Today is the Fifth Sunday of the Year: In the first reading today from the book of Job (7:1-4, 5-7) we hear a man crying out in anguish to God. He is a man who has lost everything - his family, health, friends, prosperity, good fortune - and lost it all for reasons he could not fathom. His prayer mirrors the experience in our world today of many whose lives have been blighted by the coronavirus pandemic. He complains to God, “Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle my days have passed and vanished leaving no hope behind” (Job 7:6) Suffering is an enigma, a puzzle, all too often inexplicable and senseless. It permeates the whole of creation and raises questions about guilt and responsibility, justice and mercy, living and dying, and – the biggest question of all – why? Human suffering is the hurting part of life. We try hard to avoid suffering but we cannot; our struggling often leads to further suffering. Suffering accompanies life. The spiritual writer Romano Guardini’s (1885-1968) description of suffering as a shoreless ocean illustrates its inescapable presence. Suffering is not always visible. The calmest appearance can mask great inner turmoil. Like the ocean, with its heaving, rolling waves or turbulent currents deep beneath the most tranquil surface, life carries suffering. How we meet and cope with suffering will define our whole approach to life. Jesus made no attempt to eradicate all suffering. Jesus was not a social reformer, intent on ridding the world of its aches and pains. He had another agenda altogether. He neither ignored suffering nor fled from it. Rather he entered into suffering, his own and the sufferings of others. In this way he exposed the mystery of suffering as a positive healing gift. When we embrace suffering, encounter and befriend it, we can experience an amazing transformation. The disease may not disappear, the heartbreak may not mend, the physical or emotional pain may still persist, but we discover an inner peace that changes attitudes of denial and anger to acceptance, patience and compassion. This healing can be so much richer than any actual cure. Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who died in 1997, tells us: True love causes pain. Jesus, in order to give us the proof of his love, died on the cross. A mother, in order to give birth to her baby, has to suffer. If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifices. All suffering is hard and, at the time, seemingly pointless and unrewarding. I know that my Redeemer lives, (Job 19:25) is possibly the best known quote from the Book of Job. But it is not the heart of Job’s story; it is rather the beginning and the end. Like book-ends, this expression of faith holds Job together: a good and just man, Job’s life is blessed by God; but then disaster strikes, plunging Job into darkness; slowly he recognises God’s presence and re-emerges into the light. We speak of someone as having “the patience of Job,” meaning they put up with so much. Here patience is most evidently relating to suffering, and is not simply a connection with time. Patience and love come together with great poignancy through Job’s encounter with suffering which challenged, threatened and finally reaffirmed his relationship with God. From the Psalm Reading at Mass today: “The Lord …heals the broken hearted, he binds up all their wounds” (Psalm 146)
Feasts of the Week: Monday: St. Josephine Bakhita (1868-1947) a native of Sudan brought as a slave to Italy where she became a Christian. Today is also International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. Tuesday: St. Scholastica who died in 543 AD and was a sister of St. Benedict. She spent her life as a consecrated virgin. Thursday: Our Lady of Lourdes On this day in 1858 our Lady first appeared to 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes. Today is also the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. Friday: In the Passionist calendar today, it is our custom on the Friday before Ash Wednesday, to celebrate the Commemoration of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your prayers and support during this time of lockdown. We appreciate those who have used the DONATE button on our web-site to send us donations. We are grateful to those who sent in their contributions by post or through our letter box. These are difficult times for all of us and we want to assure you that you are all being remembered in the prayers of this community.
Church Open: Our church is open each day between 9:30 am and 4:00 pm for those who wish to spend time in private prayer. On Sunday our Church is only open from 12:45 pm to 3:00 pm. Our Masses continue at the same time each evening from Monday to Friday at 7:00 pm and Masses at the weekend are on Saturday at 6:30 pm and Sunday at 10:30 am 12 noon and 4:00 pm. Due to the Covid regulations our Masses are not open to the public but, if you have the facility, you are more than welcome to join us via the web-cam and pray with us. We do miss your physical presence with us but it is good to know that you are with us by the miracle of technology!
Our Shop: If you wish to contact us as regards purchasing cards please ring us during office hours (9:30 am - 4:00 pm) or visit our web-site www.thegraan.com and we will try our best to facilitate you.
Annie Collins, Lisnaskea
Joe Pat Prunty, Lettergreen, Newtownbutler
Sean Montgomery, Lisnaskea
Eamonn Dolan, Drumclay Rd, Enniskillen
Concepta Mc Ateer, Randalstown formerly Keady
Emmet Prunty, Lisnaskea
Lisa Byrne & Sheila Mc Caffrey, Enniskillen
Peggy Nevin, Enniskillen
Francie, Annabel & Lavinus Murphy, Fivemiletown
Br Mark O’ Reilly, Graan Monastery
Cormac Gollogly, Banstead, Surrey (Month’s Mind)
Martin Starrs, Fintona
Thomas & Bridget Beirne, England & Rooskey
Joseph Gray, Holywell, Belcoo
Thomas Duffy, Derrin Rd, Enniskillen
Jimmy Reilly, Breagho, Enniskillen
Joe & Una Leonard, Monea
The Casey Family, Garrison
Jack Duffin, Belfast