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“We filmed in the months leading up to it and from the day [Pope Francis] arrived. That is captured and the highs and lows, the anticipation and the preparation for the event and then Croke Park and the days in the RDS and the papal mass” – Ciara Nic Chormaic. read more »

Look Beyond.


Look beyond your sufferings,

Look beyond your fear.

Look beyond your adversity

And find the Lord so near.


Look beyond the problem,

Look beyond the now,

Look beyond the turmoil

And before Him humbly bow.


For in looking beyond and bowing,

You will find your normal sight…

Takes on spiritual vision,

In God’s sustaining light.


Author: Josephine Anne Miller.

Dec 13 - St Lucy (283-304) virgin and martyr

Summary of St Lucy, Virgin, Martyr. Lucy died at Syracuse in Sicily, probably in the persecution of the emperor Diocletian in 304. Widely venerated from the earliest times, her memorial has long been kept on this day. Probably because her name is suggestive of light, her intercession has been sought for eyesight problems. Named in Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon) and remembered as a youth, radiant with Christian faith and courage.

Fr John Murray PP says: "Our modern age may look at the short life of Lucy and the path she chose as somewhat bizarre. The idea of sacrifice she embraced - and especially the sacrifice of chastity - seems alien." Some years ago I was teaching church history as part of a course for A-level studies. The period we covered was the early Church and part of that interesting era was the story of the persecutions. The 'three S's' was one way of helping the students remember that particular series of events: 'Short, sharp and sporadic,' I would tell them.

Throughout those first three hundred years of the history of the Church, persecution was in isolated pockets throughout the Mediterranean area (sporadic); it could often be bloody with much loss of life (severe); but most persecutions never seemed to last too long (short). That was until the 'Great Persecution' during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. And this happened during the years 303-312.

It was during this persecution that the St Lucy we remember this month gave her life for the Lord. How many countless little girls in Christian history have borne the beautiful name of Lucy! The story of the saint is a story of historical facts mixed with lots of legends.

St Lucy
What we know about her is that she was of Greek lineage living in the large island of Sicily in the fourth century. Christians were still very much in the minority at that time and so when marriage was mentioned - and the girl was still in her early teens - it was thought natural that she would marry one of the local pagan noblemen. Lucy even then had other thoughts but kept them to herself. However when her mother Eutychia was healed through the intercession of St Agatha, a martyr of the previous Decian persecution (249-251) she expressed gratitude to God for this healing by allowing her daughter to devote herself to the service of the poor.

Lucy had by this time made known her intentions to her mother, and these did not include marriage. Already within the early Church there was growing up a desire among young men and women to give their lives to Christ in virginity.

Stories of martyrs
The third century had been relatively quiet in terms of persecution and so, when martyrdom was not an option - Christians grew up with the stories of the great martyrs and heroes and heroines of an earlier Church - the desire to consecrate one's life in chastity became a real desire for many. Such was the choice of Lucy. One of her more prominent suitors was very unhappy about this and when he was unable to marry her, he denounced her to Paschasius, the governor of Sicily, as a Christian.

Lucy, physically confined yet spiritually free
Immediately Lucy asked permission to remain a virgin and to distribute her future dowry among Christ's poor. Child and mother returned to their native cityLucy was defiant: 'No one's body is polluted so as to endanger the soul if it has not pleased the mind. If now, against my will, you cause me to be polluted, a twofold purity will be gloriously imputed to me. You cannot bend my will to your purpose.'

When the soldiers came to remove her they found she was so full of the Holy Spirit that they could not move her, even when they tied her to a team of oxen. Then they proceeded to stab her in the throat and finally when that failed, they gouged out her eyes.

Lucy's eyes
In paintings and statues, Lucy is often seen holding her eyes on a golden plate. In one translation of Dante's Purgatorio, it is noted that Lucy was admired byLucy's eyes an undesirable suitor for her beautiful eyes. In order to stay chaste she chose to pluck out her eyes, and in another legend, sent them to the gentleman in question. Legend also has it that God rewarded her sacrifice by restoring her eyes. One cannot but think here of the words of Jesus: 'If your eye should cause you to sin pluck it out; it is better to enter into heaven with one eye than to go to Hell with two' (Mt. 5:29).

