian converts, encouraged monasticism and defended the independence of the Church against secular authority. He was honoured as an outstanding pastor through his writings on the sacraments and Christian ethics, his homilies, instructions, and hymns.

AmbroseLike St Martin of Tours, Ambrose was a Roman army man. The Christian ethos had come into the army through the conversion of Constantine. Ambrose's status was such that he was chosen by acclamation of the people to be archbishop of Milan.

Desmond O'Grady tells his story.

Inculturation, the embodiment of the faith in a culture, has become a buzz word. One of the most successful examples, surely, was the melding between Christianity and the culture of ancient Rome. St Ambrose had a vital role in this.

ight from his birth, Aurelius Ambrogius was destined for an important role in the empire. Born in Trier on the Rhine in AD 339, the son of a Roman senator, who was also Prefect of Gaul, he became a lawyer and a senator, and the Governor of the Italian provinces of Emilia and Liguria, with his residence in Milan. He was a VIP of the imperial admin­istration but left it to become the Bishop of Milan.

According to one biographer, he went as a Roman official to a Milanese church to ensure order during the election of the bishop and, although he was a layman, he himself was chosen after a child cried out, 'Ambrose for bishop!' This episode is depicted in a fresco in San Clemente Church in Rome. 'Violence was done to me,' wrote Ambrose later, referring to his election. He was only thirty-­five!

hatever way he was elected, he proved to be an outstanding bishop in a long reign from AD 374 to AD 397. He was the corner­stone of the Milanese Church which still has its own rite, the Ambrosian, dating from his time. In it the Mass is structured some­what differently from the Roman rite and the canons also differ.

Ambrose was also a significant figure beyond Milan, partly because it was the seat of the Emperor of the West. After Emperor Constantine accepted Christianity early in the century he had shifted the capital from Rome to Constantinople but the western part of the empire was ruled from Milan.

In Ambrose's time, eminent members of the Roman Senate still retained their pagan beliefs and their attachment to classical tradition. They were afraid that Christianity was an offence to those gods who had ensured the empire's greatness; some of them worked for the restoration of  paganism, as was the case during the reign of Emperor Julian the Apostate, who died only twelve years before Ambrose became bishop.

Opposes Arian Heretics
mbrose played a key role in mounting opposition against persistent paganism. At the same time, Christianity was tragically divided, with Arian heretics, who claimed that Christ was inferior to God the Father, threatening to prevail. And barbarians were making inroads into the empire. Ambrose responded ably to all these problems, insisting on the need for unity and hence for discipline.

He retained a Roman senator’s sense of order and diplomacy, but put them at the service of the Church. He was related to some of the leading senators, had attended their schools and shared many of their tastes. He was far from being the only Christian senator but his family must have been one of those with the longest Christian traditions.

A relative, Severa, had been a martyr under the Emperor Diocletian at the end of the third century. His sister, whom he described as 'dearer to me than life and the light of my eyes', was a consecrated virgin. She seems to have been the leader of a community of Christian women who lived in her residence, which is now a Benedictine monastery near the Roman ghetto.

Ambrose lived under two Arian Emperors, namely Constantius II and Valens, while three other Emperors – Gratian, Theodosius and Valentinian – accepted his guidance.

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, denies Emperor Theodosius even the ability to enter the Church - must less take the Eucharist.He once affirmed that Emperors were not above the laws of the Church, an affirmation which set the stage for the Christendom of the Middle Ages. (see picture right>>>) Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, denies Emperor Theodosius even the ability to enter the Church - must less take the Eucharist. 'The Emperor is in the Church,' he claimed, 'but not above it'. One result was that there were new expectations of Emperors: pagans had expected them to be valorous soldiers but also clement, austere and fair.  (‘Emperor’ originally meant Commander of the Armed Forces).

Ambrose, however, expected additional qualities: he praised emperors who were devout and humble, and who showed compassion.  He expected them to be first in the faith. After the death of Emperor Theodosius, Ambrose praised him for 'lowering the imperial banners in the dust and crying for his sins'.

