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Stop doubting yourself.


You should not be surprised when God calls you to step out in faith and undertake something that you do not feel qualified to do – this tends to be his standard operating procedure. He does this so that you will learn to lean more on Him and less on yourself. This does not mean that you will not make mistakes – in fact, you probably will. However, instead of being discouraged, you will see them as part of the learning curve and go on to greater things.

So often, we look at a given task and think, “There’s no way I can do that.” But the problem with this attitude is that we are looking at ourselves instead of at God. Remember, whatever ingredients are lacking in the natural realm, you can withdraw from your account in the spiritual realm.

Compiled by Deirdre Powell


Source: The Word for Today, UCB Ireland (adapted).

Feb 16 - Onesimus-A very useful servant according to St Paul

OnesimusOnesimus was a slave Paul met in Rome, who agreed to bring back a letter from Paul to the community at Colossae and to return freely to Philemon, his former master, from whom he had run away. Fr John Murray PP tells his story.

Being a slave in the Roman world in the time of Jesus was not easy. There were some who had a pleasant life as they tutored the sons and daughters of the rich and noble citizens of the emslaverypire. They often had the freedom of the house and they ate and slept well, but they remained slaves, and freedom was not theirs to cherish. In their hearts, they yearned for the land from which they had been snatched by the marauding armies of the Roman Empire.

Others had a much more difficult life, as they toiled long hours in the fields or fought for a wager in the gladiatorial arenas. It was no wonder that some decided to run away and take their chance in the world at large. They knew the risk they took, but freedom was the goal.

Onesimus and Paul
Onesimus was one such slave who escaped from his master, Philemon, in Colossae. St. Paul wrote about him in the letterthe shortest book in the Bible: The Letter to Philomen. Onesimus had run off to Rome, where he expected to disappear in the crowds. However, it was his good fortune that he met Paul who, at that time, was under house arrest in the city. This meant that the apostle could go out and about with a police escort, and it was on one such trip that he met the slave.

Probably they had met while Paul stayed at the house of Philemon, but contact was limited, and Onesimus was no doubt hardened in his heart to the religion of his master. Things were different in the huge metropolis that was Rome, and there the slave exchanged an earthly master for a heavenly one. 'I have become his father while in prison,' Paul writes to Philemon (Phil 10). Simply put, Onesimus became a Christian and, stranger still, Paul sent him back to Philemon. And he went. 'You may have him back forever,' Paul writes, 'a slave, yet not a slave. He is a very dear brother to me, and he will be even dearer to you' (Phil 16).

The story goes that Onesimus returned to Philemon, who forgave him - by law he could have inflicted a severe punishment on his slave - and in time the same Onesimus became more than a ‘useful' worker in the Church for Paul. He was the one who carried the letter Paul wrote to the Colossians.

Servants and Service
Though his name may not appear in most calendars, Onesimus is the patron of servants, and the example of his life has great significance for all of us. We may not be servants in the old and traditional sense, but we are people who serve the public, whether in shops or garages or offices, not forgetting, of course, the service which takes place daily in every home up and down the country.

What Paul did was to render the service Onesimus gave as something Christ had filled with his presence. When he returned to Philemon, no longer was there the former sullen and silent resentment, a dutiful obedience, but instead a joyful and loving act.

Onesimus 2Paul helped Onesimus to see that life was to be lived in its fullness in the present moment, without a constant longing to be elsewhere, somehow freed from the 'burden' of the present moment. To use the phrase of a later French spiritual writer, Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751), the matrix in which we surrender ourselves to God's will is 'the sacrament of the present moment'. 'What God arranged for us to experience at each moment is the best and holiest thing that could happen to us,' de Caussade would write.

In the letter Onesimus would later take to Colossae, Paul wrote, 'Whatever you do, put your heart into it as done for the Lord and not for human beings... It is Christ the Lord that you are serving' (Col.3:23-24).

This article first appeared in The Messenger (February 2006), a publication of the Irish Jesuits.
Liturgical Readings for: Saturday, 16th February, 2019

A reading from the Book of Genesis        3:9-24
The Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil.