Our modern age may look at the short life of Lucy and the path she chose as somewhat bizarre. The age in which we live so encourages us in the words of a pop anthem made famous by Queen: 'I want it all and I want it now.' The idea of sacrifice - and especially the sacrifice of chastity - seems alien. And yet one dares to hope that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire young men and women to make sacrifices for the sake of others - and above all, for the sake of Christ. To fall in love with Jesus, to be excited and enthralled by Him - it is still possible.

Lucy' story
The story of Lucy and her witness in martyrdom touched a new generation of Christians in the fourth century - just as the story of Agatha had inspired Lucy - and soon veneration to her sprang up in the Church. Her name is one of seven female saints who came to be venerated in the first Eucharistic prayer which became known as the 'Roman Canon'. Her feastday is on 13 December in the Roman calendar.
St. Lucy, intercede for all those suffering from blindness or loss of sight. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill our minds and our imaginations with a zeal for heaven, that we may not compromise ourselves for the sake of security here on earth and that we may lose our lives in order to find them. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The incorrupt relics of St. Lucy, in the church of San Geremia, Venice (source)
Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 13th December, 2018
FIRST READING            

A reading from the prophet Isaiah     41:13-21
I, the Holy One of Israel, am your redeemer.

For I, the Lord, your God,
I am holding you by the right hand;
I tell you, 'Do not be afraid,
I will help you'

Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm,
Israel, puny mite. I will help you –
it is the Lord who speaks –
the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.

See, I turn you into a threshing-sled,
new, with doubled teeth;
you shall thresh and crush the mountains,
and turn the hills to chaff.

You shall winnow them and the wind will blow them away,
the gale will scatter them.
But you yourself will rejoice in the Lord,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The poor and needy ask for water, and there is none,in God's hands
their tongue is parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them,
I, the God of Israel, will not abandon them.

I will make rivers well up on barren heights,
and fountains in the midst of valleys;
turn the wilderness into a lake,
and dry ground into waterspring.

In the wilderness I will put cedar trees,
acacias, myrtles, olives.
In the desert I will plant juniper,
plane tree and cypress side by side;

so that men may see and know,
may all observe and understand
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm          Ps 144 
Response                                The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love.

I will give you glory, O God my King,
I will bless your name for ever.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.                ResponseThanks god

2. All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,
to make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.    Response

3. Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.                       Response

Gospel  Acclamation                   Is 45:8:8
Alleluia, alleluia!
Come to us, Lord, with your peace
that we may rejoice in your presence with sincerity of heart.

Alleluia, alleluia!
Send victory like a dew, you heavens,
and let the clouds rain it down.
Let the earth open and bring forth the saviour.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew       11:11-15
A greater than John the Baptist has never been seen.

john_baptistJesus spoke to the crowds:
'I tell you solemnly, of all the children born of women,
a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.
Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence
and the violent are taking it by storm.
Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading;
and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return.
If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!

The Gospel of the Lord.


Gospel Reflection       Thursday,         Second Week of Advent          Matthew 11:11-15

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus has high praise for John the Baptist. He is greater than all the children born of women. Yet, for all his greatness, John the Baptist pointed to someone greater than himself, Jesus. He did not live to witness Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost which flowed from those events. He knew nothing of the Church, what Paul calls the body of Christ. That is why Jesus says of him that the least in the kingdom of heaven, which Jesus proclaimed and inaugurated, is greater than John. We have all been more privileged than John the Baptist. What John pointed towards we look back on and, indeed, experience in the here and now. In and through the Eucharist, the death and resurrection of Jesus are present to us sacramentally. The Spirit of God’s Son has been poured into our hearts through baptism and confirmation. We possess the written Gospels, the letters of Saint Paul and the other documents that make up the New Testament, all of which we venerate as the living word of the Lord and none of which John the Baptist knew. We have indeed been greatly blessed. As Jesus says to his disciples at one point in the Gospels, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!’. It is a beatitude that embraces us all. Having been so greatly graced, we are called to appreciate and value the graces we have received and to allow those graces to shape us and make us graceful and grateful people, so that our lives may bless others as we have been blessed.