Rigorous yet Flexible
ambrose writing
Ambrose was an interventionist bishop, disputing with the Emperor even about decisions affecting the Church in the Middle East, but he could also be extremely tactful: his legal train­ing had taught him to mix rigour with flexibility. Evidently, Emperors of barbarian back­ground, such as Theodosius who made Christianity the State reli­gion, admired Ambrose's culture as well as his holiness.

When the Arians were on the verge of getting the upper hand in Milan, Ambrose composed hymns to combat their teaching and, to retain control of the cathe­dral, he even defied pro-Arian troops. At a decisive moment he discovered the bones of two mar­tyrs, Gervase and Protase, which encouraged his flock. 'Now I have my soldiers,' he commented, 'who are in the army of Jesus'.

Despite a weak voice, Ambrose was a renowned preacher (many of his sermons survive) and a vigorous polemicist who, among other things, defended the recently for­mulated Nicean Creed which was under attack by Arians.

Important Influence
One of his most important ser­vices was to inspire a certain teacher of rhetoric, who had come to Milan with his mother and son on the recommendation of the pagan Senator Symmachus, who had been a school friend of Ambrose and who was also prob­ably a relative.

Augustine Meeting St Ambrose On His Arrival In Milan.

This teacher, who was born in North Africa, described a visit to Ambrose. He saw the bishop engrossed in his reading which, unusually for the times, he did silently:  'His door was never closed to anyone and no one had to be announced before meeting him. Many times I saw him reading and, after watching him without saying a word, I went away...'.  The young teacher who tiptoed away discreetly was Augustine from Hippo, in what is now Algeria.

Ambrose was a strenuous defender of the order established by Rome which he tended to identify with Christianity. His fear was that, if this order disappeared, chaos would prevail.  Perhaps, in Ambrose, the meld between Christianity and Roman culture was too successful. St Augustine went a step further for he claimed serenely that even if the barbarians conquered Rome, the City of God would prevail nevertheless.

Towards the end of AD 396 Ambrose fell ill, and died later on Easter Sunday AD 397. Shortly before this, as prayers were offered for his recovery, he said, 'I have not lived in a way which makes me ashamed to stay alive but I am not afraid of death either because God is good'.

This article first appeared in The Messenger (January 1998), a publication of the Irish Jesuits.




Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 7th December, 2023

Thursday of the First week of Advent

 It is the upright nation, those who hear and do the will of God that will enter the kingdom.
Memorial of St Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the church

FIRST READING                

A reading from the prophet Isaiah      26:1-6
Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one.my rock

That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city; to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us.
Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in,
she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace,
because she trusts in you.

Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is the everlasting Rock;
he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel;
he brings it down, brings it down to the ground, flings it down in the dust:
the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.

The Word of the Lord           Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm        Ps 117
Response                              Blessed in the name of the Lord  is he who comes.
or                                           Alleluia!

1. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in men:
it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.                Responsegates of heaven

2. Open to me the gates of holiness: I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord's own gate where the just may enter
I will thank you for you have given answer and you are my saviour.   Response

3. O Lord, grant us salvation; O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord; the Lord God is our light.  Response

Gospel Acclamation           Is 40:9-10
Alleluia,  alleluia!
Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem. Here the Lord is coming with power.

 or                                               Is 55:6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Seek the Lord while he can still be found, call to him while he is still near.


The Lord be with you.                                   And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew   7: 21. 24-27      Glory to you, O Lord.  
The person who does the will of my Father will enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said to his disciples:
'It is not those who say to me, "Lord, Lord", who will Jesus todayenter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.

'Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.

'But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!'

