Today is the Fourth Sunday of the Year: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects the body’s central nervous system. It can be a severely disabling condition. There’s currently no cure for MS, but a number of treatments can help to control the condition. Sclerosis comes from a Greek word meaning “hard”. I thought of that disease when I read the response of Psalm 94. “O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts”. The psalm goes on to mention two geographical areas where the chosen people who were fleeing from the Egyptians through the Red Sea turned against God. The places are called Meribah and Massah! (Exodus 17:7). It was there that they quarrelled and fought against God - it was the place where they hardened their hearts against His plans. Parents, teachers, priests and many others spend much of their lives implanting words. You who are home-schooling these days know how difficult that task entails. Naturally we want to reap a harvest but the harvest is slow in coming. This is also true of God’s Word. Since the days of our youth this precious seed of God’s Word has been falling into the soil of our hearts. Yet what results have we to show? Perhaps very little. But we must not despair. A handful of grains of wheat were found in the tomb of one of the kings of ancient Egypt. Someone planted and watered them. To the amazement of everyone the grains came to life and began to grow, after five thousand years of lying in a tomb. The word of God, once dropped into the human heart never dies. Remember Jesus talked about the Word of God being like seed falling on the ground. (Mark 4:3-9). He is using images that were familiar to the people of his day. In telling these parables or stories Jesus got his message across indirectly. God is generous. His seed is thrown everywhere. In those days the farmer would throw the seed into every kind of soil. And Jesus goes on to outline the various kinds of soil the seed meets when it is first planted. There are four types of responses given in the parable to the seed which is an image of the Word. What one do we fit into?
- The Hardened Heart – seeds fell on the path and the birds ate them.
- The Distrustful Heart – thorns grew up and choked them. When we start to put our lives into other things instead of the Word of God
- The Defeated Heart – sun scorched them because they had no roots, they withered away.
But we are called to be people with Hopeful Hearts! It is about listening seriously to the “Word of the Lord” and applying it to our innermost selves. Bearing fruit always takes time and patience.…Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life’s enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny. That I may find you, my God. (From the Late Cardinal Cushing of Boston (+1970)
Feasts of the Week: Monday: St. Brigid (454-524). Unfortunately there will be no St. Brigid’s Crosses available this year because of Covid restrictions. Tuesday: The Presentation of the Lord: This feast is also called Candlemas Day. Jesus is the Light of the World. In years past the people with candles in their hands would go out to meet the Lord like Simeon and Anna who welcomed the Lord to His Temple. It is also the “World Day for Consecrated Life” Wednesday: St. Blaise. There will be no blessing of throats this year because of Covid regulations. Friday: St. Agatha (231-251) is the patron saint of Sicily, rape victims, and breast cancer patients. Saturday: St. Paul Miki and Companions: These were martyred in Nagasaki Japan in 1597. The six Franciscans, seventeen Franciscan Tertiaries, and three Jesuits died suspended on crosses
Thank you to those who are using the “DONATE” button which is on our website to contribute to the upkeep of the Graan. We also appreciate those who have sent in their donations by post and many have dropped their offerings to support us through our letterbox. May the Lord bless you and your families during these difficult days. We pray for your safety and for God’s light and healing to come to us soon through this time of darkness.
Lockdown continues, however, if you have the facility, you can pray with us over our web-cam. Masses are at 7:00 pm from Monday to Friday. Weekend Masses are on Saturday at 6:30 pm and Sunday at 10:30 pm, 12 noon and 4:00 pm. Our Church will be open from Mon to Sat from 9:30 to 4:00 pm and on Sun from 12:45 pm to 3:00 pm for private prayer.
The Shop: If you wish to contact us as regards purchasing cards please ring us during office hours (9.30am – 4pm) or visit our website www.thegraan.com and we will try our best to facilitate you.
There is always Hope – Free virtual programme of well-being to help reduce stress and improve mental health and well-being includes workshops and talks on understanding self-harm and suicide, bereavement, stress management, etc in February and March. Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite. Visit www.theaislingcentre.com or contact the Aisling Centre on 028 66 325811.
LOURDES2CLOGHER VIRTUAL PILGRIMAGE: In place of the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes this year there will be a virtual pilgrimage online from 5 to 11 July next, the usual dates of our pilgrimage. In advance of that, a Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes will commence this Tuesday, 2 February, leading to the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11 February. The daily prayers will be available on the Diocese of Clogher Facebook page and on www.clogherdiocese.ie
Carmel Fahey, Cornagrade, Enniskillen
Patricia (Pat) Dolan, Drumclay, Enniskillen
Michael O’Dwyer, Blacklion, Co Cavan
Alphonsus Killen, Clones
Annie Mc Cabe, Coolnamorrow, Aghadrumsee
Gerardine D’Arcy, Fern Valley, Enniskillen
Annie Rice, Drumlone, Lisbellaw
Brian O’Reilly, Skeagh, Bailieboro, Co Cavan
Joe Shannon & the Shannon family, Drumlyon, Enniskillen
The Mc Govern Family, Railway Rd, Belcoo
Mairead Clarke, Ardue, Ballyconnell
James & Maryann Clarke, Kinoughtra, Teemore
Baby Ellie White, Loughview Meadows, Enniskillen
John Dunne, Hillview Rd, Enniskillen
John Gollogly, Keady, Co Armagh
Bernard & Margaret Flanagan, Boho
Jim & Annie O’ Brien, Oakfield, Culkey, Enniskillen
Cassie Mc Manus, Doagh, Derrygonnelly
Bridget Duffy, Doagh, Derrygonnelly