Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Today is also called Laetare Sunday. That means “Rejoice Sunday” The season of Lent is at its midpoint, the great feast of Easter which is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus draws nearer. At this midpoint of Lent, it is also traditional to honour mothers, treasuring those still with us and praying for those we have lost to death. Just as the man born blind in today’s gospel (John 9:1-41) has his eyes opened by Jesus so he can see, so Lent is our time to open our eyes and see our own sinfulness, repent and witness to our identity as children of light. God always sees us and we are told today in the first reading 1 Samuel 16:6-7 “God does not see as man sees, man looks at the appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.” There are two kinds of blindness in Scripture: physical blindness and spiritual blindness. One knows the reality of physical blindness. But there is spiritual blindness also. There was an article published in a magazine about a group of more than 100 women, all Cambodian refugees who fled their country during the regime of Pol Pot, to escape the atrocities of the killing fields. Now living in Long Beach, California, every one of these women is certifiably blind – even though leading ophthalmologists insists that their eyes are not injured and are capable of functioning normally. Suffering from what has been determined to be hysterical blindness, these sightless women were so traumatised by the horrors of what they had witnessed that their bodies set up as protective barrier as it were, which also prevents them from seeing anything at all. Maybe, even though we are not physically blind we can be spiritually blind. One can say about them that they just won’t see or they have tunnel vision. Their minds are set and made up, and they shut their minds and hearts to anything else. Sometimes they shut out God because they’ve suffered a traumatic loss, like the loss of a child, and they can’t reconcile that event with a good God. Or, with shock, sadness, and disgust, they read about the paedophile scandals, and rightfully so, lose trust in God’s church. Some people, because of their past experiences and their present mindsets, see only the bad, not the good; only the corruption, not the promise; only the darkness not the light. How can they see again? Only the faith witness of compassion and love will give them sight again. The truth is we are all blind to some degree; all of us. We have honest questions and lingering doubts. We wonder, for example, where is God in our lives? Or is God there at all? We wrestle with the problem of evil – how could so many innocent people have been murdered during our so-called “Troubles”? Why do evil people prosper? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do we have to die? The only thing we have is to cling to God’s word as St. Paul has written: “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). In the second reading today ( Ephesians 5:8-14) we are told: “You were in darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord, be children of light”
Thank you for the collection last weekend. It came to £2200. During these difficult trying financial times we appreciate your support of our mission here in the Graan. Once again a special word of thanks to all the volunteers who helped during the Novena. The car park attendants, Readers, Ushers, the various speakers, singers, Eucharistic Ministers and your good selves for your presence with us during the various sessions.
Feasts of the Week: Monday: St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast is normally celebrated on the 19 March but because the 19th fell on a Sunday the feast was moved to today. It is a day of special Solemnity. Friday: St. Macartan – patron saint of the diocese of Clogher. He is known as St. Patrick’s “Strong Man” for his dedication and faithfulness. Saturday: Feast of the Annunciation – A Day of special Solemnity.
The books that Professor Jim Lucey authored and spoke about at the closing day of our Novena of Hope are “A Whole New Plan For Living,” and “In My Room,” Waterstones in Enniskillen will have them in stock in the near future or you can buy them on Amazon.
Mother’s Day: Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. We hope you have a happy and relaxing day.
Sunday & Monday no duty. Mass Monday (20th March) @ 7pm – Arthur.
Confessions: Tues to Fri 2pm – 5pm.
Sat 5pm – 6pm. Mass: Mon – Fri @ 7pm. Tues – Brian. Wed – Victor. Thurs – Arthur.
Fri & Sat – Anthony.
Shop: Open Mon to Sat – 9.30 – 7pm. Sun 9.30pm – 4pm.
Guild Mass Cards: Our selection includes Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Wedding, Birthday, Anniversaries, Christening, New Home Bouquets & Mother’s Day Mass Bouquets. Cost £2.
Save Our Acute Services: Our plan to Save acute services at SWAH is making progress. The coming weeks are crucial. The SOAS group has made available TWO Template letters, both of which need to be signed by everyone in the Fermanagh/Omagh District Council area. We need at least Ten Thousand individually signed copies of each letter. Please pick up the letters at the porch doors and please sign them on the spot. We will deliver them. If you need further copies, ask and we’ll give them to you. This is the most effective thing you can do to save our wonderful hospital.
Eileen Mundy, nee Mohan, England and Clara
Brian Maguire, Belfast
John Walsh, Alaska formerly Fermanagh
Adrian Gunn, London formerly Derrylin
Tom Moran, Rathfarnham, Dublin
Nellie Mc Hugh, Ferney Rise, Enniskillen formerly Kinawley
Maura Burns, Brughas, Enniskillen
Mary Waddell, Tempo
James and Mary Mc Shea, Cavanacarragh, Lisbellaw
Marie Feely, Garrison
The Rooney Family, Blacklion
Mary & John Joe Brady, Ballyconnell
Kathleen Smith, Loughview Dr, Enniskillen
Pauline Murray, Mount Argus Rd, Dublin
Dympna Blake, Tobermore Pk, Enniskillen
Teresa Hegarty, Letterbreen
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201