Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Follow me!

Today is the feast of St. Andrew. The Gospel is taken from Matthew 5:17-22. This is the story of the calling of the fisher men to become fishers of men. First Peter and Andrew are called and then James and John.

It is an amazing inspiring story. Jesus calls them and ask them to 'come behind' him. To follow him and to trust him. He picks them out of the crowd, and chooses them specifically for a task.

Yesterday I mentioned that I will try a d focus on the reality of Jesus in our lives, the fact that it is true that he is close to us, and personally close to you and to me.

Some might have had an encounter like Peter and James, in which it seemed very clear what Jesus is asking, others have not. But this is not the important thing, as the important thing is to stay close to him!

All the Apostles ran away when Good Friday came, and it helps us to understand that following Jesus is not as easy as it might seem reading this passage. However it gives encouragement when reflecting on this, and to learn that how we experience our faith is not new from two millennia ago. It was not harder or easier in that sense, like now, it just was... And Jesus will always support us on our journey! Stay close behind him!

Monday, 29 November 2010

The journey of Advent

Todays Gospel (Mt 8:5-11) tells the story of the centurion who comes up to Jesus and asks him to heal his servant. This is a remarkable passage from different points of few.

The centurion is not a Jew, but shows great love by making the effort to go up to Jesus and ask for healing of his servant. He also shows great faith in Jesus, and does not need to Jesus to do something, but just to 'will' (λογος) the servant to be healed.

For me personally, it makes me think of my attitude towards Jesus. Am I, generalising, in the camp of the centurion or in the camp of the Jews. The centurion trusts in Jesus unconditional the Jews demands signs all the time and were fairly skeptical about Jesus.

For me, during this time of Advent, it seems good reflect on this question. On the mystery of God and how he is present in my life. The reality of God is something, while firmly believing in it, something which can become very abstract and distant, till almost the point of contradiction...

This seems a good time to try and make reality more real again. Jesus help us to find you, that we might realise how close you really are to us!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Advent has started


Regular reader of my blog, or maybe not so regular anymore, have noticed that I have been slacking a bit on writing my reflections. The past few week have been very busy, especially with video production.

Yesterday we did our first 'studio' recording of the Credo series, as can be seen in the photo above. In the next few weeks I hope to be able to give a preview of two of the episodes which will discuss the different articles of the Creed. With the preview will be the invitation for any comments, so we know what e should change in the remaining eleven episodes which will complete the series. I also want to invite anybody who has any question regarding their faith to either post it on my blog or the forum on the Dominicans Interactive website.

However, as Advent is a very special time of preparation for the coming of Jesus, firstly in the first two weeks the second coming, and then in the last two weeks for Christmas, I will try to do a brief daily reflection every morning... let's see if it will work, I will start tomorrow.

Part 2 of the Discussion on the address of Pope Benedict XVI in Hyde Park

This is Part 2 of the discussion The students in St. Saviour's Dominican Priory in Dublin had about the address of Pope Benedict XVI during the Holy Hour held in Hyde Park on the Vigil of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

(Part 1 can be found here)



For more information, please have a look at Dominicans Interactive.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Priestly ordination of bro. David Barrins OP

David Barrins OP

We will celebrate the ordination to the priesthood of Brother David Barrins OP today, Sunday November 21st at Saint Mary's Dominican priory church, Pope's Quay, Cork. The ordination ceremony is at 3.00 pm and the bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr. John Buckley will be the ordaining prelate. Please pray for David as he will be ordained priest!

Discussion of the address of Pope Benedict XVI in Hyde Park - Part 1

The students in St. Saviour's Dominican Priory in Dublin discuss the address of Pope Benedict XVI during the Holy Hour held in Hyde Park on the Vigil of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

(Part 2 of the discussion will follow soon)



For more information, please have a look at Dominicans Interactive.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Video of the reception of the ministry of Acolyte

And here is the video of the Institution of the Acolytes, with an explanation of what the ministry is.
For more information have a look at Dominicans Interactive.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Ministry of Acolyte


This weekend bros. Colm Mannion OP, Luuk Dominiek Jansen OP and Matthew Martinez OP were instituted into the Ministry of Acolyte, here in Priory Church of St. Saviour’s in Dublin.

