Sunday 24th May 2020
Today is the Feast of the Ascension. In these past few days much discussion has taken place concerning Boris Johnson’s government changing their advice about the threat of the coronavirus. Instead of advising people to “Stay at Home” the English government have changed it to “Stay Alert”! The Scottish, Welsh and NI authorities still keep to the phrase, “Stay at Home!” In today’s Gospel Jesus before his Ascension into heaven tells his disciples to “Go”! Of course this pithy little word from Jesus has nothing to do with the pandemic that is affecting us all now. But it has something to do with the meaning of being church. We are the church. Like a fire exists to burn so the church exists for mission. Jesus sends them out to make disciples of all the nations. Matthew (28:16-20) in his Gospel describes the motley little bunch of disciples that heard this message from Jesus. “When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated” Matthew ends his Gospel the way he begins it.
Remember how he begins the gospel with the Wise men’s visit to the Child Jesus. The same Gospel writer tell us that they went into the house “they saw the child with his mother Mary and falling to their knees they did him homage” (Matthew 2:11). We do not hear of any of the doubts or hesitations of the Wise men, but we do hear that some of the disciples have doubts, uncertainty, hesitations about Jesus and His Mission, - yet even with these doubts and fears - Jesus still sends them out. What does Jesus call them to do? To make disciples of all nations. It is easy to make converts but it is much more difficult to make disciples. Discipleship is a life long process of learning, living, and loving. While Jesus gives his followers authority, he also comforts them, reminding them that He would be with them throughout their journey. Another important word that Matthew used for Jesus is the word Emmanuel. The word means “God is with us. “Now all this took place to fulfil the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him Emmanuel’ a name which means ‘God-is-with-us’ (Matthew 1:23). Jesus tells us today in the Gospel “And know that I am with you, always; yes, to the end of time.” (Matthew 28:20)
These are comforting words for us who are unable to attend a Church building to worship at this time. God is always with us. During these unprecedented times we are called not just to be attenders of a Church building but to be Church in our daily humdrum activities. We see people, being Church today by the way they are looking after their neighbours, by giving support to those suffering from anxiety, by giving practical help to those in need. God calls us to be His instrument, his Church today even though we can be full of doubts and fears. We are merely instruments! We are the instrument that God uses to touch others! How will our small voice be heard? Let us take heart from a story told by Sidney Lanier, (1842-1881) who played flute in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for many years.
Once, during a rehearsal, the orchestra was moving through a fiery musical passage which was building up to a grand and blaring crescendo. As the cymbals were clashing and the kettle drums rolling and the horns blaring, an impish thought crept into Lanier’s mind: “What difference does my flute make with its tiny sound in the midst of this thunderous roar of the orchestra? What if I should stop playing? What if not a note goes forth from my flute? No one will even notice.” Whereupon, still holding the flute to his lips, he ceased blowing into the instrument. Instantaneously, the conductor banged his baton on the podium – and the full orchestra came to a screeching halt. In the deafening silence, the conductor peered from the podium directly at Lanier and roared, “Where is the flute?” We, like the flute, are a small instrument in the orchestra of the cosmos – very small and very insignificant. Yet Jesus tells us today “Go” - play your part in building up the Kingdom of God. We are instruments to do God’s work. Francis of Assisi who died on October 3 1226 advised his brothers to love God, to love being poor, and to obey the Gospel. "I have done my part," he said. "May Jesus teach you to do yours.”
I am constantly amazed at how you play your part in supporting us here at the Graan. Thank you for your prayers and for your donations. Today is the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si – Pope Francis’ great encyclical on the care of our common home. In addition, it is also the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Jane Mellett of Trocaire spoke to us during our Novena on this subject. Remember God reveals himself in two Books - (1) The Book of Creation (2) The Bible. May we learn from both! Be assured of the prayers of this community. You are being remembered everyday in our community prayers. Blessings. Fr. Charles C.P.
Prayer of Pope Francis for Communication Sunday
O Mary, woman and mother, you wove the divine Word in your womb, you recounted by your life the magnificent works of God. Listen to our stories, hold them in your heart and make your own the stories that no one wants to hear. Teach us to recognise the good thread that runs through history. Look at the tangled knots in our life that paralyse our memory. By your gentle hands, every knot can be untied. Woman of the Spirit, mother of trust, inspire us too. Help us build stories of peace, stories that point to the future. And show us the way to live them together.
Standing Order Form Link attached HERE. Please note if you complete a form please return it to your own bank.
Guild Mass Cards: We have Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Birthday, Special Occasion, Exam Mass Bouquets which cost £2 / €2.50 each. The Anniversary Masses for Saturday Vigil & Sunday will be celebrated privately by the priests here.
Francis Mc Brien, Letterbreen
Tom Maguire, Derrylin
Anna Tormey, Graan Abbey NH & Scotstown
Lena Jackson, & the Craven Family, Silverhill, Enniskillen
Colm Goodwin, Windmill Heights, Enniskillen
Mina & Tommy Magee, Derrygore Terrace, Enniskillen
Doley & Billy Drumm, Hillview Pk, Enniskillen
The Gallagher Family, Arney & the Magee Family, Fivemiletown
Philip O Connor, Whaley Terrace, Enniskillen
Jim Gollogly, Purley, Surrey formerly Keady
Michael Slevin, Tempo
Robert Akimbo, London
Emily & James Kerrigan & The Kerrigan & the Keown families, Mullaghdun