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

Loving as He Loves.

Although Jesus’ disciples had been with him for several years and had seen his miracles, they were slow to understand the meaning of his message. And yet, when Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection, there were no words of rebuke. He only spoke words of peace that revealed his love. Unchanging love was the gift of Jesus to his disciples and is the same gift he gives to us. Our hope comes from his steadfast love, as he always floods our hearts with it although we sometimes fail him. We experience such peace when we recognize this tremendous truth.

Our peace grows when we share this love with other people. Jesus asks us to follow him, but we can only be his followers when we do what he does, which is no easy task, you might say. However, the power of Jesus constantly flows through us, allowing us to love as he loves. Such love transforms our lives and gives us hope.

Deirdre Powell

Source: Living Faith, Daily Catholic Devotions (adapted
Saint of the day

Apr 24 - St Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622)

Fidelis 1The image shows St Fidelis being confronted by Calvinists offering him safety if he would join their Church. His reply was: "I am sent to root out heresy, not to embrace it. The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I do not fear death." Born Mark Rey, he was a well-educated young man who developed a burning zeal to live and preach the true gospel. He was martyred as he tried to win back Calvinists and Zwinglians to the Catholic faith in Switzerland. Patrick Duffy writes his story.

Early life
Born in Sigmaringen, a town in the Danube Valley, in the State of Baden-Wuttenberg in south west Germany, his baptismal name was Mark and his father, Johannes Roy or Rey, was the burgomeister, or local mayor. It is strange that none of his biographers mention his mother. Mark studied law and philosophy at Freiburg-in-Breisgau (Germany) and subsequently taught philosophy there.

From 1604 to 1610 Mark became tutor to three young Swabian men who were on their travels in Italy and France. During these travels, he visited churches and hospitals, cared for the poor and would frequently attend Mass. One of these companions afterwards testified that he often practised serious asceticism during the journey. On their return, Mark took his doctorate in canon and civil law in Freiburg 1611, and for a while practised as an lawyer at Colmar in Alsace.

Joined the Capuchins
However, he soon returned to Freiburg to join the Capuchin Franciscan Order and took the name Fidelis, meaning "faithful". During his novitiate, he wrote a book recording the spiritual exercises he did and his own spiritual development. It was subsequently published in many languages.

Theology studies
After the novitiate, Fidelis went to Constance to complete theology studies under Polish Capuchin Father John-Baptist who had a reputation for holiness and learning. He was ordained priest in 1612.

His apostolate
From 1618 Fidelis became guardian of three houses in succession - Rheinfelden, Freiburg and Feldkirch - (1618-22) and was well-known as a preacher and for his care of the sick.

Mission in the Grisons area of Switzerland
In 1622 Rome set up the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith to help spread the gospel in the newly discovered countries, and also to win back people in the Christian areas of Europe influenced by Protestantism. The Congregation appointed Fidelis as superior of a mission in the Grisons area of Switzerland around Chur where Calvinists and Zwinglians had acquired great influence. He campaigned strongly, especially by preaching, not only in the churches but also often even in the public streets. He wrote pamphlets and held conferences with the local magistrates and chief townsmen, often far into the night.

Opposition and confrontation
When as a result of Fidelis's preaching one influential leader returned to the Catholic Church, the opposition stiffened to him. As he travelled through the area of north-east Switzerland, Fidelis had a premonition that he might meet a martyr’s death. In fact, he was quite prepared for this and seems to have even desired it. On 24th April, after making his confession and celebrating Mass at Grusch, he set out for the Seewis-im-Prättigau region, near the border with Austria. His companions remarked that he was especially cheerful that day along the way. Stopping at a church to preach, a confrontation arose and continued outside the imageschurch. A serious scuffle with an armed group broke out. Some of the confronting crowd offered to save his life if he would join the Calvinists. Fidelis replied: "I am sent to root out heresy, not to embrace it. The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I do not fear death."

