Welcome

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.

Fr Martin

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The Listening Heart of Winter: Reflections in Word and Song

Our cantor from the Saturday evening Vigil Mass, Roisín O’Reilly, will offer an hour of quietness away from the constant distractions of pre-Christmas, a time of ‘Winter Listening’ through poetry and song, on Saturday, 7th December at 7.15 pm in our parish church. She...

Holy Hour

Our monthly Holy Hour will take place this Sunday, 17th November, at 7.30 pm. It is the Sunday before the feast of Christ the King, and we will be reflecting on the gospel reading for that Sunday and on a related passage. All are welcome

Christmas Cards in aid of Saint Vincent de Paul

Sister Bernadette, from the Justice and Peace group, will be selling Christmas cards in aid of Saint Vincent de Paul Society this weekend, Nov 16/17, and the following two weekends, Nov 23/24, Nov 30/Dec 1 in the front porch of the church. They are lovely cards in aid...

Christmas Toy Collection

The Parish Justice and Peace group, in conjunction with Jesuit Refugee Service Ireland, are organizing another Christmas Toy collection for refugee children who currently reside in the Balseskin Centre. We ask that gifts are new, unwrapped and cost no more than €20....

Film in aid of Brother Kevin – ‘Stan and Ollie’

The next meeting of the Parish Film Club, this Thursday, 21st November, will be in aid of Brother Kevin’s work in the Capuchin Day Centre. We will be showing ‘Stan and Ollie’, a 2018 biographical comedy-drama film. Based on the later years of the lives of Laurel and...

Weekend Masses:

Saturday: 6pm
Sunday: 10.00 am, 12:00 pm

Weekday Masses:

Monday to Saturday: 10am

Holy Days:

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

Holy Hour:

3rd Sunday of the month 7.30pm

Reflection on Today’s

Gospel Reading

Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are coming towards the end of the liturgical year. Next Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical year and the following Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, is the beginning of a new liturgical year. As the curtain comes down on the liturgical year, the Sunday readings highlight the reality of endings, of things coming to an end. The experience of ‘endings’ can be among the most painful and difficult of all our experiences. This is most obviously so when someone close to us dies. Even though our faith tells us that, for them, life has changed, not ended, and that, therefore, our relationship with them has changed, not ended, yet, we know that the kind of relationship we have always had with them has come to an end. In November we remember our loved ones who have died, and whom, we believe, are now sharing in God’s eternal life.

The beginning of today’s gospel reading is about endings, not so much the ending of a human life, but the ending of a hugely significant institution. Jesus announces the ending of the Temple in Jerusalem. This was a magnificent building of its time and was considered one of the wonders of the world. It dominated the city of Jerusalem; indeed, it could be said that it dominated the whole Jewish world of the time. Forty years after Jesus was crucified, in the year 70, that temple was destroyed by the Roman army in response to the Jewish revolt. The most significant institution of Judaism was no more; this was an experience of ending on a cataclysmic scale. Yet, Judaism survived; the leaders of Judaism at the time build something new out of the ashes that remained in continuity with the past. It is often the way that when something that has been central to our lives, whether as individuals or as a community, comes crashing down around us, we find the strength and the wisdom from somewhere to keep going. Over time we can discover that the ending was also a beginning, that something grows from the great loss.

In the gospel reading, Jesus not only announces the coming assault on the Temple that would result in its destruction, he also announced the coming assault on his own community of believers. As he faced into his own passion, he foretold the passion of his followers. They would be persecuted and handed over to the political authorities; the members of their own families would betray them to these authorities; their way of life would generate great hatred from some. In a way, Jesus was referring to his disciples in every generation; he was talking about all of us. We may not have experienced persecutions because of our relationship with the Lord; we may not have been disowned by members of our families because of our commitment to the values of the gospel. Nonetheless, it is still the case walking in ‘the way of the Lord’, can be as counter cultural today as it was when Jesus lived and when the gospels were first written. If we take that way seriously and try to live by it, especially in certain settings, it will cost us something. We may even stand to loose a great deal as a result. Our world, like the temple in Jerusalem, may come crashing down. Yet, the message of today’s gospel is that if we courageously witness to the Lord and his values, regardless of how that is received, we will not ultimately loose out. Jesus declares, rather, that our endurance, our faithful witness, will win us our lives. The endurance the Lord talks about is a graced endurance; it is not down to us alone; it is an endurance that he makes possible. He promises in that gospel reading that he will give us the wisdom and eloquence we need to witness to him in an enduring way.

Such endurance – such faithful and courageous witness – may not express itself in grand deeds or striking gestures. It will more often mean doing the day to day things in the spirit of the gospel, as the Lord would want them done. It will mean getting up in the morning and taking on the day with faith, hope and love. That is what Paul seems to be getting at in today’s second reading. He is very bothered that some in the community are not doing the ordinary things well; they are ‘doing no work themselves and interfering with everyone else’s work’. Paul wants them to go on quietly working, using whatever gifts they have in the service of others. This may sound somewhat prosaic. Yet Paul was aware that the gospel was witnessed to and lived out in our ordinary day to day living. It is in that context that we display the graced endurance Jesus speaks about in the gospel reading.

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