The Lord God called to the man. 'Where are you?' he asked. 'I heard the sound of you in the garden;' he replied 'I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.' 'Who told you that you were naked?' he asked 'Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?' The man replied, 'It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it'. Then the Lord God asked the woman, 'What is this you have done?' The woman replied, 'The serpent tempted me and I ate'.

Then the Lord God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this,
Be accursed beyond all cattle,
all wild beasts.
You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust
every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other:
you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel'.
To the woman he said:
'I will multiply your pains in childbearing,
you shall give birth to your children in pain.
Your yearning shall be for your husband,
yet he will lord it over you.'
To the man he said, 'Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat,
Accursed be the soil because of you.
With suffering shall you get your food from it
every day of your life.
It shall yield you brambles and thistles,
and you shall eat wild plants.
With sweat on your brow shall you eat your bread,
until you return to the soil,
as you were taken from it.
For dust you are
and to dust you shall return.'
The man named his wife 'Eve' because she was the mother of all those who live
The Lord God made clothes out of  skins for the man and his wife, and they put them on. Then the Lord God said, 'See, the man has become like one of us, with his knowledge of good and evil. He must not be allowed to stretch his hand out next and pick from the tree of life also, and eat some and live for ever.' So the Lord God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken. He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the cherubs, and the flame of a flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm      Ps 89
Response                           O Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to the next.

1. Before the mountains were born
or the earth or the world brought forth,
you are God, without beginning or end.     Response

2. You turn men back into dust
and say: 'Go back, sons of men.'
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone,
no more than a watch in the night.              Response

3. You sweep men away like a dream,
like grass which springs up in the morning.
In the morning it springs up and flowers:
by evening it withers and fades.                  Response

4. Make us know the shortness of our life
that we may gain wisdom of heart;
Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever?
Show pity on your servants.                         Response

Gospel  Acclamation       Mt 4: 4
Alleluia, alleluia!
Man does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark       8:1-10
They ate as much as they wanted.

A great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them, 'I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat. If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.' His disciples replied, 'Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a  deserted place like this?' He asked them, 'How many loaves have you?' 'Seven' they said. Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd. They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also. They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over. Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.

The Gospel of the Lord

Gospel Reflection        Saturday       Fifth Week in Ordinary Time      Mark 8:1–10

Different people react in different ways to the same situation. In the gospel reading  today, there is quite a difference between the reaction of Jesus and the reaction of the disciples to the sight of a large hungry crowd in the wilderness. The disciples’ question, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people?’ suggests that they wanted Jesus to send the crowd away. Jesus’ question to his disciples, ‘How many loaves have you?’, suggests that he wanted them to make some effort to feed the crowd. Jesus got them to bring the little food they could find to him. Then, with that little, with those few resources of seven loaves, the Lord fed the crowd, with the help of his reluctant disciples. The gospel reading suggests that the Lord will always encourage us to take on some service of others, even when we may feel that our resources are inadequate. If we are generous with those few resources, the Lord will then work with them and through them in ways that will surprise us. The Lord can work wonders through the very ordinary and sometimes unpromising looking resources and gifts that we possess. We have to do our bit, like the disciples in the gospel reading, but the Lord always does much more. Yet, if we are not willing to do the little we can with what we have, the Lord’s own capacity for ministry to others is curtailed. The Lord needs our resources, small and inadequate at they may seem, to continue his good work among us and in the world.

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: Saturday, 16th February, 2019

Sliocht as  Leabhar Geinesis        3:9-24
Dhíbir an Tiarna Dia as gairdín Éidin é chun an talamh a shaothrú.

