Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Monday, 27 August 2012

Sunday, 19 August 2012

It makes you think...

From NASA's 'Curiosity' Mars Probe...Earth is the one on the Bottom. It takes nine months to fly from Earth to Mars. Puts things into perspective....

Earthrise. That's us from Apollo 16 orbiting the Moon in the early 1970's.

Become what you receive

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
Cf. John 6: 51-58

"Ordinary food is digested and changed into us...absorbed into fat, muscle, bone, hair etc.. With the Eucharist, it is we who are changed into what we receive. We become more Christlike in our thinking, values, attitudes, moral strength and apostolic zeal. We draw life and spiritual energy from Christ just as the hungry body is restored by food. "

(From Fr. Silvester O'Flynn ofm cap. in Sunday Seeds. 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

I like the above image, We are strengthened every day by eating nourinshing food, this helps us to grow and to stay healthy. We know this also because medical and dietary experts encourage us to eat well. This fuels our physical and spiritual health - our holistic wellbeing. Eating junk foods regularly will have the opposite effect and this is well known. We become what we eat as it were in one way or the other.

Jesus encourages us to receive him, to eat his flesh and drink his blood as a way of being spiritually healthy. This action, lived in the now, has a direct effect on how we take care of ourselves, each other, and the world around us. It also fuels us for our life with Him beginning today and for the eternal life to come after we die.  When we receive the body and blood of Christ at Mass, we are being strengthened on the inside for our day to day lives. I see this especially when I bring Holy Communion to the sick in their homes in the parish, especially on the First Friday. It becomes a focal point for them and a source of strength for them. They may be weak or have limited mobility on the outside, but they are strong within. They become what we receive.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

The Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven is celebrated to honour Mary as someone who in a complete and selfless way co-operated in God becoming human in Jesus Christ. I remember Archbishop Fulton Sheen speaking on Our Blessed Lady and he used a lovely image; if we could have pre-existed our mothers and were given a part in her creation, wouldn’t we make her the most beautiful, the most special of all women? Jesus pre-existed his mother and he made her immaculate.
And by and large we all have wonderful mothers. Whether our mam’s are on earth or in heaven, they are still our mothers and we love them.  Listen to the requests in the newspapers, on social networking sites, or on radio stations each mother’s day or at their birthdays and you’ll see something like; “To the Best mother in the world...”

The first reading at today’s Mass from the book of the Apocalypse (Rev. 11:19, 12:1-6. 10) talks about the battle between good and evil and how the woman (Mary) is a key player in the story of how evil (the dragon) is defeated. Looking at the Gospel (1:39-56) we see Mary in her Magnificat seeking no praise or notoriety in this at all on hearing Elizabeth bless her. She is conscious that because of what God has done for her in choosing her to be the mother of the Son of the Most High, she says “Holy is his name.” Couple that with the vanity of the Dragon in Revelation and we see how vain evil can be. It seeks to stay hidden in lies yet it wants to be on prime time television, it loves to grace the pages of the news media, and it wants to be famous. Mary prefers to be like all mothers in putting their family first, the needs of the children first, and their own will in the back burner. I met a woman today who reminded me of how her mother went without dinner in order to give the food to the children. And that’s not the first time I heard that. We all have our own personal memories of selfless mothers, selfless parents.

We pray for all mothers on this Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

"Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee."

John 6: 24-35  

When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side, they said to him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?'
Jesus answered: In all truth I tell you, you are looking for me not because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that goes bad, but work for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of man will give you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.
Then they said to him, 'What must we do if we are to carry out God's work?'
Jesus gave them this answer, 'This is carrying out God's work: you must believe in the one he has sent.'
So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the sight of which will make us believe in you? What work will you do?
Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'
Jesus answered them: In all truth I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread;
for the bread of God is the bread which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
 'Sir,' they said, 'give us that bread always.'
Jesus answered them: I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever hunger; no one who believes in me will ever thirst.
In the Liturgy of the word for today’s Mass, we see human hunger for food and then the human hunger for something deeper. We need nourishing food and the strength that it gives for our lives. We’re being asked more and more are we getting our ‘five-a-day’? and there is concern out there that as a society we are getting more over weight because of the higher calorie content food and lack of exercise.  I remember Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 movie ‘Supersize Me’ where he did an experiment for 30 days eating only McDonald’s food. Needless to say, he put on weight, and dangerously increased his cholesterol and blood pressure. He also found he was tired and listless as the month went on and unhappy on the inside.  The idea here is that fast food is okay in moderation and as a treat once in a while.

We eat and this satisfies our hunger. A balanced diet and exercise keeps us healthy. But we need to keep it up. The people in the first reading cried out for God to satisfy their hunger. He gave them Manna in the desert and yes, it satisfied their hunger. But they cried out for something deeper. In the Gospel, Jesus feeds the people with loaves of bread and fish. He shows leadership and generosity and the people share their resources too. He now calls on the people to work for food that endures to eternal life; food that will satisfy the hungry heart. How do they do that? They must believe in the one God has sent. They must believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The crowds at Capernaum were challenged to move beyond the physical hungers of everyday to the deeper desires of the human spirit. “Sir, give us that bread always...” Jesus replied; “I am the Bread of Life....those who come to me will never be hungry again.” I am; God’s self-revelation to Moses.

Today, there is so much hunger inside people. And this hunger is filled with not just junk food at times but with dangerous behaviour. I was at the Gaelic Football match yesterday between Dublin and Laois. I went with my brother, brother-in-law, and nephew. After the game we went for a beer in a place not too far from the stadium. I went to the rest room at one stage and when I had finished and washed my hands, I saw two men leave the one cubicle. My jaw dropped! I looked at the wash room attendant as if to shrug my shoulders, what’s going on? He pointed to his nose. I got the picture. They had been taking cocaine. This is a symptom of our world today and sadly it's a world can never satisfy a yearning for happiness. All this will do is make people sick or kill. I’ve seen the tragic results of cocaine misuse up close when I worked as a hospital chaplain from 2007-2010. 

“We are made for you O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. “
St. Augustine.