Readings and Gospel 26.7.2020

READING OF THE DAY

First reading from the First Book of Kings
1 KGS 3:5, 7-12

The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.
God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.”
Solomon answered:
“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king
to succeed my father David;
but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen,
a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”

The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request.
So God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this—
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches,
nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right—
I do as you requested.
I give you a heart so wise and understanding
that there has never been anyone like you up to now,
and after you there will come no one to equal you.”

 

Second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to Romans
ROM 8:28-30

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
so that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers and sisters.
And those he predestined he also called;
and those he called he also justified;
and those he justified he also glorified.

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,
which a person finds and hides again,
and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

It is true that the Kingdom of God is offered to all — it is a gift, it is a present, it is a grace — but it does not come on a silver platter: it requires dynamism; it is about searching, journeying, working hard. The attitude of searching is the essential condition for finding. The heart must burn with the desire to reach the valuable good, that is, the Kingdom of God which is made present in the person of Jesus. He is the hidden treasure; he is the pearl of great value. (Angelus, 30 July 2017)

 

REFLECTION

(From Catholic Daily Reflections.com)

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”  Matthew 13:44

Here are three things to reflect upon in regard to this passage: 1) The Kingdom of God is like a “treasure;” 2) It’s hidden, waiting to be found; 3) When discovered, it’s worth giving up everything we have to obtain it.

First, it’s helpful to reflect upon the image of the Kingdom of God being like a treasure.  The image of a treasure brings with it various lessons.  A treasure is often considered enough to make one rich if found.  If it were not of such great value it would not be considered a treasure.  Thus, the first lesson we should take is that the value of the Kingdom of God is great.  In fact, it’s infinite in value.  Yet so many people see it as something undesirable and choose many other “treasures” in its place.

Second, it’s hidden.  It’s hidden not in the sense that God does not want us to discover it; rather, it’s hidden in the sense that God does want us to discover it.  It’s waiting for us, waiting to be discovered and rejoiced in when found.  This also reveals the great excitement one has in making this authentic discovery of the Kingdom of God in our midst.

Third, when someone discovers the riches of the Kingdom of God and the riches of the life of grace, the experience should be so awe-inspiring that there is little hesitancy in making the choice to give everything up so as to obtain that which was found.  What joy there is in coming to an awareness of the life of grace and mercy!  It’s a discovery that will change one’s life and lead one to abandon all else in pursuit of the new treasure that has been discovered.

Reflect, today, upon your own experience of discovering the Kingdom of God.  Have you allowed yourself to be drawn into amazement at the value of this treasure?  If so, have you also allowed the discovery of this life of grace to so deeply attract you that you are ready and willing to give up everything to acquire it?  Put your eyes upon this gift of infinite value and allow the Lord to direct you in its pursuit.

Lord, I love You and I thank You for the treasure of the Kingdom that You have prepared for me.  Help me to make this hidden discovery each and every day in a more complete and awe-inspiring way.  As I discover this treasure, give me the courage I need to abandon every other selfish endeavor in life so that I may seek this one and only gift.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Gospel and reflection 25.7.20

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 20:20-28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her,
“What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

REFLECTION

“Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”  Matthew 20:22b-23

This was a very gentle rebuke by Jesus.  The mother of James and John asked Jesus for a favor.  She wanted her sons to sit at His right and left in His Kingdom.  Jesus gently said, “You do not know what you are asking” and then went on to speak the passage above.

“You do not know what you are asking.”  Why did Jesus say this?  In part, it’s because the path to glory, that is, the path to sitting at His right and left in the Kingdom, is the path of the Cross.  It’s the path of freely embracing the sufferings of the Cross with Jesus.  It’s not possible to enter into His glory without first walking with Him through His death.

So He asks these Apostles, “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”  In other words, can you embrace my Cross?  Can you embrace my suffering?  Can you walk with me through my ultimate sacrifice and participate in that sacrifice by also offering your lives?

The Apostles affirm that they can and, indeed, they eventually do follow Jesus in His sacrifice by giving themselves completely to others.

Can you drink that chalice?  Can you willingly accept the Cross in your life?  Can you endure hardship, sacrifice and, perhaps, even persecution for being a follower of Jesus?  Can you walk with Him through His suffering?  If the answer is “Yes,” then you will share in His glory.  Perhaps that glory will not be to sit at His right and left, but it will be a glory beyond your wildest imagination.  It’s worth it and it’s an invitation that you will never regret accepting.

