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TWIN PILLARS – ST MARY’S AND ST ANDREW’S

In his homily for the Feast of St Kevin at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral on Monday, June 3, Archbishop Farrell said: The Church is called to work actively towards restoring a living heart to our cities. The centre of a city – its heart – needs people, and people need worthy...

NIGHT FEVER

On Sunday evening, 23rd June, from 7.30 pm to 8.30pm, the eve of the feast of St. John the Baptist, we will repeat Night Fever. It was very successful last year. A team of people will go out from the church to invite people to come into the church to light a candle...

VISIT OF THE PAPAL NUNCIO

To mark the feast of the parish, on the eve of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, Archbishop Montemayor will celebrate the 12noon Mass in our church on Sunday 23rd June. All are invited and welcome to attend.

Annual Cemetery Masses

May 26th at 3pm Angels Blessing of Remembrance, Glasnevin. June 9th at 12pm St Fintan's Cemetery. June 23rd at 1pm Fingal Cemetery. June 30th at 3pm Glasnevin Cemetery. July 7th at 3pm Dardistown Cemetery. July 14th at 1pm Balgriffin Cemetery.  

Reflection on Today’s

Gospel Reading

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is often said that our emotional memory can be more vivid than our mental memory. We tend to remember those situations when we had strong emotions. I have a childhood memory of my father taking myself and my brothers out for a row in a hired boat in Bray, County Wicklow. I remember my father struggling to turn the little rowing boat around to head back to shore because the current was so strong. I and my brothers were quite fearful, especially as we could see that our dad had started to show some signs of anxiety himself. Eventually, he did manage to turn the boat around and we arrived safely at the shore. That short experience of fear and panic lived on in my memory and I can still picture the scene to this day.

Our little family experience of fear and panic seems very slight compared to the experience of the disciples in today’s gospel reading. Many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen who were very familiar with the inland Sea of Galilee. They must have rowed through many a storm on that large body of water. The fact that they were so terrified on this occasion and so certain that they were going to drown suggests that the storm was a very severe one. The contrast between the total panic of the disciples and the sleep of Jesus is quite striking. How could Jesus, the carpenter, have slept through a storm that was terrifying seasoned fishermen? It was evening and, perhaps, Jesus was exhausted after a long day of preaching, teaching and healing. However, there is also a suggestion that Jesus’ sleep revealed his total trust in God to bring everyone safely through the storm. He trusted instinctively in God’s power and protection. Jesus would have wanted his disciples to share his trusting faith in God when all seemed lost. However, instead, fear took hold of the disciples, leading them to rebuke Jesus, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down’. Surely Jesus had already done enough since he first called them to show them that he did care for them and for all. When Jesus woke from his sleep and calmed the storm, he turned to his disciples, asking them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’

These are questions that the risen Lord could just as easily address to us. We all know from experience that when life’s struggles seem to overwhelm us, it is easy to imagine that the Lord is asleep on us. Times of crisis can undermine our faith in the Lord’s presence. The storm going on around us or the storm howling within us can so absorb us that we forget that the Lord is with us in the storm, just as he was with the disciples in the boat as the waves were breaking into it. The Lord is always in the storm, no matter how vulnerable it may leave us feeling. Today’s gospel reading shows that the Lord enters into the most difficult and overpowering of human experiences, and can master them if we turn to him in trusting faith. Our turning to him will often take the form of a prayer out of the depths. I like those opening lines of an old Breton fisherman’s prayer, ‘Your sea, O God, is so great, my boat so small’. President John F. Kennedy had those lines inscribed on a plaque on his desk in the White House. As a fisherman’s prayer, they speak of his vulnerability before the powerful and unpredictable sea. They speak of our own frailty before life’s disturbances and turmoil. In our frailty we can only entrust ourselves to the Lord who journeys with us through the storm and can bring us to shore. I like the wording on a poster I have seen, ‘Life is fragile. Handle with prayer’. The personal chaos that can seem to overwhelm us at times need not have the last word. The Lord always has the last word, if we allow him, and his word is always a word that brings calm out of chaos. There is a chant by a modern religious composed, names Margaret Rizza, whose wording appeal to me very much, ‘Calm me, Lord, as you calmed the storm. Still me, Lord, keep me from harm. Let all the tumult within me cease, enfold me, Lord, in your peace’. I often reach for that prayer when I sense the inner or outer storms getting the better of me.

The stormy sea threatened to overwhelm the faith of the disciples. In today’s second reading Saint Paul declares, ‘The love of Christ overwhelms us’. When we feel overwhelmed by destructive forces over which we have no control, it is worth reminding ourselves that the love of Christ overwhelms us even more, and that, as Saint Paul says elsewhere in one of his letters, nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Paul had such a strong sense of the love of Christ overwhelming him even in the darkest of situations that he could say in a letter written from prison, ‘I can do all things in him who gives me strength’.  We can all make those words of Paul our own, because the love of Christ overwhelms us all.

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