Posts by Joe McDonald

HOLY BREAD OR JESUS?

Recently I was a little alarmed to hear someone,  whom I thought would know better,  display a huge ignorance with what happens at Mass. Of course there are many things that happen at this beautiful and most extraordinary of experiences that we call The Mass or The Eucharist, including sorrow for sin, the communal expression of what we believe in the Creed and a missioning back into the world to spread, and indeed live, the Gospel. However at the core…

MARY – THE SECRET WEAPON!

Bring flow’rs of the rarest,From garden and woodlandAnd hillside and vale…………How truly we love thee,How dark without MaryLife’s journey would be.(Bring Flowers of the Rarest, Mary E. Walsh ) Even on some of the more secular of radio stations the first day of May saw the playing of this beautiful old song, ‘Queen of the May’ or more accurately ‘Bring Flowers of the Rarest’. It is a well established annual ritual with one particular program playing various versions of this…

PACKING UP BUT NOT PACKING IT IN!!

According to those who know about these things it is one of the most stressful things you can do. Moving house. There’s no doubt there is something about it. It’s not just the physical effort of packing and lugging stuff downstairs and off to the new place and then when you get there up more stairs. Undoubtedly some of it is about the emotion of it. There is the sadness of endings. There is the challenge of letting go of…

THE FACE

After a period of confusion or uncertainty the disciples reached a point of clarity. It is at the moment when he breaks the bread that they know for sure it is Jesus. They recognise the Lord in the profound and sacred moment in which they have become accustomed to meeting him. This, for me, is one of the most moving stories in the Gospels. The disciples are so low, so disappointed, so downhearted. It is into this darkness that the…

BART’S LETTER

TO: PARISHIONERS OF ST PATRICK’S & ST BRIGID’S, CELBRIDGE & STRAFFAN FROM: BART, ( A LESSER KNOWN!! ) it is so hard to find words for this the two greatest extremes in my life the cruellest and most crushing of disappointments and within a few days a boundless joy that really defies words these few years have been exciting, frightening and beautiful and so much more long periods away from home out on the road watching him in action and…

THE TIDE CAN TURN QUICKLY

What a fall!  That was a real fall from grace.  He used to be flavour of the month.  She could do no wrong.  Everything she touched turned to gold. Local boy makes good. These, and many more we could add,  are all examples of statements we use to describe or evaluate each other. However,  more than this,  far be it a harmless neutral summing up of the other, such statements tend to be somewhat dismissive of the other. Worse still, …

DESERT DAYS… a little Lenten project

The notion of prayer and fasting is far from new. In fact, even though I am very interested in the role of both, prayer and fasting, in the life of Jesus, the reality is that both were being practiced by others for many years before that. My initial idea of the ‘desert day’ was for myself and a few priests that I shared it with. It then expanded to something that might be beneficial to anyone in ministry. I am…

GUESS WHO IS COMING TO DINNER

I was brought up on movies. Actually the movies are in my genes. I have the world of films in my blood. Now before you go wondering what great acting dynasty do I belong to, let me explain. My mother went from school to work in the ticket office in the old cinema near us at home. This is back before omniplex and multi screen and 3D. It was when they were called picture houses. At this stage my Dad,…

THE BURDEN OF JESUS

Lent seems an opportune moment to explore the burden of Jesus. The Pope said recently that Lent was a great time to come home. I think this was what got me thinking. The idea of coming home, of returning to what is important, to re – focus is of course very much part of the Lenten journey. Apart from the specifics of giving up something or doing something special for Lenten, my overall hope is that by the time I…

SNAKES AND SHAMROCK AND ONE CALLED PATRICK!!

I arise today in a mighty strength, calling upon the Trinity, believing in the Three Persons, saying they are One, thanking my Creator. The sirens dance and flood late into the night. Casualty Departments, groaning beyond capacity, the young guard stabbed trying to separate two drunken ‘friends’! I think we often forget he came to us twice. The one we now call our National Saint, Our Patron! Indeed our parish patron, together with Brigid, Patrick. The first time he came…

Did you ‘GET’ Mass?

It’s a great phrase ‘Did you get Mass?’ Often its thrown in as a question or sometimes offered as another box ticked in a list of ‘things to do’: ‘I was in such a flurry, so many things to do, but thankfully I managed to ‘get’ Mass’. It would be silly to make a big deal of this because it’s just a manner of speaking but this and a few other things combined got me thinking. Somebody said to me…
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