Death and veneration
Fidelis was beaten, struck down and died - the first martyr of the Congregation for Propagation of the Faith. His courage in facing death was a confirmation of all the hard choices he had been making during his life. His body was taken to Feldkirch and buried in the church of his order there, but his head and left arm were brought to the cathedral at Chur, where they remain today. He was beatified in 1729, and canonised in 1745.
Today's Readings

A reading from the Book Acts of the Apostles     11:19-26
They started preaching to the Greeks proclaiming the Lord Jesus.

Those who had escaped during the persecution that happened because of Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, but they usually proclaimed the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, who came from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch where they started preaching to the Greeks, proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus to them as well. The Lord helped them, and a great number believed and were converted to the Lord.

The church in Jerusalem heard about this and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. There he could see for himself that God had given grace, and this pleased him, and he urged them all to remain faithful to the Lord with heartfelt devotion; for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith. And a large number of people were won over to the Lord.

Barnabas then left for Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. As things turned out they were to live together in that church a whole year, instructing a large number of people. It was at Antioch that the disciples were first called 'Christians'.

The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm       Ps 86
Response                            O praise the Lord, all you nations!
Or                                           Alleluia!

1. On the holy mountain is his city
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion
to all Jacob's dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things,
O city of God!                                     Response

2. 'Babylon and Egypt I will count
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,
these will be her children
and Zion shall be called "Mother"
for all shall be her children.'            Response

3. It is he, the Lord Most High,
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
'These are her children'
and while they dance they will sing:
'In you all find their home.'            Response

Gospel Acclamation                Jn 10:127          
Alleluia, alleluia!
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice,
says the Lord;
I know them and they follow me.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to John     10:22-30
The Father and I are one.

It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.' Jesus replied:

'I have told you, but you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name are my witness;
but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine.
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life; they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,
and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.'

The Gospel of the Lord.


Gospel Reflection           Tuesday             Fourth Week of Easter                John 10:22-30

Many of us are concerned about break-ins at the moment. We are anxious lest someone might steal from us. We take various security precautions to prevent that from happening. In the gospel reading today, Jesus makes reference to stealing. He declares that no one will ever steal his followers from him. It is as if Jesus is saying that he has such a strong grip on his followers that no one will ever take them from him against his will. When you reflect on that saying of Jesus, it is indeed very reassuring. Jesus will do all in his power to keep us united with himself and to prevent us from being taken away from him or falling away from him. Yet, there is something that we must do as well. In the gospel reading, Jesus also declares, ‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice’. We need to pay attention, in some way, to the Lord. We try to hear what he may be saying to us; we seek to follow where he is leading us. If we do that, the gospel reading suggests that we can be assured that the Lord will do the rest. The Lord’s contribution to the relationship between us and him is much more significant than ours. Our ultimate salvation is much more the Lord’s doing than ours. Therein lies our confidence and hope.


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 for the Liturgical Year 2017/2018; ‘LET THE WORD OF GOD DWELL IN YOU' by Martin Hogan, published by The Messenger c/f


Sliocht as Leabhar Gníomhartha na nAspal     11:19-26
Thosaigh siad ag caint leis na Gréagaigh chomh maith agus ag fógairt dea-scéal an Tiarna Íosa dóibh.

An mhuintir úd a scaipeadh ag an ngéarleanúint a tharla mar gheall ar Stiofán, ghluais siad rompu chomh fada le Féinice agus leis an gCipir agus le hAintíoch. Níor fhógair siad an briathar, áfach, ach do na Giúdaigh amháin. Ach bhí daoine áirithe orthu – Ciprigh agus Cuiréanaigh ba ea iad – agus nuair a bhain siad Aintíoch amach thosaigh siad ag caint leis na Gréagaigh chomh maith agus ag fógairt dea-scéal an Tiarna Íosa dóibh. Bhí lámh Dé leo san obair agus is iomaí duine a ghlac an creideamh agus a d’iompaigh chun an Tiarna.