Ghlaoigh an Tiarna Dia ar an bhfear: “Cá bhfuil tú?” ar sé leis. D’fhreagair sé: “Chuala mé do ghuth sa ghairdín agus bhí eagla orm mar go raibh mé nocht, agus chuaigh mé i bhfolach.” “Cé dúirt leat,” ar seisean, “go raibh tú nocht? An ag ithe a bhí tú den chrann a d’aithin mé duit gan ithe de?” “An bhean a thug tú dom mar chéile,” arsa an fear, “ise a thug toradh as an gcrann dom, agus d’ith mé é.” Agus dúirt an Tiarna Dia leis an mbean: “Cad é seo atá déanta agat?” D’fhreagair an bhean: “Mheall an nathair mé agus d’ith mé.”

Dúirt an Tiarna Dia leis an nathair:

“De bhrí go ndearna tú an rud seo
go raibh mallacht ort thar an eallach go léir,
thar na hainmhithe allta go léir;
beidh tú ag sní ar do bholg
agus ag ithe cré,
gach lá de do shaol. Cuirfidh mé naimhdeas
idir tú agus an bhean,
idir do shíolsa agus a síolsa.
Brúfaidh sé do cheann
agus brúfaidh tusa a sháil.”

Dúirt sé leis an mbean:

“Méadóidh mé go mór ar do thinneas
ag breith clainne.
Béarfaidh tú clann agus tinneas ort.
Beidh mian chun do chéile ort
ach beidh sé i gceannas ort.”

Dúirt sé leis an bhfear:

“De bhrí gur thug tú cluas do ghuth do mhna, agus gur ith tú de thoradh an chrainn ar aithin mé duit gan a ithe:

Go raibh mallacht ar an talamh de do chionn.
Faoi dhoilíos a shaothróidh tú do chuid de,
gach lá de do shaol.
Sceacha agus feochadáin a thabharfaidh sé duit,
agus íosfaidh tú luibheanna an bháin.
Le hallas do ghrua
is ea a íosfaidh tú do chuid aráin
go bhfillfidh tú ar an talamh
mar is as a tháinig tú.
Óir is luaithreach thú,
agus ar an luaithreach is ea a fhillfidh tú.”

Thug an fear Éabha ar a bhean mar gurb í máthair na mbeo go léir í. Rinne an Tiarna Dia éadaí as seithí don fhear agus dá bhean agus chuir siad orthu féin iad. Ansin dúirt an Tiarna Dia: “Féach! Tá an duine arna dhéanamh cosúil linn féin leis an bhfios maitheasa agus oilc atá aige. Le heagla go sínfeadh sé a lámh chomh maith agus toradh a stoitheadh de chrann na beatha, agus é a ithe agus maireachtáil go deo” – Uime sin dhíbir an Tiarna Dia as gairdín Éidin é chun an talamh as ar tógadh é a shaothrú. Dhíbir sé an duine, más ea, agus chuir sé na ceiribíní agus claíomh lasrach ag síorchasadh, os comhair ghairdín Éidin chun an tslí go crann na beatha a chosaint.

Briathar Dé. 

Salm le Freagra            Sm 89
Freagra                            A Thiarna, is tú ba thearmann dúinn, ár ndídean ó ghlúin go glúin.
1. Ó thosach sular saolaíodh na sléibhte,
sular rugadh an talamh agus an chruinne,
is tú Dia gan tús gan deireadh.                           Freagra

2. Déanann tú deannach arís den duine
á rá: “Ar ais libh, a Ádhamhchlann.”
Óir níl míle bliain i d’fhianaise
ach mar an lá a d’imigh tharainn inné,
nó mar a bheadh faire na hoíche.                       Freagra

3. Sciobann tú chun siúil iad amhail aisling,
nó mar fhéar úrghlas na maidine.
Eascraíonn sé ar maidin agus bláthaíonn sé
baintear é agus feonn sé um thráthnóna.          Freagra

4. Múin dúinn giorra shaoil an duine
chun go bhfaighimid críonnacht inár gcroí.
Fill orainn; cá fhad a bheidh tú feargach?
Déan trócaire ar do shearbhóntaí, a Thiarna.   Freagra

Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh  Marcas        8:1-10
D’ith siad agus bhí siad sách,

