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Advent 2018: Planting seeds of hope and happiness
The Advent Sunday readings will be presented on four Wednesdays @ 11.15 in the Pro-Cathedral (Dublin).  The dates are Nov 28, Dec 5, 12, 19. For details and more resources, click on this link

From Dan to Beersheba (30 Apr to 11 May, 2019)

For detailed information on this unique visit to the Holy Land, click here.   



The notes for Sunday 25 November

Complete notes (pdf)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (portable)


The Sunday readings

VUCA is an already old (1987) acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It is being dusted down again to help us name the times in which we find ourselves.

Illustrations are not too hard to pile up: the growing threat to democracy around the globe, the deeps splits evident in societies, the lack of trust in political structures (both national and international), manipulation of the truth, the inability to see a way forward, the refugee crisis, increasing environmental harm and so on.  The church — living in the midst of society — is not at all immune to VUCA. It would be easy to lose heart. What is being asked of us as believers?

The feast of Christ the King confronts that sense of chaos and confusion — ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. Such a mighty conviction of purpose and meaning would be useless if it were a blinkered denial of the real. Authentic faith cannot be reduced to comforting escapism. Rather, what is asked of us today — as it was of Jesus himself — is to live fully in the real world, transforming it from within with the vision of faith, hope and love. Engagement, not escape, is the key.  

 

Some inspiration

The Killing by Edwin Muir
Edwin Muir's "The Killing" is a good reflection on this Sunday's gospel. The closing lines are enigmatic yet open...

I was a stranger, could not read these people
Or this outlandish deity. Did a God
Indeed in dying cross my life that day
By chance, he on his road and I on mine?  

Advent 2018: Planting seeds of hope and happiness
The Advent Sunday readings will be presented on four Wednesdays @ 11.15 in the Pro-Cathedral (Dublin).  The dates are Nov 28, Dec 5, 12, 19. For details and more resources, click on this link. The programme began last Wednesday and continues for the next three Wednesdays of Advent. 

From Dan to Beersheba (30 Apr to 11 May, 2019)

For detailed information on this unique visit to the Holy Land, click here.   



The notes for the second Sunday of Advent, 9 December

Complete notes (pdf)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (portable)


The Advent Sunday readings

In today's Gospel, Luke sets up an arresting contrast. First, we hear the resounding names of "grandees" of the time, starting with Tiberius Caesar in Rome and ending with local rulers in Palestine. Then, we are suddenly transported to the wilderness and faced with the disturbing, wild figure of John the Baptist, the very opposite of worldly power and glory.

And yet, something far more significant was stirring in a forgotten corner of the Roman Empire, something which would go on to change the world. Truth is concrete, as Dorothee Sölle put it, and the universal is found in the ordinary of the hear and now.

As we look around our world today, believers can easily feel insignificant and powerless, given all the upheaval and instability. And yet...we believe in God "in ordinary" and that change starts with us, in our own here and now. 

If you would like to learn a little more about John the Baptist, Felix Just SJ has a good page here

 

Some inspiration

Musical inspiration from Bach's Cantata 140
Wake, O wake!

Mission Manifesto (Thesis 7 of 10)
We need to rediscover the contents of our faith and proclaim them boldly "in season and out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2). We have received them through God's revelation, worded in the primordial document of Holy Scripture and handed down in a living manner through interpretation of the Church as taught in the Catechism. The mysteries of the Faith have to be proclaimed comprehensively, integrally, in rational clarity and with the Joy of Salvation. They have to shine. Whoever attempts to profess the Faith to others must not dabble; he must first refine and strengthen himself — his life, his love and knowledge of the Faith. A missionary awakening required a recapture of our own Faith, as we have unlearned how to be missionary.  

Note
For the next while, the material under "Some Inspiration" will be given over to an initiative from German-speaking Europe to revive the Christian project. Full details can be found on Mission Manifest. The writers offer ten proposals ("theses"), forming a framework for evangelisation today. The site is mostly in German, but the Ten Theses can be found in English also. The Preamble to the theses is brief and valuable.

 

World Meeting of Families

 

 

 

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