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


Gospel Reflection       Thursday              First Week of Advent      Matthew 7:21, 24-27

We know that a house is as good as its foundations. If the foundations are flimsy, the consequences for those who live in the house can be catastrophic, especially if unusual stress is placed on the building because of weather or some other disturbance of nature. The most important part of the house is that which is not immediately visible. In the gospel reading, Jesus draws on that image of the house to speak about the foundation of our lives as human beings. He declares that entrusting ourselves to him, listening to his word and trying to live by his word, will provide a foundation for our lives that will enable us to withstand the great storms of life. We need some solid ground under us as we go through life. Jesus presents himself as that solid ground. If we build our lives on all he says and does, he will prove to be a rock, enabling us to stand firm even when the disappointments and sufferings of life leave us feeling very vulnerable. As human beings we long for security at many levels. Jesus tells us that we will find our ultimate security in him if, in the phrase of Saint Paul, we allow his word to dwell in us richly, and, then, to bear fruit in our lives.


The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers.  http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from his book Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2021, 2024: The Word is near to you, on your lips and in your heart by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022/23, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/

Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 7th December, 2023


Sliocht as an fáidh  Íseáia         26:1-4
Lig don náisiún ionraic teacht isteach, ise atá dílis.

An lá sin, beidh an laoi seo á *chanadh ar thalamh Iúdá:
“Tá baile daingean againn; leag sé my rock bábhún agus forbhalla dár ndídean.
Osclaígí na geataí! Lig don náisiún ionraic teacht isteach, ise atá dílis,
atá bunúsach ó chroí, a choinníonn an tsíocháin, óir is asatsa atá a muinín.
Bíodh bhur muinín as an Tiarna go deo,
óir is é an Tiarna an charraig shíoraí;
d’ísligh sé an dream a bhí ina gcónaí ar na harda,
muintir an dúnfoirt daingin,
leagann sé iad, leagann iad ar lár, caitheann sé síos iad sa láib;
cosa na n-úiríseal agus na mbochtán, siúlann siad orthu ina gcoiscéim.”

Briathar an Tiarna           Buíochas le Dia

Salm le Freagra           Sm 117
Freagra                           Is beannaithe in ainm an Tiarna an té atá ag teacht.
Freagra eile                  Alleluia!

 1. Tugaigí buíochas don Tiarna toisc gur maith é: óir maireann a ghrá de shíor.
Is fearr dul i muinín an Tiarnaná bheith ag brath ar an duine.
Is fearr dul i muinín an Tiarna ná bheith ag brath ar fhlatha.                                     Freagra

2. Osclaígí dom doirse na fíréantachta: rachaidh mé isteach a gabháil buíochais.
Seo agaibh doras an Tiarna trína rachaidh na fíréin.
Gabhaim buíochas leat de bhrí gur éist tú liom agus gur tú mo shlánaitheoir.        Freagra

3. Fóir orainn, achainímid, a Thiarna; a Thiarna, go n-éirí linn.
Is beannaithe in ainm an Tiarna an té atá ag teacht.
Beannaímid sibh as teach an Tiarna. Is é an Tiarna ár solas.                                        Freagra

Comhgháir/Alleluia                           Is 55:6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Lorgaigí an Tiarna, fad a chuireann sé é féin ar fáil; glaoigí air, fad atá sé i ngar.


Go raibh an Tiarna libh.             Agus le do spiorad féin
Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Matha       7: 21. 24-27            Glóir duit, a Thiarna.
An té a dhéanann toil m’Athar  rachaidh sé isteach i ríocht na bhflaitheas.

San am sin dúirt Íosa lena dheisceabail:
Ní hé gach aon duine a deir liom: ‘A Thiarna, a Thiarna!’ a rachaidh isteach i ríocht na bhflaitheas,Jesus today ach an té a dhéanann toil m’Athar atá ar neamh.

