SECOND SUNDAYOF ADVENT > B 6th Dec 2020
Recently Deceased: Theresa Davis (nee O’Donnell), late of Reddans Walk, Greenane & Weston-Super-Mare, England. Funeral in England; Johnny nugent, Seán Allen Tce; Seánie Donovan, James Street;
Month’s Mind: Alice Roche, Fr. Matthew Street;
Anniversaries: Mary O’Halloran; Bridie Madden; Denis Bowes; Mick English; Peggy Liston (1st Ann); Marcie Carey; Patrick & Bridget O’Gorman; Bridie Quirke; Tom McCormack (1st Anniversary); Margaret O’Dwyer; Mary Butler; Mary Murphy; Mary Ronan; Thomas & Margaret Keating and sons Bobby & Thomas; Robert Keating; Patrick & Mary O’Neill; Margaret, Christine & Teresa O’Neill; Patrick & Martin O’Neill; Thomas White; William Culhane; Brendan Power; Richard & Josie O’Halloran & deceased members of the O’Halloran Family; Broughan Family;; Hickey Family; Anthony Culhane; Patrick Evans, (1st Ann); Terry O’Hehir; Breda Cartlidge; Michael Finnan; Michael Verdon; John O’Connor; Jack Ryan; Terry Hyland; John O’Connor; Fr. Liam Hayes; Michael Jess; Ned & Patsy Bourke, Bansha;
Feast of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: is Tuesday 8th Dec. Vigil Mass on Monday 7th Dec at 7.00pm; Masses on Tuesday 8th at 8.30am; 11.00am & 12.30pm
Advent Reflection: There will be a short reflection on the Season of Advent from St. Michael’s Church each Wed at 6.30pm on the Parish Webcam.
St. Vincent de Paul Annual Christmas Collection: takes place this weekend 5/6 Dec. Envelopes are available at back of St. Michael’s Church and donations can be dropped into the St. Vincent de Paul Box at the back of the church.
Christmas Clergy Collection: Christmas Clergy collection for the priests of the diocese is next weekend 12/13 Dec. Place envelopes in box at back of church. All cheques to be payable to St. Michael’s Church/Parish. Donations can also be made online on: www.stmichaelsparishtipperary.ie
Return to Public Masses: While we have resumed our usual masses we are asked to remind you that the country is at level 3 with serious restrictions in place with regard to indoor gatherings.
- 50 is the number for Masses.
- Funerals and weddings 25
- Face Masks are to be worn inside the church.
- Refrain from group gathering after mass
- People with underline health conditions should not attend mass.
- As the obligation to attend weekend mass is postponed we ask that people choose a day in the week to attend mass to avoid large numbers at weekend.
- Confessions are not being heard at present.
- Baptisms with family only in attendance can be arranged through the Parish Office. 062 52727
- Christmas arrangements will be announced next weekend but the restriction on numbers attending Mass will be in place.
Mass Online: Go to www.stmichaelsparishtipperary.ie Mass Mon-Sat at 10.15am; Sunday 11am. Facility for online parish donations is available on the link.
Gospel Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent
Prioritising Our Priorities.
With Covid and the ensuing recession and redundancies comes the inevitable advice about staying out of debt at Christmas and much of the advice is about priorities. More than ever we have to prioritise the amounts of money we are going to spend on different people, and we have to know where to draw the line. We have to decide what is important and what isn’t. A year of Covid has probably taught us all something about the priorities that govern our lives. Now in Advent we are asked to stop and examine those priorities, and more importantly to ask whether our priorities are what they really ought to be in God’s eyes.
Today we read how John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance. Today we might easily dismiss the rantings of a strange man who dressed in camel hair and fed on locusts, but interestingly, people travelled miles into the desert to be baptised by him, so charismatic a man was he, and so important his message. Two thousand years later, his message is just as relevant to those of us who want greater meaning in our lives. The repentance that John teaches means so much more than being sorry for our sins. Repentance means changing the direction of our lives away from poor choices. Was the direction of our life decided by what exams we did or didn’t pass at the age of seventeen? Has the direction of our life been determined by arbitrary decisions and random circumstances? Is that the way we want to continue? Advent is a time to decide what sort of a person we would really like to be, and in what direction we would really like to be heading. That’s an exciting thought!
“Prepare the way of the Lord,” John tells us, “make straight his paths.” To allow God into our lives, we are asked to remove any obstacles in God’s path. How can we open our minds to God’s will if our time is consumed in fixing fairy lights and making Christmas puddings? Advent is an opportunity for us to make some quiet time to contemplate and prioritise. What is it exactly that is preventing God’s work in our lives?
“One mightier than I is coming after me,” John tells us, “I have baptised you with water, he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.” In the desert of commercialism, we are encouraged to sit down for a moment and prioritise our priorities.
The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary December 8th
Today is the day on which we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Note that it is she, Mary herself, who is the Immaculate Conception; the day does not refer to Mary’s conceiving Jesus by the Holy Ghost, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, by Mary’s father, St. Joachim. What makes her conception immaculate is not that she was conceived by the Holy Ghost of a virgin, as was Christ Our Lord, but that from the very moment of her conception, she was filled with grace by God. The doctrine asserts that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was preserved by God from the stain of original sin at the time of her own conception. The dogma of Mary being conceived without sin was defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854
“Mere sorrow, which weeps and sits still, is not repentance. Repentance is sorrow converted into action; into a movement toward a new and better life.”