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In need of a listening ear?

Many parishioners are finding this third lockdown the most difficult of all. We are all feeling a little tired of the restrictions at this stage. We are worried about the greater transmissibility of this new strain of the virus. The light at the end of the tunnel...

Do this in Memory Programme

The Do this in Memory Programme is a Parish based programme that supports parents and their children who are preparing for their First Holy Communion. There is a monthly Mass with a special focus on the first Holy Communion children. The 10.00 am Mass on Sunday, 7th...

Catholic Schools Week, 24th to 31st January

The focus of this year's Catholic Schools Week is on faith and resilience, reminding us of the powerful role our Catholic schools have in the lives of so many young people. It is a source of comfort, care, belonging and strength. It was so important for our students...

Accord Dublin’s Annual Collection

This collection will take place on the weekend of 13th/14th February. With counselling agencies of all sorts anticipating a “tsunami of demand” and Garda sources reporting a large increase in domestic violence (“violence has gone home”), it is clear that there a great...

Reflection on Today’s

Gospel Reading

25th January, Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul

In today’s first reading, Paul says that before Christ appeared to him he was ‘full of duty towards God’. Yet, this duty towards God expressed itself in a very destructive way. He persecuted a new movement within Judaism that had come to be called the ‘Way’ and, eventually, came to be known as Christianity. It was the appearance of the risen Lord to Paul and the Lord’s question, ‘Why do you persecute me?’ that stopped Paul in his tracks. From that moment on, he remained full of duty towards the God of Israel, but it found expression in a very different way. Rather than persecuting those whose beliefs were different to his, he proclaimed the good news of God’s unconditional love for all humanity, revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In the words of today’s gospel reading, he went on to proclaim this good news to all creation. As he would write in his letter to the church in Rome, the heart of this good news is nothing ‘in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’. Paul speaks in the first reading of this encounter with the risen Lord on the road to Damascus as an experience of light, ‘a bright light from heaven suddenly shone round me’. He came to see God in a new way. His eyes were opened to the good news that the love in God’s heart was boundless, and in the light of that love he came to see that the love in his own heart had been very narrowly focused, restricted to those who thought and lived like himself. Paul’s relationship with God deepened as a result of what happened near Damascus and, as a result, he began to relate to others in the way God relates to them, in the way Jesus related to others during his public ministry and continues to relate to us as risen Lord. Paul’s experience teaches us that the more we grow in our relationship with God the Father and his Son Jesus, the more expansive our heart will become and the broader our horizon will become. As we open ourselves more fully to God as God really is, to God as Love, then we will relate to others in ways that bring people together in all their diversity. We will no longer feel threatened by those who are different from us but we will open ourselves to what God can teach us through them, while sharing with them the treasure of the gospel that brings joy to our lives.

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