Sna laethanta sin, nuair a bhí slua mór ann arís agus gan aon ní le hithe acu, ghlaoigh Íosa na deisceabail chuige agus dúirt sé leo: “Tá trua agam don slua, mar tá trí lá tugtha acu liom anois agus gan aon ní le hithe acu, agus má scaoilim chun siúil abhaile iad ar céalacan, buailfidh laige iad sa tslí, agus tá cuid acu a tháinig i bhfad ó bhaile.” D’fhreagair a dheisceabail é: “Cá bhféadfadh duine a ndóthain aráin a fháil dóibh seo anseo san fhásach?” D’fhiafraigh sé díobh: “Cé mhéad builín atá agaibh?” “Tá a seacht,”  ar siadsan. D’ordaigh sé don slua ligean fúthu ar an talamh, agus thóg sé na seacht mbuilíní, d’altaigh, bhris agus thug dá dheisceabail le cur os a gcomhair agus chuir siad os comhair an tslua iad, agus bhí beagán mioniasc acu, agus ar a mbeannú dó dúirt sé iadsan a chur os a gcomhair freisin. D’ith siad agus bhí siad sách, agus thóg siad suas an bruscar fuílligh, seacht gcléibhíní. Timpeall ceithre mhíle a bhí ann, agus scaoil sé uaidh iad. Chuaigh sé ar bord an bháid láithreach, é féin agus a dheisceabail, agus tháinig go ceantar Dalmanútá.

Soiscéal Dé

© An Sagart
Liturgical Readings for: Sunday, 17th February, 2019

A reading from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah        17: 5-8
A curse on the man who puts his trust in man, a blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord.

'The Lord says this:
'A curse on the man who puts his trust in man,
who relies on things of flesh,
whose heart turns from the Lord.
He is like dry scrub in the wastelands:
if good comes, he has no eyes for it,
he settles in the parched places of the wilderness,
a salt land, uninhabited.

'A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the Lord,
with the Lord for his hope.
He is like a tree by the waterside
that thrusts its roots to the stream:
when the heat comes it feels no alarm,
its foliage stays green;
it has no worries in a year of drought,
and never ceases to bear fruit.

The Word of the Lord

Responsorial Psalm     Ps 1
Response                         Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

1. Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night.       Response

2. He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper.                  Response

3. Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
For the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom.    Response


A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corintians       15: 12. 16-20
if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins.

If Christ raised from the dead is what has been preached, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins. And what is more serious, all who have died in Christ have perished. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.

But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

The Word of the Lord

Gospel  Acclamation           Mt 11: 25
Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom to mere children.

or                                               Lk 6: 23
Alleluia, alleluia!
Rejoice and be glad:
your reward will be great in heaven


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke         6: 17. 20-26
How happy are you who are poor but alas for you who are rich.

Jesus came down with the twelve and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases.

Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said:
'How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.
Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

'But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.
Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.'

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, 17th February, 2019

Sliocht as Leabhar Irimía.      17:5-8
Is mallaithe an fear a chuireann a mhuinín i nduine. Is beannaithe an fear a chuireann a mhuinín sa Tiarna

Is mar seo a deir an Tiarna: “Is mallaithe an fear a chuireann a mhuinín i nduine, agus a bhíonn i dtuilleamaí na feola, agus a iompaíonn a chroí ón Tiarna.  Is cosúil é le grágán tóir san fhásach; má thagann maith ní fheiceann sé í; cuireann sé faoi in áiteanna dóite an fhásaigh, i bhfearann saillte atá gan áitreabh.

Is beannaithe an fear a chuireann a mhuinín sa Tiarna agus arb é an Tiarna a dhóchas.  Is cosúil é le crann atá lámh le huisce, agus a shíneann a fhréamhacha amach leis an sruth; ní bhíonn sé i bhfaitíos roimh lá an bhrothaill, mar fanann a dhuilliúr glas; ní bhíonn sé buartha i mbliain an tarta, mar ní éiríonn as torthaí a thabhairt.

