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Sunday Reading – 9th June 2013

FIRST READING: Isaiah 61:9-11


Their race will be famous throughout the nations, their descendants throughout the peoples. All who see them will admit that they are a race whom the Lord has blessed.

 

‘I exult for joy in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God,

for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation,

he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity,

like a bridegroom wearing his wreath,

like a bride adorned in her jewels.

‘For as the earth makes fresh things grow,

as a garden makes seeds spring up,

so will the Lord God make both integrity

and praise spring up in the sight of the nations.’

 

PSALM :                1Samuel 2:1

 

GOSPEL:               Luke 2:41-51

Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.

 

When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have, you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’ ‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’ But they did not understand what he meant.

 

He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.

Sunday Reading – 10th March 2013

First Reading                  Joshua 5:9-12

‘The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have taken the shame of Egypt away from you’.

The Israelites pitched their camp at Gilgal and kept the Passover there on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening in the plain of Jericho. On the morrow of the Passover they tasted the produce of that country, unleavened bread and roasted ears of corn, that same day. From that time, from their first eating of the produce of that country, the manna stopped falling. And having manna no longer, the Israelites fed from that year onwards on what the land of Canaan yielded.

 

Responsorial Psalm        Ps 102
Response:  
                      Taste and see that the Lord is good.

1. I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad.       Response

2. Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free.          Response

3. Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress.  Response

Second Reading     2Corinthians 5:17-21

‘For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.
Gospel  Acclamation     Lk 15:18

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Man does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!


Gospel    Luke 13:1-9

‘The tax collectors and the sinners, meanwhile, were all seeking his company to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them. So he spoke this parable to them:

‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me”. So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave is this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.

‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”

The father said,

“My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours.
But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother here was dead and has come to life;
he was lost and is found.”‘

Sunday Reading – 3rd March 2013

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First Reading                  Exodus 3:1-18. 13-15

‘Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian. He led his flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the shape of a flame of fire, coming from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing but it was not being burnt up. ‘I must go and look at this strange sight,’ Moses said ‘and see why the bush is not burnt.’ Now the Lord saw him go forward to look, and God called to him from the middle of the bush. ‘Moses, Moses!’ he said. ‘Here I am’ he answered. ‘Come no nearer’ he said. ‘Take off your shoes, for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father,’ he said ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God. 

And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey flow, the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. After you have led the people out of Egypt, you are to offer worship to God on this mountain.’

Then Moses said to God, ‘I am to go, then, to the sons of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you”. But if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I Am who I Am. ‘This’ he added ‘is what you must say to the sons of Israel: “I Am has sent me to you”.’ And God also said to Moses, ‘You are to say to the sons of Israel: ” the Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”. This is my name for all time; by this name I shall be invoked for all generations to come.

Responsorial Psalm        Ps 102
Response:  
                      The Lord is compassion and love.

1. My soul, give thanks to the Lord,
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings.                    Response

2. It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals everyone of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion.   Response

3. The Lord does deeds of justice,
gives judgement for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses
and his deeds to Israel’s sons.                        Response

4. The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
For as the heavens are high above the earth
so strong is his love for those who fear him.    Response

Second Reading     1Corinthians 10:1-6. 10-12

‘I want to remind you, brothers, how our fathers were all guided by a cloud above them and how they all passed through the sea. They were all baptised into Moses in this cloud and in this sea; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they all drank from the spiritual rock that followed them as they went, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, most of them failed to please God and their corpses littered the desert.

These things all happened as warnings for us, not to have the wicked lusts for forbidden things that they had. You must never complain: some of them did, and they were killed by the Destroyer.

All this happened to them as a warning, and it was written down to be a lesson for us who are living at the end of the age. The man who thinks he is safe must be careful that he does not fall.

Gospel  Acclamation    Mt 4:17

Glory and praise to you, O Christ , you are the Word of God!
Repent, says the Lord,
for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ , you are the Word of God!

Gospel                           Luke: 13:1-9

‘Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’

He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”‘

Sunday Reading – 24th February 2013

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First Reading                  Genesis 15:5-12. 17-18

‘Taking Abram outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified.

‘I am the Lord he said to him ‘who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldaeans to make you heir to this land.’ ‘My Lord the Lord,’ Abram replied ‘how am I to know that I shall inherit it?’ He said to him, ‘Get me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon.’ He brought him all these, cut them in half and put half on one side and half facing it on the other; but the birds he did not cut in half. Birds of prey came down on the carcases but Abram drove them off.