Duine ar bith, mar sin, a chluineann na briathra seo a deirim agus a dhéanann dá réir, ní miste a chur i gcosúlacht le fear ciallmhar a thóg teach do féin ar an gcarraig: thit an bháisteach ansin agus tháinig na tuilte sléibhe agus shéid na gaotha, agus ghread siad ar an teach sin, ach níor thit sé, mar bhí bonn carraige faoi. “

Ach duine ar bith a chluineann na briathra seo a deirim agus nach ndéanann dá réir, ní miste a chur i gcosúlacht le fear gan tuiscint a thóg teach dó féin ar an ngaineamh:
thit an bháisteach ansin agus tháinig na tuilte sléibhe agus shéid na gaotha, agus bhuailsiad an teach sin agus thit sé, agus ba mhór an titim í.”

Soiscéal an Tiarna.          Moladh duit, a Chriost

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 10th December, 2023

Second Sunday of Advent, Year B

St John the Baptist calls to us to straighten out our lives, to lower the mountains of pride so that God’s grace can lead us to do what he wants with us. There is no place for our selfishness and pride in St Peter’s new heaven and new earth.

( An Advent Reflection by John Cullen can be found below the Readings for today .)


FIRST READING              

A reading from the prophet Isaiah        40:1-5. 9-11
Prepare a way for the Lord.

'Console my people, console them' says your God.
'Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her that her time of service is ended, that her sin is atoned for,
that she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.'

A voice cries,
'Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in,Grader clears highway after heavy snow fall every mountain and hill be laid low,
let every cliff become a plain, and the ridges a valley;
then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'

Go up on a high mountain, joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice, joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Shout without fear, say to the towns of Judah,
'Here is your God'. Here is the Lord the Lord coming with power,
his arm subduing all things to him.
The prize of his victory is with him, his trophies all go before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms,
holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewe.

The Word of the Lord.              Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm           Ps 84
Response                                 Let us see,  O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help.

1. I will hear what the Lord God has to say, a voice that speaks of peace, peace for his people.
faithfulness His help is near for those who fear him and his glory will dwell in our land.    Response

2. Mercy and faithfulness have met; justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth and justice look down from heaven.   Response

3. The Lord will make us prosper and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him and peace shall follow his steps.                          Response


A reading from the second letter of St Peter         3:8-14
We are waiting for  the new heavens and new earth.

light of the worldThere is one thing, my friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord,
'a day' can mean a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day.
The Lord is not being slow to carry out his promises, as anybody else might be called slow; but he is being patient with you all, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to change his ways. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up.

Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where righteousness will be at home. So then, my friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace.

The Word of the Lord.            Thanks be to God.

Gospel  Acclamation         Lk 3:4.6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight..
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.


The Lord be with you            And with your spirit.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark       1:1-8
Make his paths straight.

he beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:John the B

Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way.
A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight,
and so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, '
Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am,
and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.
I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'

The Gospel of the Lord.      Glory to you, O Lord

John Cullen's Second Sunday of Advent Reflection

‘Here is your God like a shepherd feeding his flock’ (Isaiah 40:11)

The 1971 musical, Godspell opens with God’s voice, as spoken by Jesus, declaring
My name is known, it is  God and King. I am most in majesty, in whom no beginning may be and no end’.
In response, John the Baptist then calls the community to order by blowing a shofar, (a type of bugle,) to acknowledge the Jewish tradition of calling people together.

The cast in the musical then sing ‘Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord’. John the Baptist gives a short sermon. Jesus asks to be baptised, explaining that ‘we too will now conform to all that God requires’. The cast sings ‘Turn Back O Man’, imploring us to change and turn back to God. This opening part of the musical reflects our readings in the Mass for today.

The 1930s and 1940's world of Frank Mc Court’s Angela’s Ashes is in a sense an Advent wilderness for one family. The personal memoir was written in 1996. In the environment of grinding poverty and squalor in a tenement slum in Limerick, Ireland, Angela struggles to hold her family together as financial struggles and chronic alcoholism take their grim toll on many lives.