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 2018/2019; I Want to Know Christ   by Martin Hogan, published by The Messenger  c/f


Liturgical Readings for: Thursday, 13th December, 2018

Sliocht as an fáidh Íseáia            41:13-20
Is mé Neach Naofa Iosrael d’fhuascailteoi.

Mise, an Tiarna, do Dhia,
tá greim agam ar do láimh dheas;
deirim leat: “Ná bíodh eagla ort,
táimse ag teacht i gcabhair ort.”

Ná bíodh eagla ort, a Iacóib, a chnumhóigín,
a fhrídín, a Iosrael.
Táimse ag teacht i gcabhair ort – briathar an Tiarna –
is é Neach Naofa Iosrael d’fhuascailteoir.

Seo, tá mé chun cliath buailte a dhéanamh díot,
é úrnua agus dhá chíor fiacal ann.
Buailfidh tú agus meilfidh tú na sléibhte,
déanfaidh tú lóchán mín de na cnoic.

Cáithfidh tú iad agus tabharfaidh an ghaoth ar shiúl iad,
cuirfidh an stoirm scaipeadh orthu.
Maidir leat féin, beidh lúcháir ort sa Tiarna,
beidh tú ag déanamh mórtais as Neach Naofa Iosrael.

Tá na dearóile agus na bochtáin ag lorg uisce, agus níl sé God's hands
Tá an teanga spallta iontu le tart.
Ach mise, an Tiarna, tabharfaidh mé éisteacht dóibh,
mise, Dia Iosrael, ní thréigfidh mé iad.

Ar na dumhcha osclóidh mé aibhneacha
agus fuaráin uisce i lár na ngleannta.
Déanfaidh mé lochán den ghaineamhlach
agus toibreacha den talamh tirim.

San fhásach cuirfidh mé crainn chéadrais,
crainn acáise agus crainn mhiortail agus crainn olóige.
Sa díthreabh cuirfidh mé an t-aiteal,
crann plána agus cufróg le hais a chéile.

Chun go bhfeice daoine agus go n-aithní siad,
chun go meabhraí siad agus go dtuige siad le chéile
gurb í lámh an Tiarna a rinne an méid sin,
gurb é Neach Naofa Iosrael a chuir i gcrích.

Briathar Dé.  

Salm le Freagra                    Sm 144
Freagra                                   Is ceansa trócaireach é an Tiarna,
mall chun feirge agus lán de chineáltas.

1. Tabharíaidh mé glóir duit, a Dhia liom, is a Rí;
beannóidh mé d'ainm de shíor.
Is maith é an Tiarna don uile ní,
is is trócaireach é dá oibreacha uile.                 Freagra

2. Ceiliúrfaidh d'oibreacha thú, a Thiarna,Thanks god
agus beannóidh do dhaoine naofa thú.
Canfaidh siad glóir do ríochta,
agus foilseoidh siad do chumhacht
chun do chumhacht a nochtadh don chine daonna
agus glóir do riochta maorga.                           Freagra

3. Ríocht shíoraí do ríochtsa,
is maireann do cheannas ó ghlúin go glúin. Freagra

Alleluia                                    Lc 3:4, 6  
Alleluia, alleluia!
A spéartha, fearaigí anuas fíréantacht mar bheadh drúcht ann,
ligeadh na néalta anuas í ina báisteach!
Osclaíodh an talamh lena gabháil
agus tagadh an slánú aníos ina gheamhar!


 Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir N. Matha                  11:11-15
Níor éirigh ar shliocht na mban duine ba mhó ná Eoin Baiste.

Deirim libh go fírinneach,john_baptist
níor éirigh ar shliocht na mban duine ba mhó ná Eoin Baiste;
ach an té is lú i ríocht na bhflaitheas, is mó é ná eisean.
Ó laethanta Eoin Baiste go dtí anois tá foréigean á dhéanamh
ar ríocht na bhflaitheas agus fuadaíonn lucht an fhoréiginleo í.
Óir, na fáithe uile, agus an dlí freisin, thug siad a dtairngreacht chomh fada le
hEoin, agus mura miste libh mé a chreidiúint ann,
is é an tÉilias a bhí le teacht é.

An té a bhfuil cluasa air, éisteadh sé!

Soiscéal Dé.

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 16th December, 2018

Third Sunday of Advent

Scripture Theme
John the Baptist inaugurates the Gospel already from his mother’s womb he welcomes the coming of Christ and rejoices in being ‘the friend of the bridegroom whom he points out as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


A reading from the book of the Prophet Zephaniah         3:14-18
The Lord will dance with shouts of joy for you as on a day of festival.

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion,
Israel, shout aloud!
Rejoice, exult with all your heart,
daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has repealed your sentence;
he has driven your enemies away.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;Alleluia
you have no more evil to fear.
When that day comes, word will come to Jerusalem:
Zion, have no fear,
do not let your hands fall limp.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a victorious warrior.
He will exult with joy over you,
he will renew you by his love;
he will dance with shouts of joy for you
as on a day of festival.

Responsorial Psalm         Ps 12
Response                              Sing and shout for joy for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

1 Truly, God is my salvation,
I trust, I shall not fear.
For the Lord is my strength, my song,
he became my saviour.
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.                                         Response

2 Give thanks to the Lord, give praise to his name!
Make his mighty deeds known to the peoples!
Declare the greatness of his name.                            Response

3 Sing a psalm to the Lord
for he has done glorious deeds,
make them known to all the earth!
People of Zion, sing and shout for joy
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.  Response


A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Philippians       4: 4-7
The Lord is very near.

want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord; I repeat, what I want is your happiness. Let your tolerance be evident to everyone: the Lord is very near. There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God, which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ  Jesus.

The Word of the Lord


Gospel  Acclamation                  Is 61:1
Alleluia, alleluia!
The Spirit of the Lord has been given to me.He has sent me to bring good news to the poor

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke                   3:10-18
What must we do?

john_baptistWhen all the people asked John, 'What must we do, then?' he answered, 'If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.' There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, 'Master, what must we do?' He said to them, 'Exact no more than your rate.'Some soldiers asked him in their turn, 'What about us? What must we do?' He said to them, 'No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!'

A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ, so John declared before them all, 'I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.' As well as this, there were many other things he said to exhort the people and to announce the Good News to them.

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, 16th December, 2018


Céad Leact             

Sliocht as Leabhar Fáidh  Sófania: 3:14-18
Tógfaidh sé gártha áthais ar do shon faoi mar a dhéantar ar lá an tsollúntais.’

Déan gairdeas, a iníon Shíón;
tóg gártha áthais, a Iosrael;
bíodh lúcháir agus gliondar ar do chroí go hiomlán,
a iníon Iarúsailéim.Alleluia
Tá an Tiarna tar éis an breithiúnas
a bhí ag bagairt ort a thógáil díot
agus do chuid naimhde a thiomáint chun siúil uait.
Tá an Tiarna, rí Iosrael, i do lár
agus ní healaí duit
eagla an mhí-áidh a bheith ort níos mó.
An lá sin déarfar le Iarúsailéim:
‘Ná bíodh eagla ort, a Shíón;
ná lagtar do lámha!
Tá an Tiarna, do Dhia, i do lár
mar laoch caithréimeach;
déanfaidh sé gairdeas go spleodrach mar gheall ort.
Athnuafaidh sé thú le neart a ghrá;
tógfaidh sé gártha áthais ar do shon
faoi mar a dhéantar ar lá an tsollúntais.’

