Today is the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew is writing his Gospel for his community that are made up of Jewish converts and some are Gentiles, that have had no experience of the Jewish religion. In Matthew one sees the struggle between continuity and discontinuity and he wants to honour the Jewish tradition that he comes from. However he knows that God is here today doing new things! Holding both the law “Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved” (Matthew 5:17-18) Can we not hear the Jewish converts clapping in Matthew’s community when they hear those words? There is however a deeper aspect to keeping the law. Jesus calls for a new righteousness. “For I tell you if your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven (5:20). Jesus goes on to declare himself as the new Moses. “You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors you shall not kill but I say to you anyone who is angry with his brother or sisters will answer for it before the courts.” (5:21).We can now hear the Gentiles in Matthew’s community clapping! There is a story told about a Russian youth who had become a conscientious objector to war through the reading of Tolstoy and the New Testament and he was brought before a magistrate. With all the strength of his convictions, he told the judge of the life which loves its enemies, which does good to those who despitefully use it, which overcomes evil with good, and which refuses war. “Yes,” said the judge, “I understand. But you must be realistic. These laws you are talking about are the laws of the kingdom of God and it has not come yet! The young man straightened up and said, “Sir, I recognise that it has not come for you, not yet for Russia or the world, BUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD HAS COME FOR ME! I cannot go on hating and killing as though it has not come” In the first reading today (Ecclesiasticus 15:15-20) we are told about the choice that is set before us. “He has set fire and water before you; put out your hand to whichever you prefer. Man has life and death before him; whatever man likes better will be given him” We can choose.We can put on a good show like the Scribes and Pharisees who “love standing in the synagogues and at street corners for people to see them. Amen I say to you, they have their reward” (Matthew 6:5). Our virtue must go deeper than that – it is a matter of knowing ourselves and allowing ourselves to be converted from the inside out. Listen to the opening prayer of Mass today “O God you teach us that you abide in hearts that are just and true grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you”. Thomas Merton (1915-1968) American Trappist monk said: “Our real journey in life is interior, it is a matter of growth, and an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts”
Feasts of the Week: Tuesday – Valentine’s Day. Today is also the feast day of the Patron Saints of Europe St. Cyril (826-869) and his brother St. Methodius (815-885). They are the apostles of the Slavic people.
Thank you for the collection last weekend. It came to £1540. We are so grateful for your generous support during a time that is being constantly referred to as the “cost of living” crisis. We appreciate your unstinting kindness to us in these difficult days.
Our Novena begins on the 4 March and ends on the 13 March. Thanks to those who attended the meeting last Monday evening in preparation for the Novena. We are encouraged to keep this special event in our prayer – so that it may be a moment of blessing and healing for all those who attend.
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Novena Posters: Will be ready for distribution this week.
Sunday & Monday no duty. Mass Monday (13th Feb) @ 7pm – Charles.
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Shop: Open Mon to Sat – 9.30 – 7pm. Sun 9.30pm – 4pm. Guild Mass Cards: Our selection includes Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Novena of Hope, St Patrick’s Wedding, Birthday, Anniversaries, Christening, New Home Bouquets & Mother’s Day Mass Bouquets. Cost £2. Holy Communion and Confirmation items are also available
Rosemary Mc Caul, nee Rafferty, Newtownbutler
Fr Jimmy Hannigan, Graan Abbey NH formerly Virginia
Vincent Courtney, Graan Abbey HH formerly Newtownbutler
John Keenan, Rossole Park, Enniskillen
Mary Hurson, Pomeroy
Patsy Maguire, Omagh
Fr John Craven C.P, Holycross, Ardoyne
Jack Thompson, Monea
Joe & Una Leonard, Monea
The Nevin Family, Henry Street, Enniskillen
Mary Ann Keown, Roscor, Belleek
William Mc Sherry, Letterbreen
Peter Timoney & the Timoney family, Belcoo
Patricia Murphy, Derrygonnelly
Joan Higgins, Newry & Springfield
Gerry Burns, Old Rossorry Rd, Enniskillen
Robert Moore, Bangor
Thomas Moohan, Drumlyon, Enniskillen
Alex & Olivia Mc Auley, Rasharkin
James Patrick Kelly & the Kelly Family, Farnaconnell, Boho
Nathaniel Corrigan, Belfast & Tully
Gerry & Noreen Maguire, Monea
Purdy Mc Manus, Lisnaskea
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