Now as the sun was setting Abram fell into a deep sleep, and terror seized him. When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, there appeared a smoking furnace and a firebrand that went between the halves. That day the Lord made a Covenant with Abram in these terms:

‘To your descendants I give this land,  from the wadi of Egypt to the Great River.

Responsorial Psalm:        Ps 26
Response :                        The Lord is my light and my help.

1. The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink?       Response

2. O Lord, hear my voice when I call;
have mercy and answer.
Of you my heart has spoken:
‘Seek his face.’                          Response

3. It is your face, 0 Lord, that I seek;
hide not your face.
Dismiss not your servant in anger;
you have been my help.              Response

4. I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord!                     Response

Second Reading               Philippians 3:17- 4:1

‘My brothers, be united in following my rule of life. Take as your models everybody who is already doing this and study them as you used to study us. I have told you often, and I repeat it today with tears, there are many who are behaving as the enemies of the cross of Christ. They are destined to be lost. They make foods into their god and they are proudest of something they ought to think shameful; the things they think important are earthly things. For us, our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. He will do that by the same power with which he can subdue the whole universe.

So then, my brothers and dear friends, do not give way but remain faithful in the Lord. I miss you very much, dear friends; you are my joy and my crown

Gospel  Acclamation        Mt 17:5

Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
From the bright cloud the Father’s voice was heard
‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !

Gospel                             Luke 9:28-36

‘Jesus took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray. As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning. Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’. – He did not know what he was saying. As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid. And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’ And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.

Sunday Reading – 17th February 2013

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First Reading                  Deuteronomy 26: 4-10

‘Moses said to the people: ‘The priest shall then take the pannier from your hand and lay it before the altar of Yahweh your God. Then, in the sight of the Lord your God, you must make this pronouncement:

“My father was a wandering Aramaean.
He went down into Egypt to find refuge there, few in numbers; but there he became a nation, great, mighty, and strong.
The Egyptians ill-treated us, they gave us no peace and inflicted harsh slavery on us.
But we called on the Lord the God of our fathers.
The Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression;
and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with mighty hand and outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders.
He brought us here and gave us this land, a land where milk and honey flow.
Here then I bring the first-fruits of the produce of the soil that you, the Lord, have given me”.
‘You must then lay them before the Lord your God, and bow down in the sight of the Lord your God.

Responsorial Psalm:      Ps 90
Response:                        Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

1. He who dwells in the shelter ofthe Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: ‘My refuge,
my stronghold,.my God in whom I trust!’              Response

2. Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.                                Response

3. They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.           Response

4. His love he set on me, so 1 will rescue him
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls 1 shall answer: ‘I am with you.’
I will save him in distress and give him glory.        Response

Second Reading             Romans 10: 8-13

‘Scripture says: The word, that is the faith we proclaim, is very near to you, it is on your lips and in your heart. If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your lips you are saved. When scripture says: those who believe in him will have no cause for shame, it makes no distinction between Jew and Greek: all belong to the same Lord who is rich enough, however many ask his help, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Gospel  Acclamation    Mt 4:4

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!
Man does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory!

Gospel                           Luke 4:1-13

‘Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness, being tempted there by the devil for forty days. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry. Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf’. But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone’. Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, for it has been committed to me and I give it to anyone I choose. Worship me, then, and it shall all be yours.’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says: You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone’

Then he led him to Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said to him ‘throw yourself down from here, for scripture says: ‘He will put his angels in charge of you to guard you,’ and again, ‘They will hold you up on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone.’

But Jesus answered him, ‘It has been said: You must not put the Lord your God to the test.’ Having exhausted all these ways of tempting him, the devil left him, to return at the appointed time.

Padre Pio – Illness And The Army

PadrePio

Padre Pio was ordained to the priesthood on Friday, 10th August, 1910.    His Mother, Giuseppa, attended the ceremony along with his brother and sisters.    His father, still working in New York, couldn’t afford the journey home.

From that time on his mother never called her son Francesco, but always Padre Pio.    She insisted on kissing his hand repeatedly at which he would object – “What is this?   The son should kiss the hand of the mother and not the mother the hand of her son.”

Shortly after his ordination Padre Pio’s health started to deteriorate.    He was unable to celebrate Mass and for 21 days he ate nothing aside from Holy Communion.    Several doctors in Naples were consulted but could make little or nothing of his illness.    Then, after several weeks he regained good health, to everyone’s amazement.

Padre Pio had lengthy conversations with his Guardian Angel.    He called him his constant companion.   Once his secretary said to him: “Padre you look tired.   Didn’t you sleep well last night?”    To which Padre Pio replied “My Guardian Angel kept me up all night with one message after the other.”