Salm le Freagra      Sm 1
Freagra                     Is aoibhinn don fhear a chuir a dhóchas sa Tiarna.

I. Is aoibhinn don fhear
nach leanann de chomhairle na n-éagráifeach
is nach seasann i slí na bpeacach
is nach suíonn in éineacht le scigirí;
ach a thugann taitneamh do dhlí an Tiarna
is a dhéanann machnamh ar a dhlí de lá is d'oíche. Freagra

2. Is cosúil é le crann
atá curtha cois na habhann,
a thugann toradh uaidh go tráthúil,
nach bhfeonn a dhuilliúr;
agus bíonn an rath ar a ndéanann sé.                          Freagra

3. Ní amhlaidh do na héagráifigh, ní amhlaidh!
Ach amhail cáith a scaiptear leis an ngaoth.
Óir is cúram don Tiarna slí na bhfíréan,
ach rachaidh slí na n-éagráifeach ar ceal.                   Freagra


Sliocht as céad Litir Naomh Pól chuig n Coirintig.   15:12, 16-20
Más rud é nach bhfuil Críost aiséirithe tá sibh in bhur bpeacaí go fóill.

Ós é atá á fhógairt go bhfuil Críost éirithe ó mhairbh, cad a bheir do chuid agaibhse  a rá nach bhfuil aiséirí na marbh ann ar chor ar bith? Mar más rud é nach n-aiséiríonn na mairbh níl Críost aiséirithe ach chomh beag. Agus más rud é nach bhfuil Críost aiséirithe is baoth bhur gcreideamh agus tá sibh in bhur bpeacaí go fóill. Agus rud eile de, an mhuintir atá tar éis bháis i gCríost, tá deireadh leo. Más le haghaidh an tsaoil seo amháin atá ár ndóchas as Críost againn níl aon díol trua is mó ná sinn. Ach tá Críost dáiríre aiséirithe ó mhairbh, céadtoradh na muintire atá ina gcodladh.

Alleluia Véarsa   Mt 11:25
Alleluia, alleluia!
Tugaim buíochas duit, a Athair, a Thiarna neimhe agus talún,
de chionn mar a cheil tú na nithe seo ar lucht eagna agus éirimeagus mar a d’fhoilsigh tú do naíonáin iad.


Sliocht as Soiscéal naofa de réir Naomh Lúc.  6:17, 20-26
Is méanar daoibhse atá bocht. Is mairg daoibhse atá sách anois.

Ar theacht anuas dó in éineacht leo, sheas sé ar thalamh réidh, agus bhí ansin comhthionól mór dá dheisceabail agus slua mór den phobal as Iúdáia go léir agus as Iarúsailéim agus as cósta na Tuíre agus na Síodóine.

Agus d’ardaigh sé a shúile i dtreo a dheisceabal agus dúirt:
“Is méanar daoibhse atá bocht, óir is libh ríocht Dé.
“Is méanar daoibhse a bhfuil ocras oraibh anois, óir sásófar sibh.
“Is méanar daoibhse atá ag gol anois, óir déanfaidh sibh gáire.
“Is méanar daoibh nuair is fuath le daoine sibh agus nuair a scarfaidh siad amach sibh agus bhur n-ainm a aithisiú agus a fhógairt mar dhrochainm, mar gheall ar Mhac an Duine. Bígí lúcháireach an lá sin, bígí ag léimneach le háthas, óir féach, is mór é bhur dtuarastal ar neamh. Óir is sa chaoi chéanna a dhéanadh a n-aithreacha leis na fáithe.  “Ach is mairg daoibhse atá saibhir, óir tá bhur sólás faighte agaibh cheana.

   “Is mairg daoibhse atá sách anois, óir beidh ocras oraibh.
Is mairg daoibhse a dhéanann gáire anois, óir déanfaidh sibh brón agus gol.
“Is mairg daoibh nuair a bheidh cách ag labhairt go maith oraibh. Óir is sa chaoi
chéanna a dhéanadh a n-aithreacha leis na fáithe bréagacha.

Soiscéal Dé