Paul Clayton-Lea reviews the latest publication from one of our Multy friars, John O’Brien OFM, entitled “The Darkness shall be the light.” John draws inspiration from the writings of T. S. Eliot as he addresses the great human disease of loneliness.
We use the terms ‘good’ and ‘fine’ interchangeably all the time. And perhaps, that risks us taking a somewhat complacent attitude to the word, ‘good’ when we read and hear stories of The Good Shepherd. While English can be a very expressive language, sometimes, when reading the Word of God, a look back at the original Greek tells a very different story, just as looking at the original Irish word for a town or village tells its own story, one that is lost in its English translation.
Fr Kieran takes us on that journey today and in doing so, opens up a new perspective on what Jesus means when He says, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
Fr Kieran takes a look at last Sunday’s Gospel (Third Sunday of Easter – Lk 24:13-35) telling a story of an amazing encounter with which we are all so familiar, viz. the disciples meeting Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Our immediate reaction could well be, “How come they didn’t recognise Jesus?” and so Kieran goes further, to look at the different levels or senses of recognition. There can be a lot more than just recognising a face, and when we find ourselves deepening our relationship with another, then it requires another level of recognition, which is revelation. And it is from revelation that comes recognition. Recognition brings with it appreciation, loving the reality of what we recognise and which is revealed us to! God reveals Himself to us completely and so our response can only be that of the two disciples when they recognise him – joy!
In Fr Kieran’s homily for Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter, he reflects on the central call of Jesus for unity. In the Acts of the Apostles that we read each day during Mass in these days of the Easter Season, we read of the unity that there was among the believers, the sharing of goods and property so that not one of the members was in want. But this sense of unity is not something from of old, the call to unity is just as alive today as in those days following the resurrection of Jesus and the early Church. Kieran concludes his homily by saying: “If you are looking for a sure sign of the Spirit of God in our world today, you need go no further than your local church when Mass is celebrated. But it doesn’t end there! The Spirit is sending us out to our society to be instruments of unity, to blow away all those obstacles to the expression of our equal dignity as members of God’s family.”
Fr Kieran shares his thoughts on what was a very busy week at the friary for the Holy Week services. RTÉ asked the friars to host the national broadcast of the Good Friday and Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil services and it was a privilege to agree to their request. For Good Friday, their request was that it would be an outdoor service, at the foot of the Calvary and the weather didn’t disappoint! Read Kieran’s full update.
In Fr Kieran’s homily for the Second Sunday of Easter, he explores the unfathomable mercy and forgiveness of Jesus, first, when he appears to Thomas after he doubted the stories of resurrection, and later, to Peter, the man who denied Jesus three times, and yet, so complete is the forgiveness that it is Peter who is asked to be head of the Church.
A number of people have enquired about Fr John Kealy who had to spend a few days recently in Mullingar Regional Hospital. We're happy to report that John is making good progress and yesterday (Tuesday, 18/4), he moved to the Portiuncula Nursing Home, next door...
Fr Kieran reflects on the reassurance of the resurrections and points out too, that the message of Easter is not that we can relax and wait for the Lord to evacuate us to heaven, but that we must roll up our sleeves and get to work preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth, drawing on the supernatural power of Christ’s cross and resurrection.
In Fr Kieran’s Good Friday homily, he reflects on the two Passion accounts, viz., that of the suffering servant from the prophet Isaiah and the main focus of the Good Friday liturgy, the Passion of Jesus and the theme that joins both of these accounts. Fr Kieran explores these two accounts as calling on us, to find a unity in our whole life span between the active stage and the stage of passion. Often our world identifies those lesser ones with the inactive, the passive, but Jesus identifies these same ones as the most important in the heart of God. He has come to make us all one and what a price he pays to get that message across.
As we commence the season of Lent, Fr Kieran encourages us to see this as a time of personal and communal retreat. A good outcome in most situations usually depends on good preparation and so it is with Lent and with our preparation for Easter. This time of retreat allows us to reflect on that ever-present gap between our present imperfect situation and the place God is calling us to be.