The Ministry of Acolyte was reconstituted after Vatican II in its present form in 1972. There are different ministries in the Church entrusted to the faithful. Some of these functions, more closely connected to liturgical celebrations, were considered as preparatory institutions for the reception of Holy Orders. Before Vatican II there were Minor Orders and Major Orders. The Minor Orders were Porter, Reader, Exorcist and Acolyte. The Major Orders were Sub-deacon, Deacon and Priesthood. Today there are the Ministries of Lector and Acolyte –Acolyte having its original functions as well as that of Sub-deaconate.

The functions of the Acolyte are mainly, but not exclusively, connected with the celebration of the Eucharist. It is his duty “to attend to the service of the altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in liturgical celebrations, especially in the celebration of Mass". The Acolyte is an auxiliary Eucharistic minister, which means that he can assist in the distribution of Holy Communion if there are for some reason not enough priests or deacons available. The Acolyte can also, under the same extraordinary circumstances, publicly expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration by the faithful, and afterwards replace it in the tabernacle without blessing the people.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Those who argue that there is no resurrection

This Sundays Gospel is taken from Luke 20:27-38. It is near the end of the Gospel, and Jesus is getting near to his passover. In the Gospel some Sadducees, "those who argue that there is no resurrection" (Lk 20:27), challenged Jesus with an application of the law of Moses, namely that a brother should take his brothers widow if he left her no children to provide off spring. The Sadducees ask Jesus and who's wife this woman would be after the resurrection.

Saint Luke specifically states the fact that these Sadducees do not belief in the resurrection, which makes the whole question all the more interesting. Why did they ask it? Just to try and catch Jesus out, or is there a deeper meaning in the whole scenario. Defiantly it seems to me that they asked the question to try and push Jesus in a corner, in order to weaken the faith of the people around Him. In this case they used a doctrine they them self did not even belief, but which so they thought, would get Jesus into trouble.

In every age there have been men that have tried to undermine the fundamental principles of revealed religion. As there are people now, so there were people like the Sadducees in Jesus' time. They made fun of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, though they were plainly revealed in the Old Testament, and were articles of the Jewish faith and they themselves knew that. As it seems to me, as anybody who has read part of my conversion story, that is also the case with religion nowadays. It seem plainly revealed, but it is brushed aside as non-sense.

But there is also a chance that there is a wrong understanding of what the resurrection is about. The idea of the resurrection as the Sadducees propose it seems, in their challenge to Jesus, a continuation of our present life but then after death. And this is something we can probably also see widespread in our won societies. Pope Benedict touched on this in his encyclical "Spes Salve":
But then the question arises: do we really want this—to live eternally? Perhaps many people reject the faith today simply because they do not find the prospect of eternal life attractive. What they desire is not eternal life at all, but this present life, for which faith in eternal life seems something of an impediment. To continue living for ever —endlessly—appears more like a curse than a gift. Death, admittedly, one would wish to postpone for as long as possible. But to live always, without end—this, all things considered, can only be monotonous and ultimately unbearable (Spes Salve - 10)
A wrong understanding leads indeed for people to “grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Th 4:13), as there is no hope in an understanding eternal life as an endless continuation of the present life. It is therefore important that we are always ready to give an answer concerning the logos—the meaning and the reason—of our hope to others (cf. 3:15). So that they too can discover reality as it really is, and experience how it can make a change in their lives! It is all relevant now. Quoting the Pope again:
When the Letter to the Hebrews says that Christians here on earth do not have a permanent homeland, but seek one which lies in the future (cf. Heb 11:13-16; Phil3:20), this does not mean for one moment that they live only for the future: present society is recognized by Christians as an exile; they belong to a new society which is the goal of their common pilgrimage and which is anticipated in the course of that pilgrimage.
Eternal life in Heaven is being in full communion with God in love. This is what every human heart longs for, and this is what we are made for.

I will leave my reflection at that, as it is time to go down to the Church for our weekly Holy Hour as requested by the Pope in his letter to Ireland. Spes Save can be found on the Vatican Website.

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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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