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Fourth Sunday of Lent

22 March 2009 Gospel: john 3: 14-21 Cycle B Must … There is a word that’s hardly in vogue to-day! “claiming their rights” is preferable to speaking of “duty”! As if fidelity to duty and obedience hampered our liberty! Come and enlighten us, Lord! Must ... How often You used this word to convey the meaning of Your life among us. At 12 years old: I must be busy with my Father’s affairs …(Luke 2:49). Later: I must carry out the work of the One Who sent Me (Jn. 9:4). Faced with threats, You do not hesitate: I must go on to-day and to-morrow … (Lk.13:33). The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinners, He must be crucified and He must rise again (Lk. 24:7). What’s behind this must? What does it reveal? There is...

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Third Sunday of Lent

Gospel: John 2: 13-25 15 March 2009 Cycle B Jesus went up to Jerusalem…. To go up to Jerusalem … that was the duty of every Jew on great festivals. It was the dream of exiles or of Jews dispersed around the world… To-day it is the desire of every fervent believer, Jew, Christian or Muslim…. But to go up to Jerusalem is above all else a spiritual journey. Jerusalem is thee city chosen by God to reside there. “The name of the city will be: The lord is there! (Ez. 48:35). The ascent to Jerusalem is therefore the representation and the goal of our life. We are on our way to Jerusalem, following You, Jesus, journeying towards God. Your entire existence has been an ascent to Jerusalem. Forty days after Your birth, Mary and Joseph take You to...

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Second Sunday of Lent Year B

Gospel: Mark 9: 2-10 Jesus took them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves…. On the mountain, You are at home, Lord. There, You recapture the intimacy with Your Father. The Gospel notes that, often, You withdraw to the mountains to pray. It is there that You want to bring us in accordance with the words of Isaiah: I will bring them to my holy mountain; I will make them rejoice in my house of prayer… (Is.56:7). This ascent with three of Your disciples is the symbol of Your mission on earth. You came to draw all humanity with You and lead us to the Father. The Prophet Micah announced already several centuries earlier: numerous nations will come there and will say: Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the...

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In my Liverpool Home

In the late 1950s the Archbishop of Liverpool, Most Reverend John Carmel Heenan, invited the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament into his Diocese. Fr. Emile Berthiaume, S.S.S., local Superior of the Leicester Foundation went to meet His Grace at St. Augustine’s Oratory, Great Howard Street, in Liverpool’s dockland, the church the Archbishop had offered. It was always envisioned that this church would be a stepping stone to having a city centre church. When Fr. Berthiaume arrived at Great Howard Street the Archbishop was already awaiting him in the Presbytery who, on meeting Fr. Berthiaume, was somewhat embarrassed and apologised to him for having offered the Congregation this property. Until this moment the Archbishop hadn’t seen the place and was himself appalled at the poor condition of the house! In the late 1960s the then incumbent Rector of St. Augustine’s...

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The dominant image which emerged from the AGC in Madrid last September was the image of the Disciple – Apostle. The inspiration for this image came from Fr. General’s quotation from Fr. Eymard: “This is the beautiful amiable mission of every religious of the Blessed Sacrament: disciple and apostle of Eucharistic love: this is his true name, his grace, his life. Pray that we may become true disciples of the love of Jesus Christ, in order to be one day worthy apostles” In this first session, I want to outline the elements of Discipleship, the following of Christ. One could argue that there are three forms of Christianity in our world today. First, membership of the Church is the predominant form of Christianity for many. And there is a sense of chaos caused by changes in the church. Secondly,...

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Insights on the Fomation Meeting in Paris

The Formation session held in Paris, was for me, and exciting and a very re-assuring experience. I got new insights into Fr. Eymard’s knowledge of the Word of God and of his fidelity to the Word of God. I was quite touched on hearing how he coped with spiritual darkness and adversity. I was very encouraged and enthused to discover, from material presented, of his concern for and of his practical approach to the laity. His appreciation of the need to involve and “collaborate with the laity in his Eucharistic mission very encourages and inspires me. His concern for women, his approach to women, his realtionship with women and appreciation of women struck me, quite forcibly His work with and for the Servants gives me much renews confidence and hope. When I arrived on Wednesday night, January 21St, the...

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Bro. Paul Byrne, SSS

QUIETLY and peacefully, our beloved Confrere, Brother Paul slipped away to the arms of His Eucharistic Lord on Saturday 14th February 2009. In great from that morning, he was preparing for an outing with a friend, but was found to be dead as he sat in our sitting room with Fr. Jim Hegarty waiting to be collected. Quietly, no fuss, and in the company of a Confere, absolutely in character. His unexpected death came as a great shock to us all, despite the on-going health problems with which he had struggled for years, and which had rendered him increasingly debilitated. Bro. Paul, an only child, was born in Cork, and like all Corkmen, he remained proud of his roots. He was a Franciscan Brother (Bro. Rufino) from 1946 to 1953, and he joined the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament...

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First Sunday of Lent – 1 March 2009

Jesus had just been baptised … In receiving the baptism of John, You line Yourself up with sinners. You descend to our level….but it is to enable us to ascend to the Father after You. The new Moses, You lead humanity to guide it towards the true Promised Land. You accompany us in this journey towards God. Immediately the Spirit drives Him into the desert…. The Spirit came visibly on You at Your Baptism; He drives You now to share the experience with everyone, in living the trial of the desert. Let us also allow ourselves to be pushed by the Spirit. He is light and strength in the difficulties and trials of our...

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Homily delivered at the Requiem Mass of Br. Paul Byrne, SSS

Like the disciples in the Gospel we have just heard, our hearts are troubled. Paul, our brother is gone from us. We mourn for him as Christ mourned for Lazarus outside the tomb. But there is hope, because like Christ, we know that Paul will rise again. Jesus tells us in the Gospel that he is going to prepare a place for us, so that where he is, we may be too. Paul is now in the place set aside for him by God for all eternity. In the Gospel, the disciples were bewildered and did not know where Jesus was going. But he told them that he was the Way, the Truth and the Life. He left his disciples to show the way to others. The first reading tells us that the life and death of each of...

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