Tháinig scéala fúthu go dtí an Eaglais in Iarúsailéim agus sheol siad Barnabas go hAintíoch. Nuair a shroich sé an áit agus nuair a chonaic sé grásta Dé ann, bhí áthas air, agus chomhairligh sé dóibh go léir cloí leis an Tiarna go daingean diongbháilte. Fear maith a bhí ann agus é lán den Spiorad Naomh agus de chreideamh. Agus cuireadh slua maith mór le buíon an Tiarna.

D’imigh Barnabas go Tarsas ag lorg Shóil, agus tar éis dó é a fháil, thug sé leis go hAintíoch é. Thug siad bliain iomlán ar aíocht ag an Eaglais ann agus thug siad teagasc dá lán daoine. Agus tharla gur in Aintíoch is túisce a tugadh Críostaithe ar na deisceabail.

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le Freagra           Sm 86
Freagra                           Molaigí an Tiarna, a chiníocha uile
Malairt freagra            Alleluia!

1. Is ionúin leis an Tiarna a chathair
suite sna sléibhte.
Is ansa leis an Tiarna doirse Shíón
na bothanna uile Iacóib.
Maítear nithe glórmhara i do thaobh,
a chathair Dé!                                            Freagra

2. “Áireoidh mé Ráhab agus an Bhablóin
ar lucht mo adhartha.
Beidh Filistía agus an Tuír agus an Aetóip
á n-áireamh ina gclann aici.
Agus beifear á rá faoi Shíón:
Sí is máthair dó seo is dó siúd.’”            Freagra

3. Is é an Tiarna, an Té is Airde,
a bhunaigh go daingean í.
Scríobhfaidh an Tiarna i leabhar na bpobal:
“Rugadh iad uile san áit sin.”
Ag rince dóibh beidh siad ag canadh:
“Níl foinse agam nach bhfuil ionatsa.” Freagra


Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Eoin     10:22-30
Is aon mise agus an tAthair.

Bhí féile na Toirbhearta in Iarúsailéim agus ba é an geimhreadh é. Agus bhí Íosa ag siúl timpeall sa Teampall i bpóirse Sholaimh. Chruinnigh na Giúdaigh ina thimpeall agus dúirt siad leis: “An fada a bheimid dár gcoinneáil ar bís agat? Más tú an Críost inis dúinn é os comhair an tsaoil.” D’fhreagair Íosa iad:

“D’inis mé daoibh, ach ní chreideann sibh.
Na hoibreacha a dhéanaim in ainm m’Athar,
tugann siad fianaise i mo thaobh.
Ach ní chreideann sibhse,
mar ní de mo chaoirigh sibh.
Éisteann mo chaoirigh le mo ghlór,
agus aithním iad, agus leanann siad mé.
Tá an bheatha shíoraí agam á tabhairt dóibh,
agus ní chaillfear go deo iad,
ná ní fhuadóidh aon duine as mo láimh iad.
M’Athair a thug dom iad, is mó é ná cách,
agus ní féidir d’aon duine fuadach ó láimh m’Athar.
Is aon mise agus an tAthair.”

Soiscéal Dé.

© An Sagart
Sunday's Readings
 Scripture themes
The Church grows in the fear of the Lord, filled with the consolation of the Holy Spirit. The Father watches over the growth of the vine that it may bear more fruit. Faith, love and obedience to the commandments give life.


A reading from the Book Acts of the Apostles         9:26-31
Barnabas explained how the Lord had appeared to Saul and spoken to him on his journey.

paul preaching1When Saul got to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him: they could not believe he was really a disciple. Barnabas, however, took charge of him, introduced him to the apostles, and explained how the Lord had appeared to Saul and spoken to him on his journey, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Saul now started to go round with them in Jerusalem, preaching fearlessly in the name of the Lord. But after he had spoken to the Hellenists, and argued with them, they became determined to kill him. When the brothers knew, they took him to Caesarea, and sent him off from there to Tarsus.

The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up, living in the fear of the Lord, and filled with the consolation .of the Holy Spirit.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm        Ps 21
Response                            You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly.
or                                              Alleluia!