Are you afraid to be associated in public with God and your Church. Do you close your eyes to the needs of God? We each need to examine our own consciousnesses. Are we true followers of Jesus? Are you able on that day of Judgment to say, yes I did everything I could for you Lord during my time in this earthly world, truly thanking you for giving your life, allowing yourself be murdered on the cross to save me from my sins and an eternity of something beyond my earthly understanding. Do I let earthly issues get in the way of me being able to say this on the last day? We remember that we only get one chance and we do not know the day or hour that our opportunity (to say yes I was a true followers of yours) is lost for eternity. If the answer is no, start today by doing something more where you visibly show to the world that you are a true followers of Jesus.

Lord, I do desire to drink the chalice You drank.  I desire to receive Your Precious Body and Blood and in that reception to receive the strength and grace I need to follow You in Your sufferings.  As I follow You in Your sufferings, help me also to share in Your glory.  Jesus, I trust in You.

From Catholic daily reflections.com

Ordination of our new Bishop

Please remember in your prayers, our Bishop-Elect, Fr Paul Dempsey, who will be ordained Bishop of Achonry Diocese in the Cathedral of The Annunciation and St Nathy, Ballaghaderreen on Sunday August 30th at 3.00pm.

The Principal Consecrator will be Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, assisted by His Excellency, Archbishop Jude Thaddaeus Okolo, Papal Nuncio to Ireland and Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

We thank God for the blessing of a new Bishop to our diocese, at these difficult times….

The Forest Park

Forest Park receives more positive publicity

During what was a very busy weekend for Boyle’s Lough Key Forest Park, the top tourist attraction received more positive publicity in Saturday’s Irish Independent.

In a supplement titled ’10 Cycles to do this Summer’ a subsection titled ’10 Bite Size Rides’ featured the soon to be opened Lough Key to Boyle Cyclepath.

‘This traffic free trail through the Forest Park is an ideal safe setting for introducing aspiring young pedallers to cycling. Start from the Marina and follow the 8km trail through the tress and around the Lough where you will get a perfect view of Castle Island, which you might recognise from the Sky One comedy Moone Boy. Electric Bike Trails have a rental service and the Lakeside Cafe has a nice decking to unwind on afterwards. There is a €4 parking fee.”

In an accompanying supplement titled “The Great Western Adventure”, The Park was also featured in a section titled ‘Carry on Camping’.

“This park located in Lough Key Forest and Activity Park has spectacular views, abundant wildlife, historic buildings and islands for everyone to enjoy while visiting. The park provides pitches for 46 touring caravans with a separate area for tents. It currently provides contained caravans/campers only, but will be extending their services to limited tenting soon. Visitors can try the Lough key Experience, an audio trail of the Park’s history, which moves through the 19th century underground tunnels to the top of the five storey Moylurg Tower. While the Tree Canopy Walk, the first of it’s kind in Ireland, and the Boda Borg, containing challenging activities and puzzles for everyone are currently not in use, there is a lot more to enjoy here.

“Along with the vast woodlands, walking trails, numerous islands, and historical landmarks, there is a recently developed cycleway, a scenic route that joins Lough Key to the town of Boyle via the Boyle canal. An ideal area for all ages”.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,, I give you my heart and my soul; Jesus, Mary and Joseph assist me now and in my last agony; Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I bring forth my soul in peace with you. Amen.

Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you

Prayer to St. John Vianney….

Eastern Harps – club championship matches….

Eastern Harps club notice.
Due to Covid-19 all Club Championship games are ticket only. The club has received 50 spectator tickets for match next Sunday. We plan to hold a draw for only club members and Club Draw Members and is only available to over 16s.
If you wish to be included in this draw please contact Club Secretary Ciaran on 0863056881 before 6pm on this Thursday. The same rules will apply for each game we are involved in. You must apply to be included in the draw by the Thursday before each match.Tickets are €10 and must be paid for at collection. Winners will be notified at least a day in advance of the match. Thanks, Ciaran

Eastern Harps

Eastern Harps Members draw will take place on Sunday 2nd August next at 6pm in the our Clubhouse. Total prize fund of €22,000 will be up for grabs with a top prize of €10,000 . If anyone would like to purchase a ticket in advance of the draw there is still an opportunity to do so. If you are interested please get in touch by emailing admin@easternharps.com or by phone to 087 6867227. By becoming a draw member you are supporting the day to day running costs involved with our club.

Prayer at end of day/anxiety