His Guardian Angel was not only his constant companion, he also dictated letters to him in french!   ”My Guardian Angel explains it all to me” he said.

As a result of his illness Padre Pio had many limitations, he lost his sight.   His superiors were considerate, he was allowed to say a mass of Our Lady instead of the mass of the day.    He could substitute the rosary instead of the divine office.

Another problem he had to deal with was his conscription into the army.    In 1915 he was called to the medical corps in Naples.   However, after 6 weeks he was given a one year leave of absence because of his poor health.   When his leave ended he went back to Naples but twelve days later he was given another medical leave, this time for six months.

After six months when he had not returned to Naples, the Army considered him a deserter and sent military police to arrest him.    They searched for Francesco Forgione, his name before he joined the Capuchins, but in vain.    Nobody knew him.    Perhaps they were being coy in covering up for him or maybe they just knew him as Padre Pio.    Eventually they found his sister who told them he was now called Padre Pio and he was at San Giovanni Rotondo.   He was arrested and brought back to Naples but avoided prosecution when he produced his papers which allowed him “to go home for six months and then await instructions.”   He said  ”I am still awaiting instructions.”    The Army could only agree and he was freed.

Eventually he was dismissed from the Army as being medically unfit.   He took up residence in San Giovanni Rotondo where he spent the rest of his life.

Today we thank God for that life and for all the graces won for us by Padre Pio.    We ask him to continue to intercede for us.

 

By Father Canice Murphy O.P.

Sunday Reading – 10th February 2013

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First Reading                  Isaiah 6:1-8

‘In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord seated on a high throne; his train filled the sanctuary; above him stood seraphs, each one with six wings. And they cried out one to another in this way,
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.
His glory fills the whole earth.’
The foundations of the threshold shook with the voice of the one who cried out and the Temple was filled with smoke. I said:
‘What a wretched state I am in! I am lost,
for I am a man of unclean lips
and I live among a people of unclean lips,
and my eyes have looked at the King, the Lord of hosts.’

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding in his hand a live coal which he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. With this he touched my mouth and said:
‘See now, this has touched your lips,
your sin is taken away,
your iniquity is purged’.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
‘Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?’
I answered, ‘Here I am, send me’.

Responsorial Psalm     Ps 137
Response                      Before the angels I will bless you, O Lord.

1. I thank you, Lord, with all my heart,
you have heard the words of my mouth.
Before the angels I will bless you.
I will adore before your holy temple.     Response

2. I thank you for your faithfulness and love
which excel all we ever knew of you.
On the day I called, you answered;
you increased the strength of my soul.   Response

3. All earth’s kings shall thank you
when they hear the words of your mouth.
They shall sing ofthe Lord’s ways:
‘How great is the glory of the Lord!’       Response

4. You stretch out your hand and save me,
your hand will do all things for me.
Your love, O Lord, is eternal,
discard not the work of your hand.        Response

Second Reading   1Cor 15: 3-8. 11 (Shorter Reading)

‘In the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it. but what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.

Gospel  Acclamation        Jn 15: 15

Alleluia, alleluia!
I call you friends, says the Lord,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
Alleluia!

or                                      Mt 4:19

Alleluia, alleluia!
Follow me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
Alleluia!

Gospel                             Luke 5: 1-11

‘Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.- He got into one of the boats-it was Simon’s-and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch’. ‘Master,’ Simon replied ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.

When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man’. For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch’. Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

Sunday Reading – 3rd February 2013

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First Reading:                 Jeremiah 1:4-5. 17-18

In the days of Josiah, the word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you came to birth I consecrated you;
I have appointed you as prophet to the nations’.
‘So now brace yourself for action.
Stand up and tell them
all I command you.
Do not be dismayed at their presence,
or in their presence I will make you dismayed.
I, for my part, today will make you
into a fortified city,
a pillar of iron,
and a wall of bronze
to confront all this land:
the kings of Judah, its princes,
its priests and the country people.
They will fight against you
but shall not overcome you,
for I am with you to deliver you –
it is Yahweh who speaks.’

Responsorial Psalm:      Ps 70
Response :                      My lips will tell of your help.

1. In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me.                                  Response

2. Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.                     Response

3. It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help.     Response

4. My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still.                             Response

Second Reading:           2 Corinthians 13:4-13

‘Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Gospel  Acclamation           Jn 14: 5

Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
no one can come to the Father except through me.
Alleluia!

or                                          Lk 4: 18                      

Alleluia, alleluia!
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
Alleluia!