1. My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall have their fill.
They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him.
May their hearts live for ever and ever!                      Response

2. All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him.
They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust.   Response

3. And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn:
'These things the Lord has done.'                                  Response


A reading from the first letter of St John      3:18-24
His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another.

My children,
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active;
only by this can we be certain
that we are the children of the truth
and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,Christ commands
whatever accusations it may raise against us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God's presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.

The Word of the Lord

Gospel Acclamation    Jn 14: 10

Alleluia, alleluia!
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
Whoever remains in me bears fruit in plenty.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to John       15:10
Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.

Jesus said to his disciples:

'I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes
to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
i-am-the-vine-you-are-the-branches1I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away
- he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples.'

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.

Sliocht as Leabhar Gníomhartha na nAspal       6:26-31
D'inis Barnabas do na haspail mar a chonaic Sól an Tiarna ar an tslí.

paul preaching1Ar theacht dó go Iarúsailéim rinne sé iarracht ar dhul i bpáirt leis na deisceabail ach bhí eagla orthu go léir roimhe mar ní chreidfidís gur dheisceabal é. Ansin thóg Barnabas faoina chúram é agus thug i láthair na n-aspal é, ag aithris dóibh conas mar a chonaic sé an Tiarna ar an mbóthar agus mar a rinne sé comhrá leis agus mar a labhair sé go teann in ainm Íosa i nDamaisc. D’fhan Sól in éineacht leo in Iarúsailéim gan chosc gan cheangal air ach é ag labhairt go dána in ainm an Tiarna. Bhíodh sé ag caint agus ag conspóid leis na Giúdaigh Heilléanacha freisin. Rinne siadsan iarracht ar é a mharú ach nuair a fuair na bráithre amach é, thóg siad Sól leo go Céasaráia agus chuir as sin go Tarsas é. Mar sin bhí síocháin ag an Eaglais ar fud Iúdáia go léir agus na Gailíle agus na Samáire. Lean sí á tógáil féin agus ag dul chun cinn faoi eagla an Tiarna agus ag dul i méid le cabhair an Spioraid Naoimh.

Briathar Dé.

Salm le Freagra               Sm 21
Freagra                                Is tú mo mholadh sa mhórthionól, a Thiarna.
Malairt Freagra               Alleluia!

I. Comhlíonfaidh mé mo mhóideanna i láthair
na droinge ar a mbíonn a eagla.
Íosfaidh na bochtáin agus beidh a sáith acu.
Molfaidh lucht a iarrtha an Tiarna.
Go maire a gcroíthe go brách na breithe.                          Freagra

2. Cuimhneoidh an domhan uile agus casfaidh ar an Tiarna,
agus adhrfaidh na ciníocha uile ina fhianaise.
Adhrfaidh maithe móra an talaimh ina fhianaise.
Cromfaidh ina láthair a ngabhann síos sa luaithreach.  Freagra

3. Mairfidh m'anam ar a shon; déanfaidh mo chlann fónamh dó.
Tabharfaidh tuairisc an Tiarna do ghlúin atá le teacht.
Foilseoidh siad a dhílseacht do phobal nár saolaíodh fós:
'Sin iad na nithe a rinne an Tiarna.'                                   Freagra


Sliocht as an chéad Litir Naomh Eoin       3:18-24
Seo í an aithne a thug sé: go gcreidfimis in ainm a Mhic losa Críost agus go dtabharfaimis grá dá chéile.

