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Donnybrook Parish

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Donnybrook Parish

AdventAs we begin a new Church year, the Gospel (Lk. 21: 25-28) of the First Sunday of Advent, curiously, presents vividly a picture of a world collapsing. Creation is falling apart.  The work of God’s creation is being undone. The lamps that hung in the sky to light the earth are sending out distress signals. The waters that had once covered the earth, that God siphoned off into seas, are returning. Human kind no longer has a place of safety and security and people are terrified by roar of collapse.  Whether collapse is cosmic, earthquakes, fires, floods, gales; social political or economic anarchy, threatening the social order, sickness and death of the collapse of our personally constructed worlds of meaning, collapse happens in the world we inhabit. Things fall apart and so do we. In a fragile, threatening world, how can we, vulnerable people, stand, endure and live?

If we give ourselves over totally to the physical, material and social world, we will collapse with them. There is, however, another dimension of ourselves not subject to collapse, a place to take a stand and endure, something not vulnerable to breakdown? We need to discover that dimension, to be in touch with it, to inhabit it. The task of this Advent season is to find it. That dimension is the Spirit in each of us, the Spirit of God in whose image we have been created. Every collapse is an opportunity for a new beginning. Preparing for Christmas is readying ourselves to encounter the Lord who is with us, who is in us and through whom we too can triumph over chaos and adversity.

InOurHandsThe Parish Gathering prayed and then considered two questions, (a) ‘What do you want to celebrate about your parish/ what are we doing well?’ (b) ‘What can we do better/ what else can we do?’ The Parish Pastoral Council are processing your responses to the questions under five core areas of parish pastoral life, Community, Care, Prayer, Formation and Celebration.

The story in the Gospel according to Mark (Chp. 10, vv 46 -52) provides a context and a strategy for action. The Gospel is a story of encounter with Jesus. The purpose of the Church, and the Church in Donnybrook which is our parish, is to enable people to encounter Jesus Christ and to follow him as their personal Lord and Saviour. A culturally Catholic upbringing is not sufficient anymore. Only those who are passionate disciples of Jesus can initiate that desire in others.

Discipleship begins, as it began for Bartimaeus, with our need, our own darkness and our own cry for help. In the world there is a darkness that we all feel in our hearts, an absence of vision, purpose and hope, evident both in individuals and society. This emptiness manifests itself in narcissism, consumerism, drug taking, suicide and, at a social level, individualism, loneliness, populism and a nasty media, the social media in particular.

mission sundayTogether with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all

Dear young people, I would like to reflect with you on the mission that we have received from Christ. In speaking to you, I also address all Christians who live out in the Church the adventure of their life as children of God. What leads me to speak to everyone through this conversation with you is the certainty that the Christian faith remains ever young when it is open to the mission that Christ entrusts to us. “Mission revitalizes faith” (Redemptoris Missio, 2), in the words of Saint John Paul II, a Pope who showed such great love and concern for young people.

The Synod to be held in Rome this coming October, the month of the missions, offers us an opportunity to understand more fully, in the light of faith, what the Lord Jesus wants to say to you young people, and, through you, to all Christian communities.