Gospel:                                Luke 4: 21-30

‘Jesus he began to speak in the synagogue, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen’. And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips

They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’ But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside”‘. And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’

When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

Sunday Reading – 27th January 2013

bible_open_new

FIRST READING             Nehemiah -6. 8-10

‘Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, consisting of men, women, and children old enough to understand. This was the first day of the seventh month. On the square before the Water Gate, in the presence of the men and women, and children old enough to understand, he read from the book from early morning till noon; all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.

Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden dais erected for the purpose; In full view of all the people-since he stood higher than all the people-Ezra opened the book; and when he opened it all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people raised their hands and answered, ‘Amen! Amen!’; then they bowed down and, face to the ground, prostrated themselves before the Lord. And Ezra read from the Law of God, translating and giving the sense, so that the people understood what was read.

Then (Nehemiah-His Excellency-and) Ezra, priest and scribe (and the Levites who were instructing the people) said to all the people, ‘This day is sacred to Yahweh your God. Do not be mournful, do not weep.’ For the people were all in tears as they listened to the words of the Law.

He then said, ‘Go, eat the fat, drink the sweet wine, and send a portion to the man who has nothing prepared ready. For this day is sacred to our Lord. Do not be sad: the joy of Yahweh is your stronghold

Responsorial Psalm:     Ps 18
Response :                       
Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.

1. The law of the Lord is perfect,
it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
it gives wisdom to the simple.       Response

2.The precepts of the Lord are right,
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear,
it gives light to the eyes.                 Response

3.The fear of the Lord is holy,
abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
and all of them just.                        Response

4. May the.spoken words of my mouth,
the thoughts of my heart,
win favour in your sight, O Lord,
my rescuer, my rock!                      Response

SECOND READING        1Corintians 12: 12-14. 27

‘Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.

Nor is the body to be identified with any one of its many parts. Now you together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it

Gospel  Acclamation      Lk 4: 18

Alleluia, alleluia!
The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
Alleluia!

GOSPEL:                            Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21   

‘Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us, exactly as these were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus, so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received.

Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.

He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen’

Padre Pio – The Man

Padre Pio was born in the little town of Pietrelcina in the south of Italy on the 25th of May, 1887. His parents , Grazio and Guiseppa Forgione were poor peasant farmers.   He was baptized Francesco, a name chosen by his mother because of her deep devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi.   Life was hard for Grazio and Guiseppa but they had eight children, three of whom died in infancy.   His elder brother Michele spent several years working in Jamaica, New York. Felicita and Pellegrina both died when they were about thirty years of age.   His youngest sister, Grazia became a nun.

Francesco’s father, Grazio, was described by a friend as “a good man but not a saint”.   Francesco was generally a calm, quiet baby but every so often he would get bouts of loud crying, trying his father’s patience.   Grazio would respond with a stream of colorful language at the baby.   Once when Francesco would not stop crying, his father took him and threw him on the bed.    He bounced and fell on to the floor.    ”Why has a little devil come into my house instead of a quiet baby” shouted his father.    Francesco was unhurt and incredibly his fall cured him of his crying spells.

From five years of age, Francesco said he wanted to become a priest.   At the age of fifteen he took the first step when he received the Franciscan habit.       He entered the Capuchin Monastery in Morcone in 1903.   At first he was given the name Pio so he was known as Fra Pio – Brother Pio.    During his three years in simple vows he suffered very high fevers.   His temperature used to go up to 125 degrees!    After his solemn vows, for life, he continued his studies and eventually on the 10th of August 1910 he was ordained a priest and became Padre Pio.

As early as eight years later, 1918, the stigmata, the wounds of Christ crucified appeared on his body much to his embarrassment.   His ill health returned and he began to have visions and struggles with the devil.    And so his life became suffering and prayer.

Crowds started coming to Padre Pio’s mass.    Many of these came out of curiosity, to see the wounds on his hands. Eventually his superiors ordered him to cover up his wounds so he got a lot of little light gloves which he wore.    We are privileged to have one of Padre Pio’s gloves here in Bridge Street.    At the end of this mass you will have the opportunity to bless yourself with this precious relic.

Eventually, worn out by a life of suffering and apostolic work – he used to hear confessions for up to fifteen hours a day – Padre Pio finally passed away on the 23rd of September 1968.    Huge crowds flocked to San Giovanni Rotondo to pay their respects.   Devotion to Padre Pio grew and in 1983 the process of his canonization began. It was completed by 1990 and nine years later on Sunday, 2nd of May 1999 Pope John Paul II declared Padre Pio Blessed.     On the 16th of June 2002 the same Pope John Paul declared him a saint and gave us Saint Padre Pio.

We thank God for all the blessings we have received through the intercession of Padre Pio and we ask Padre Pio to continue to pray on our behalf.

By Father Canice Murphy O.P.