There is no help from her extended bigoted family. The face of the Church is brutal, apart from the common-sense and sympathetic humanity of a priest who listens to the faltering words of Frank. (This is well portrayed in the 1999 film version of the book). The scene of Frank praying as he kneels before the statue of Saint Francis of Assisi gives us a glimpse of hope as he faces so many anguishing experiences.

Console my people, console them’ are the words that ‘speak to the heart’ in today’s First Reading from Isaiah. Angela is the true image of the shepherd holding the lambs of her family close to her breast, as she quietly suffers unimaginable harshness and callous cruelty. This is the line quoted at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel today. The prophetic words of the Old Testament are the beginning of the New Testament!

Who consoles you? Who do you console?
Who shepherds you as your life ebbs and flows between desolation and consolation?

The Scripture Texts are taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. Fr John Cullen, Parish Priest of Ahascraigh, Ballinasloe, Co Galway and Editor of Intercom Magazine, is the writer of Advent Reflections published by Messenger Publications c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop.

Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 10th December, 2023



 Sliocht as an fáidh  Íseáia                     40:1-5. 9-11
Réitigí cosán le haghaidh an Tiarna.

Sólás, beirigí sólás chuig mo mhuintir,” a deir bhur nDia.
“Labhraigí le croí Iarúsailéim agus fógraígí di go bhfuil aimsir a seirbhíse istigh,
go bhfuil a peaca maite, go bhfuair sí ó láimh an Tiarna pionós faoi dhó ina cionta go léir.”
Tá glór ag fógairt:“Réitigí cosán san fhásach le haghaidh an Tiarna.
Déanaigí díreach thar an machaire bealach mór dár nDia.
Líontar isteach gach gleann, agus íslítear gach sliabh agus gach cnoc;
déantar achréidh de na hailteanna agus míntír den gharbhchríoch.
Ansin foilseofar glóir an Tiarna agus feicfidh an uile fheoil í in éineacht.Grader clears highway after heavy snow fall
Óir tá béal an Tiarna tar éis labhairt.”
Suas leat ar shliabh ard, a challaire an dea-scéala chuig Síón.
Ardaigh do ghlór go láidir, a challaire an dea-scéala chuig Iarúsailéim.
Ardaigh do ghlór gan eagla, abair le bailte Iúdá: “Seo é bhur nDia.”
Féach an Tiarna Dia ag teacht lena neart, agus a lámh ag smachtú roimhe!
Tá a luach saothair leis ina sheilbh, agus a éadáil ag dul roimhe amach.
Mar a dhéanfadh aoire ag aoireacht a thréada dó,
ag bailiú na n-uan chuige ina bhaclainn, á n-iompar ar chlár a uchta
agus ag fosaíocht na gcaorach tórmaigh.

Briathar an Tiarna                    Buíochas le Dia

SALM LE FREAGRA             Sm 84

I. Éistfidh mé leis an ní a déarfaidh an Tiarna Dia;
déarfaidh sé go deimhin lena phobal: 'Síocháin daoibh!'
Tá a shlánú i ngar do lucht a eaglaithe
faithfulnesschun go gcónóidh an ghlóir inár dtir.                           Freagra

2. Casadh ar a chéile an trócaire is an dílseacht,
phóg an fhíréantacht is an tsíocháin a chéile.
Eascróidh an dílseacht as an talamh
agus breathnóidh an fhíréantacht anuas ó neamh.   Freagra

3. Tabharfaidh an Tiarna fós an mhaith,
agus tabharfaidh an talamh a thoradh uaidh.
Rachaidh an fhíréantacht roimhe amach,
agus an tsíocháin i lorg a choiscéimeanna.                 Freagra

DARA LÉACHT             

 Sliocht as an dara litir Naomh Peadar              3:8-14
Táimid ag súil  le spéartha nua agus le domhan

A clann ionúin, ná déanaigí dearmad den phointe seo, a chairde cléibh, gur cuma aon lá amháin leis an Tiarna nó míle bliain, agus míle bliain nó aon lá amháin. Ní dhéanann an Tiarna moill lena ghealltanas, mar a thuigtear moill do dhaoine áirithe, ach tá sé foighneach libh mar nach mian leis go gcaillfí aon dream ach go dtiocfadh cách chun aithrí. Tiocfaidh lá an Tiarna mar ghadaí, agus scriosfar na spéartha de ruathar toirní; déanfar na dúile a mhilleadh le tine, agus loscfar an domhan agus a bhfuil d’oibreacha ann.

