Welcome to our website
Welcome to the website of Saint John the Baptist Catholic parish in Clontarf. John the Baptist understood his role as bringing people to Jesus. The local church is now called to bring people to Jesus and to reveal him by how we live, serve one another and worship. As a parish community we are called to support one another in our call to bear witness to Jesus as the Light of the World, as the Way, the Truth and the Life. We hope that our parish website helps you to feel a sense of belonging to our parish community.
Reflection on Today's Gospel Reading
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Martin Luther King once wrote about a time when he knelt down in prayer at the kitchen table in his home in Alabama. A hail of stones had just come through the window because of his advocacy of civil rights for all. His wife and children were in danger. He had already become a highly qualified academic by then, and a promising career lay ahead. In prayer he found himself asking, ‘Do I really need this additional worry and danger?’ It was in that prayerful moment that he decided to put what he believed to be the will of God, which was the welfare of the most vulnerable, before his own security and that of his family. He would suffer a great loss for the sake of others. In a sense, he chose to risk death so that others might have a more humane life. His life is a striking example of the image that Jesus uses in the gospel reading, the grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies, and in dying yields a rich harvest.
Jesus himself was the supreme expression of that image. He, more than anyone, is the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies, and in dying yields a rich harvest. He refers to that harvest which springs from his dying towards the end of today’s gospel reading: ‘When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself’. Jesus is declaring that God who worked powerfully through his life, would work even more powerfully through his death. His death would reveal the power of God’s love for us in an even fuller way than his life had done. God’s love, revealed in Jesus’ death, would draw people to Jesus. Many people over the centuries, looking upon the crucifix, have experienced the strength of God’s love for them, and have found themselves drawn to Jesus, and through him, to God. Roman crucifixion was a degrading form of execution. Yet, the first believers, in the light of the resurrection, came to recognize Christ crucified as the fullest human expression of God’s love for humanity. In the words of Paul’s letter to the Romans, ‘God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners, Christ died for us’. This explosion of God’s love on Calvary was the rich harvest that came from the death of Jesus.
Yet, the gospels suggest that becoming the grain of wheat that dies so that others might be touched by God’s life-giving love did not come easy to Jesus. It was a struggle to accept the loss of so much that was dear to him, in particular, his vibrant life, just as it was a struggle for Martin Luther King. Something of Jesus’ struggle comes through in today’s gospel reading. He is tempted to pray to God, ‘What shall I say? Save me from this hour’. In the other gospels, Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, ‘Take this cup from me’. Yet, he went on to choose this great loss out of love for all of us. In the words of Jesus’ prayer in today’s gospel reading, ‘It was for this very reason that I have come to this hour’.
In these spring days we may find ourselves sowing some seeds in the garden. The seed that dies in order to yield a new form of life is as familiar to us today as it was in the time of Jesus. The seed has to shed its husk so that the potential for new life it carries within itself can be realized. The loss of the husk is a necessary loss if the seed is to realize its potential. This phenomenon of nature can speak to our own experience as much as it did to the experience of Jesus. Jesus recognized that the loss of his life was a necessary loss if he was to remain faithful to his mission of revealing God’s love to a broken world. Each of us can be called upon to choose some significant loss so as to remain true to what God is asking of us. We can find ourselves at a crossroads, as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Martin Luther King did in the kitchen of his home. These are times when we sense a calling to risk some significant loss out of love for others, so that others, especially the most vulnerable, may have a fuller life. When we sense such a calling, we can be tempted, as Jesus was, to pray, ‘Save me from this hour’. However, whenever we choose some loss for ourselves out of love for others, we are sowing the seeds of a rich harvest. In the words of the gospel reading, we will be serving the Lord, sharing in his loving and life-giving mission. The Lord does not ask us to take this more difficult path, relying only on our own resources. We need to allow the Lord to keep drawing us to himself, so that we can draw strength from him. It is the strength we get from the Lord that allows us to keep taking the path of self-emptying love. Again, in the words of Saint Paul, ‘I can do all things through him who gives me strength’.
Saint John the Baptist Parish, Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland
Parish Website: www.stjohnsclontarf.ie Join us via our webcam
Sunday: 10.00 am, 12:00 pm
Monday to Saturday: 10am
6.00 pm Vigil Mass and 10.00am Mass.
Sacrament of Baptism:
Second Sunday of the month: 11.00am
Third Saturday of the month: 12.00pm
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
Thursday before first Friday after 10.00 am Mass
Saturday, after 10.00 am and 6.00 pm Mass
3rd Sunday of the month 7.30pm
We are starting up a film club in the parish of Saint John the Baptist. For a modest annual fee, we have a licence to show films in public, on condition we do not charge. We hope to show films that have some significance for our lives as followers of the Lord. Our first film […]
The Clontarf Players are putting on the above play in the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Clontarf Road, on Palm Sunday, March 25, at 7.30 pm. The play is a comedy of not-quite biblical proportions, adapted from the Book of Tobit, and written by Patrick Rainville Dorn. The action of the play takes place […]
The next meeting of the Three Parish Cluster Group representing the three Clontarf Parishes will be on Tuesday, 20th March, at 7.30 pm, in the Parish Office, Saint John the Baptist Church. This group, composed of parishioners and priests from the three Clontarf parishes looks at the three parishes as a unit and considers ways […]
Our next Holy Hour will take place in our Parish Church on next Sunday, March 18, at 7.30 pm. We will be reflected on two gospel passages which feature Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the gospel passages relating to the annunciation to Mary and to Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth.
There will be Mass at 6.00 pm on Friday, March 16, for the feast of Saint Patrick. There will be the usual 10.00 am Mass on Saturday, March 17. There is no 12.00 pm Mass on that day.