Today is the 6 Sunday of the Year. The psalmist in our reading at Mass today gives thanks to God for his mercy. “I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide. I said, “I will confess my offence to the Lord.” And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 31). I can just imagine the poor author of this prayer, man or woman, before admitting their sins, carrying their guilt around like a heavy bag. Their sins were like chains that prevented them from experiencing life in all its fullness. I guess also that they may have been denying these sins and even making excuses for themselves. I am sure that they may have distracted themselves from their difficulties by living lives of pretence that all was well in their inner world. Echoes of the rock song “The Great Pretender” by the Platters back in November 1955 express sentiments that sound kitsch but true! We often prefer to live out of a false self rather than our real self. The false self is the self centred self. It is the self that seeks its own security and protection. It is the self that is cut off from God. God does not know that false self because it is not His creation. If my mind and heart do not belong to God then I don’t belong to God. I would then wander about restlessly in the world wrapped in my false self. St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) had to grow in self knowledge. When he was a young man he was arrogant, unreliable, a libertine and a spendthrift. He met a leper. In that moment he recognised Christ and his life was transformed. However for many of us our lives are a gradual process of conversion and change of heart. It is possible also, that our psalmist may have been afraid of what God might have to say about their bad behaviour. An image of a hell-fire God, wanting to catch them out in their sins and punish them severely is a common perception among so many people. However the psalmist experiences the loving-mercy of a loving God. “And you, Lord have forgiven the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 31:5) But note that first they had to acknowledge, admit, and own their sin. This is a difficult task. We all like to see ourselves as paragons of virtue, but we know that we are broken, fragile people who constantly fail to live up to who we are called to be - disciples of Jesus Christ. St. James writes in his letter to his community: “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16). The more we are are aware of our sins the greater our conversion to the living God will be. This does not mean being scrupulous over every little petty sinful detail in our lives but it does mean having the courage to admit first to yourself and then to a representative of a merciful God in the sacrament of reconciliation that you are in need of his mercy. A leper comes to Jesus in today’s Gospel and is set free! “If you want to…you can cure me” (Mark 1:40). Jesus touches him and the leper is set free from his awful condition. But first he falls on his knees because he knows, in his bones, that he needs help. The first step in the AA programme for addicts is a simple sentence but a difficult one to imbibe: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/drugs/gambling—that our lives had become unmanageable.” Our psalmist today rejoices that he was able to recognise his plight and come to awareness of the great mercy and love of God.
Feasts of the Week: Wednesday: Ash Wednesday: Today we begin the celebration of the holy season of Lent. It is a period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving and a journey to the font where the catechumens will be baptised and where we will renew our baptismal promises. It is a day for recognising our sin and turning back to God. It is also a day of fast and abstinence. Because of Covid restrictions there will be no ashes distributed today.
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.
Novena of Hope 2021: Takes place from Sat 27th Feb – 8th March 2021. Due to Covid restrictions our Church will be closed to the public but the Novena can be viewed on our web-cam at www.thegraan.com. If you have not the facility to go on-line you can join with us in prayer in your own home. You can download the Novena and petitions leaflets shortly or you can telephone the Graan and we’ll send the leaflets and petitions out to you. Telephone: 028 66322272.
John Corry, Trillick
Eugene Kelly, Enniskillen
Margaret Mc Manus, Graan Abbey NH & Cashel
Martin Boyd, Hillview Park, Enniskillen
Tommy Howe, Cornagrade, Enniskillen
Pat & Maureen Murphy & the Murphy & Carey Families Creagh, Tempo
Tommy & Teresa Treacy & PJ Treacy, Aughamulldoney, Garrison
The Treacy & O’Brien Families & Martin Gallagher, Garrison
Jack Thompson, Fedian, Monea
Thomas Moohan, Drumlyon
Noel Melanophy & the Melanophy family, Belcoo
Eddie & Minnie Maguire, Fassagh, Belleek
Christina Gollogly, Keady, Co Armagh
Alice O’Reilly, Maudabawn, Cootehill
Ambrose Carroll, Salthill, Galway
Alex & Olivia Mc Cauley, Rasharkin, Co Antrim
Mary Keown, Roscor, Belleek
Owen Gormley, Roscor, Belleek