Briathar Dé.

Salm le Freagra              Is  12:2-5  fr6 Is 12:2-6
Freagra                              Gáirigí le háthas agus liúirigí óir is mór le rá é in bhur measc Neach Naofa Iosrael.”

1. An bhfeiceann sibh, is é Dia mo shlánaithe é,
tá muinín agam agus níl mé eaglach níos mó,
óir is é an Tiarna mo neart agus mo cheol,
is é mo shlánu é!
agus tarraingeoidh sibh uisce go lúcháireach
as toibreacha an tslánaithe.              Freagra

2. Túgaigí buíochas don Tiarna,
glaoigí air ina ainm!
Fógrágí a éachtaí don phobal,
meabhraígí gurb oirirc dá ainm.      Freagra

3. Canaigí an Tiarna, óir tá iontais déanta aige!
foilsítear iad ar fud an domhain chláir.
Gáirigí le háthas agus le lúcháir,
a mhuintir Síón!
óir is mór é i do lár
Neach Naofa Isráél.                            Freagra


Litir  Niamh Pól cuig na chuig na Filipigh     4:4-7
Ní fada uainn an Tiarna.

walking-with-jesus1A bhráithre, bígí lúcháireach i gcónaí sa Tiarna. Deirim arís é: bíodh lúcháir oraibh. Bíodh bhur gceansacht le feiceáil ag an saol mór mar ní fada uainn an Tiarna. Ná bígí imníoch faoi rud ar bith ach cibé ní atá in easnamh oraibh cuirigí in iúl do Dhia é le hurnaí agus guí agus buíochas buan. Agus sa tslí sin beidh síocháin Dé atá os cionn ár dtuisceana ag cosaint bhur gcroí agus bhur smaointe in Íosa Críost.

Briathar Dé. 

Alleluia                  Is 61:1
Allelluia Alleluia
Tá Spiorad an Tiarna orm. Chuir sé uaidh mé ag tabhairt an dea-scéil dona bochtáin.
Allelluia Alleluia 


Sliocht as an Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Lúcás      3:10-18
Cad tá le déanamh againn ?

john_baptistSan am sin bhí na sluaite ag fiafraí d'Eoin: “Cad tá le déanamh againn, más ea?” Dúirt sé leo á bhfreagairt: “An té a bhfuil dhá chóta aige, tugadh sé cóta don té atá ina uireasa, agus an té a bhfuil rud le hithe aige, déanadh sé a leithéid chéanna.” Tháinig poibleacánaigh freisin chun baiste a fháil agus dúirt siad leis: “A mháistir, cad tá le déanamh againne?” Dúirt sé leo: “Gan níos mó a éileamh ná a bhfuil ordaithe daoibh.” D’fhiafraigh saighdiúirí de, freisin: “Agus cad tá le déanamh againne?” Agus dúirt sé leo: “Gan éigean a dhéanamh ar dhuine ar bith, ná dearbhú éithigh; agus sibh a bheith sásta le bhur bpá.”

Ó bhí an pobal ar fionraí, agus cách ag machnamh ina gcroí i dtaobh Eoin, go mb’fhéidir gurbh é an Críost é, d’fhreagair Eoin á rá leo uile: “Táimse do bhur mbaisteadh le huisce, ach tá an té ag teacht atá níos treise ná mé, nach fiú mé iall a chuarán a scaoileadh; baistfidh seisean sibh leis an Spiorad Naomh agus le tine. Tá a
cháiteog ina láimh aige chun a láithreán a léirghlanadh agus an t-arbhar a chruinniú isteach ina scioból, ach dóifidh sé an lóchán le tine dhomhúchta.”

Agus trína lán nithe eile fós a rá leo á spreagadh, bhí sé ag fógairt an dea-scéil don phobal.

Soiscéal Dé

© An Sagart