Ó tharla go bhfuil gach ní le scriosadh ar an gcuma sin, cén sórt daoine ar cheart daoibh a bheith maidir le hiompar naofa agus le cráifeacht, agus sibh ag feitheamh le teacht lá Dé, agus á bhrostú! tríd sin déanfar na spéartha a scriosadh le tine, agus na dúile a leá le teas. Ach táimid ag súil, de réir an ghealltanais, le spéartha nua agus le domhan nua mar a lonnóidh an fhíréantacht. Dá bhrí sin, a chairde cléibh, ós rud é go bhfuil sibh ag súil leis na nithe sin, bígí go dúthrachtach le go bhfaigheadh sé sibh gan locht gan cháim, agus faoi shíocháin.

Briathar an Tiarna                    Buíochas le Dia

Alleluia                                      Lc 3:4, 6
Alleluia, alleluia!
Ullmhaigí bóthar an Tiarna, déanaigi díreach a chosáin.
Agus feicfidh an uile cholainn shánú Dé.


 Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh. Marcas                1:1-8
Déanaigí díreach a chosáin.

John the BTosach Shoiscéal Íosa Críost, Mac Dé. De réir mar atá scríofa in Íseáia fáidh:
“Feach, cuirim mo theachtaire romhat a ullmhóidh do bhóthar.
Glór duine ag éamh san fhásach:
‘Réitígí bóthar an Tiarna, déanaigí díreach a chosáin.’”

Tháinig Eoin ag baisteadh san fhásach agus ag fógairt baiste aithrí chun peacaí a
mhaitheamh. Agus bhí ag teacht amach chuige na daoine ó thír Iúdáia go léir, agus
muintir uile Iarúsailéim, agus iad ag fáil baiste uaidh in abhainn na Iordáine ag admháil a

Bhí rón camaill mar éadach ar Eoin, crios leathair faoina choim aige, lócaistí agus mil fhiáin mar bheatha aige. Agus bhíodh sé ag seanmóir á rá:
Tá ag teacht i mo dhiaidh an té atá níos treise ná mé, agus ní fiú mé cromadh síos chun iall a chuarán a scaoileadh.
Bhaist mise le huisce sibh, ach baistfidh seisean sibh leis an Spiorad Naomh.”

Soiscéal an Tiarna.             Moladh duit, a Chriost


Machtnamh ar Bhriathar Dé dia Domhnaigh

Eoin Baiste agus Gairmeacha Eaglasta

Cé a d'fhéadfadh gairm a bheith aige nó aice don seirbhís an Bhriathair inniú? Do'n sagartacht nó d'aireacht éigin eile eaglasta, i sheirbhís do Phobal Dé? Is léir go bhfuil amárach ár n’eaglaise (mar phobal creidimh a chuireann luachanna Íosa chun cinn) in amhras inniu. Ach má bhéidh go leór daoine ag oscailt a gcroí le gairm Dé, cosúil le Eoin Baiste agus na chéad aspail sin, Andrias agus Pilib agus Peadar, bhéidh bealach ann chun an domhan a choinneáil ar an eolas faoi ghrásta ár Slánaitheoir Íosa Chríost. Sa phróiseas, b'fhéidir go dtabharfaidh go leór Caitlicigh spreagadh d’ár n-easpaigí an sagartacht a oscailt do dhaoine pósta ullmhaithe, chun aghaidh a chur ar laghdú drámatúil gairmeacha do’n saol aonarach deonach (celibacy).

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

© An Sagart