Christ commandsA chlann liom, ná tugaimis grá briathair ná cainte amháin, ach grá gnímh agus fírinne. Is mar sin a aithneoimid gur de chlann na fírinne sinn, agus is mar sin a shuaimhneoimid ár gcoinsias ina láthairsean, má chiontaíonn ár gcroí sinn. Óir gur treise é Dia ná ár gcroí-ne agus is feasach dó an uile ní.A chairde cléibh, mura gciontaíonn ár gcroí sinn táimid lánmhuiníneach as Dia. Agus cibé ní a agraímid air, gheobhaimid uaidh é, ó tharla go gcoinnímid a aitheanta agus go ndéanaimid beart de réir a thaitnimh. Agus seo í an aithne a thug sé: go gcreidfimis in ainm a Mhic Íosa Críost agus go dtabharfaimis grá dá chéile, de réir mar a d’ordaigh seisean dúinn. An té a choinníonn a aitheanta, maireann i nDia, agus maireann seisean ann. Agus is mar seo a aithnímid go maireann sé ionainn, tríd an Spiorad a thug sé dúinn.

Briathar Dé.  

Alleluia Véarsa                   Eo 15: 4-5
Alleluia, Alleluia!
'Fanaigí ionamsa, agus mise ionaibh,' a deir an Tiarna.
'An té a fhanann ionamsa, tugann sé toradh mór uaidh.'


Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Eoin      15:1-8
An té a fhanann ionamsa, agu mise ann, tugann sé toradh mór uaidh

San am sin dúirt Íosa lena dheisceabail
Mise an fhíniúin fhíor,
agus is é m’Athair an saothraí.
Gach géag ionam nach dtugann toradh,
bainfidh sé í;
agus gach géag a thugann toradh,
ionas go dtabharfaidh sí breis toraidh.
Tá sibhse bearrtha de bharr an bhriathair a labhair mé libh.
Fanaigí ionamsa, agus mise ionaibh. Faoi mar nach féidir don ghéag
toradh a thabhairt uaithi féin,
mura bhfanann sí san fhíniúin,
sin mar nach féidir daoibhse,
mura bhfanann sibh ionamsa.
vineMise an fhíniúin, sibhse na géaga;
an té a fhanann ionamsa, agus mise ann,
tugann seisean toradh mór uaidh;
óir gan mise, ní féidir daoibh aon ní a dhéanamh.
Cibé nach bhfanfaidh ionamsa,
caithfear amach é mar ghéag,
agus feofaidh sé;
agus tógfar agus caithfear sa tine iad,
agus dófar iad.
Má fhanann sibh ionamsa
agus má fhanann mo bhriathra ionaibh,
iarrfaidh sibh cibé ní is mian libh
agus déanfar daoibh é.
Tugadh glóir do m’Athair
sa mhéid go dtugann sibhse toradh mór uaibh,
agus go mbeidh sibh in bhur ndeisceabail agamsa.

Soiscéal Dé.

Machtnamh ar Bhriathar Dé dia 5ú Domhnach na Cásca
Cén fáth go bhfuil gá le bearradh 
Tá fhios ag na daoine a chothaionn rósanna go gcaithfear na plandaí a bearradh gach blian más mian leo fás maith a bheith iontu. Is fíor sin don chuid is mó de plandaí mar an chéanna; cabhraíonn an bhearradh leis an shaol nua. Tagraíonn Íosa le bearradh sa soiscéal inniú. Tugann sé le fios go ndéanann Dia bearradh ar ár saol ó am go h’am, chun iad a dhéanamh níos fiúnta ná mar atá siad faoi láthair. Tá roinnt rudaí ann a gur chóir a dhíbirt, má’s mian linn bheith cóir i láthair Dé. Thárlódh sé go mba thairfí an rud é scaoileadh le rudaí áirithe , cé gur leasg linn ag an am, a cabhródh linn cur len ár gcaidreamh le Dia agus le daoine eile. Nuair a déantar an bearradh seo is giorra dúinn bíonn an Tiarna, i bhfocail an tsoiscéil, déanann sé cónái linn. Ní gá dúinn a bheith ag brath ar ár neart féin. Nuair a bhíonn an Tiarna ag cur faoi ionainn bíonn Sé taobh linn, rud a thugann saol nua  níos torthúla dúinn. Ach chun go dtarlódh  seo ní mór dúinn fanacht in a láthair mar a fhanann sé linne.

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

© An Sagart