Sunday 21st June 2020
Today is the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time: We find Jesus in today’s Gospel (Matthew 10:26-53) telling the Twelve disciples: “Do not to be afraid”. The disciples, like us, are completely in the hands of God their Father in whose sight they have exceptional value.. Albert Einstein, (1879-1955) the brilliant physicist, said at the end of his life, “ Now I see the only question is, “ Is the universe friendly?” I have begun to discover its physical meanings but the question that haunts me is, “Is it friendly?” He was asking is that whole thing out there on our side or not? True religion tells us that the universe is on our side and is trustworthy. Therefore we do not need to be afraid. “Be not afraid” is the most common single line in the Bible. We can hold two ways of looking at the world. The fear world view and the love world view. In the fear world view we are taught that everything out there is against us. We need to recognise how dominant fear is on our lives. The opposite of fear is courage. Our Christian history is dotted with men and women who gave courageous witness in the face of great fear. Think of the many martyrs who gave their lives for Christ. The rise of Hitler in 1939 Germany was accompanied by an attempt to enlist the support of the church. While many churchmen failed to foresee the evil ahead and cooperated shamefully. The Confessing Church under Dietrich Bonhoeffer, opposed Nazism. In 1939 Bonhoeffer was offered a safe job in America. He turned it down and returned to confront the evil head on. Forbidden to preach or publish, he served as a double-agent. He sought in vain the British government’s support for anti-Hitler conspirators and continually challenged Christians to reject complacent undisciplined faith. In 1943 he was arrested for smuggling fourteen Jews to safety in Switzerland and in April 1945, at the age of 39 he was executed by the Nazis. Here was a man of courage. We are called to that same courage. Faith does not change the outside world, but it changes the way we look at it. It is from our change in the way we see things that outside change happens. When Alfred Nobel read his obituary, “Dynamite King dies” he changed his life style. When the martyr bishop Oscar Romero was elected as bishop in El Salvador it was because he had conservative views that was loved by those who elected new bishops!. When he began to see the plight of his people, and their poverty, he spoke strongly against the government for justice and peace. He was asked why did he change his views. He answered because he had changed his understanding of God. He was martyred for those views. Remember what St. John told us, “Perfect love casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18). This is an old story from India. A man spends a night in cell with a poisonous snake. If he made the slightest little stir the snake was on top of him and he was dead. So he stood in the corner of the cell, opposite where the snake was and he was petrified. He barely dared to breathe for fear of alerting the snake and stood like that all night long. As the first bars of light began to come into the cell at dawn he began to make out the shape of the snake and he was saying to himself “Wasn’t I lucky that I never stirred” But when the full force of light came in with the full dawn he notices that it wasn’t a snake at all. It was an old rope! The story is banal but the moral of the story is very profound: in a lot of rooms of our minds, there are harmless old ropes thrown in corners but when our fear begins to work on them we convert them into monsters, who hold us prisoners in the bleakest most impoverished rooms of our hearts. Jesus tells us today in the Gospel beware of the fear that can destroy you. And who can bring that about? No one else but myself. I should have a healthy fear of doing that. But for the rest, fear should be replaced by the awareness of our Father’s care over each of us and how much we matter to him. Read today’s Gospel!
Here is a little extract below is from a book by the Oblate priest Fr. Ronald Rolheiser called “Wrestling with God” (Image New York 2018) pp 77-78. He teaches in San Antonio Texas. And in this little piece he speaks about people’s fear of God: “We harbour too many unconscious fears of God: Fear that God is not as understanding and compassionate as we are. Fear that God is not as bighearted as we are (or fear that God may be as small-hearted as we are). Fear that God does not read the heart and cannot tell the difference between wound and coldness, immaturity and sin. Fear that God gives us only one chance and cannot bear any missteps and infidelities. Fear that God doesn’t respect our humanity, that God created us in one way but wants us to live in another way in order to be saved. Fear that God is threatened by our achievements, like a petty tyrant. Fear that God is threatened by our doubts and questions, like an insecure leader. Fear that God cannot stand up to the intellectual and cultural scrutiny of our world but somehow needs to be segregated and protected like an over pious novice. Fear that God is less interested in our lives than we are and less solicitous for our salvation and that of our loved ones than we are. And not least, fear that God is as helpless before our moral helplessness as we are. But that is not the God we believe in.”
On this Wednesday, 24 June we celebrate the Birthday of St. John the Baptist. Today’s feast is tied up with the summer solstice, when the days begin to grow shorter. Remember the words of John the Baptist, when he said: “He must increase but I must decrease” We are actively looking at the possibility of getting a web-cam for our Church. There is hopeful signs also that we will be opening our Church for Mass in the near future. Of course we will have greater restrictions on our numbers because of the Covid 19 pandemic. We will keep you posted on further developments. Thanks for your prayers and donations. Be assured that you are always remembered in ours. Fr. Charles C.P.
The Church here at The Graan will remain open from 9.30am – 4pm each day for private prayer.
The shop is now open. Opening hours Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 4pm and Sunday 9.30am – 1pm. (subject to change).
The Anniversary Masses for Saturday Vigil & Sunday will be celebrated privately by the priests here.
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Guild Mass Cards: We have Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Birthday, etc cost £2 / €2.50 each.
Kathleen Keavey, nee Reilly, New Jersey
Rosena McCaffrey Carrickapolin Rd, Fivemiletown
Bernard & Collette Mc Grath, Old Rossorry, Enniskillen
Breege Lynam, Birmingham
Anthony Barkey, Irvinestown
Teresa Mc Donnell, Lettergesh, Dromore
Josephine Clarke, Lisnaskea
Thomas & Mary B Rooney, Erne Dr, Enniskillen
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
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