St Comgall, Abbot of Bangor – 10 May 2020

As well as being the Fourth Sunday after Easter, today in the NCC we commemorate St Comgall, Abbot of Bangor. He was born of noble parents between 510 and 520, and placed himself under the guidance of St Finian of Clonenagh, in Leinster. He then returned to Ulster where he founded a famous monastery at Bangor. For the guidance of his monks he wrote a rule of great austerity, which was long held in high esteem in Ireland. Many saintly men including St Columba were members of the community. He journeyed to Brittany, where he founded a monastery, but returned to Ireland where he ruled his monastery until his death in 602. The image shown is that of the Anglican parish church of Bangor Abbey.

Collect

We ask, Lord, through the intercession of blessed Comgall your Abbot: that what we are unable to achieve by our own merits we may accomplish through his protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Postcommunion

With the reception of your holy Sacrament, may your holy Abbot, Comgall protect us by his intercession: that we may share in his wondrous life, and receive the aid of his intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

St Joseph the Worker – 1st May 2020

Please use these readings for reflection if you are not able to join in our Daily Mass.

Epistle

A reading from St Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, chapter 3: 14, 15, 17, 23, 24

Brethren, above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.

Gospel

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St Matthew, chapter 13: 54–58

At that time, He came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

Collect

O God, Creator of all things, who did lay on the human race the law of labour: graciously grant; that by following the example of St Joseph and under his patronage, we may carry out the work you command and obtain the reward you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Rosary in the Garden

Today, we have had some technical difficulties with the online Rosary and Mass so there will be no livestream this evening. However, the Rosary will still be said by our clergy this evening for the deliverance from the Coronavirus.

The meditations that were to be used in the livestream are shown below so that you may use them yourself.

First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection

This is the day which the Lord has made, let us be rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118.24

In Genesis we read that God rested on the seventh day, and that day was always kept holy by the Jewish people. On Saturday in Holy Week, the body of Our Lord rested in the tomb, and on the first day of the week He rose again, victor over death and sin.

That glorious resurrection was indeed the proof that Jesus was truly God, and He has promised that those who follow Him in this life, taking up their cross daily, shall also share in the resurrection and have life everlasting.

May His sweet Mother be our help, our advocate, and bring us at last to where she reigns in glory, Queen of angels and of men.

Second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension

Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.

Psalm 24:7

Although Christ ascended on high, and clouds of glory hid Him from His disciples, we know that His Name is ever mighty on earth, and more, that we have His abiding presence on our altars. He allowed His brethren to witness the Ascension, not only for their consolation, but also for ours; that, believing their testimony, our hope of eternal life, of rising from the dead to reign with Christ in Heaven, might be strengthened and hallowed.

May Mary help us to live for Christ, that we may share the expectation of ascending to the heavenly Kingdom which was her joy and consolation after her Divine Son had left her behind in this world to work for Him here below.

Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit

… The Holy Spirit, with a sudden sound, came down on the disciples and changed their minds, filling them with love for Himself.

Breviary, Whit Sunday

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, was sent to pour that spirit into the hearts of men. And never, since that first Pentecost, has the world so needed an outpouring of love. A large number of people are cold and indifferent, Christ and His Kingdom do not enter into their calculation; others are tired, exhausted, despondent, the Gospel has no meaning for them. Far worse still are those who are fixed in their hatred of the Cross, of God, of all religion. Let us beg Mary, who longs for the salvation of all mankind, to help us so to fill our own lives with the love of God, that we may be able to shed its warmth on our fellow men, and by prayer and sacrifice help to uphold the Cross which alone can redeem and comfort.

Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption

How should corruption attack that body into which the Lord was received? For her there was prepared a straight, smooth, and easy way to Heaven. For if Christ, the Life and the Truth says, Where I am there also shall My servant be; how much more shall not His Mother be with Him?

St John Damascene

We will beg our heavenly Mother that at the moment of our death our souls may be found worthy to be taken to Paradise, to be joined again to our bodies at the general resurrection. May her intercession be mighty on our behalf, and when we have passed through the gate of death, may she “show to us the blessed fruit of (her) womb, Jesus”.

Fifth Glorious Mystery: The Coronation

Truly happy are you, O holy Virgin Mary, and worthy of all praise, for from you has dawned the sun of justice, Christ, our God.

Breviary

Our sweet Mother, Mary, is crowned by her Son, Queen of Heaven, of the whole hierarchy f angels, and of all those of mankind who have believed in God and followed Christ on earth. May their happy lot be ours.

Hail, then, O Mother … pray without ceasing for us to Jesus your Son and Our Lord, that through you we may find mercy in the day of judgment, and may be able to obtain those good things which are prepared for those who love God.

Breviary

And there, in the joy of the presence of God, and the company of all the saints, we shall keep our true Easter.

Note:

The meditations above are based on those found in the ninth chapter of Simple Rosary Meditations by a Dominican Tertiary, 1951.

Let’s make an Easter resolution

Today we should relish the joy of Easter. We should thank God for letting us share in the victory. We shout thank God for giving us this hope. But let’s not stop there. Let’s not just enjoy Easter. Let’s not just eat chocolate eggs, and cakes. Let’s let Easter change our lives. 

Christ’s Resurrection is not just a nice idea: it is the power of eternal life at work in us. Surely we ought to do something for the weeks of the Easter season to plug into that power. Many of us have made an effort to live Lent in a special way. Many of us will have given something up for Lent. OK so, this year we have had to give up our physical church buildings for Lent. Giving something up is a practical way to give the special graces God sends during Lent some room to work in our souls. If we gave something up to live during the penitential season of Lent, then surely we ought to take something up as a way to help us live the joyful season of Easter. 

In the Gradual today, the Psalmist encourages us to remember that “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Why do we not make an Easter resolution to help us do just that, to help us rejoice and to keep in mind the eternal life in Christ that is waiting for us if we remain faithful to him. 

It does not have to be complicated, it can be very simple. It could be watching a classic film together with your family each Sunday between now and Pentecost especially if it is a joyful, uplifting film. It could be having a special get-together with friends on Fridays, albeit one that will almost certainly be online due to the restrictions on our movements. Please do not have an actual gathering in your home or elsewhere. It could be taking some time to re-read some of your favourite books. 

If we ask the Holy Spirit to give us some ideas, he won’t be stingy. He just needs us to decide to let Easter make a difference in our lives, the way it ought. 

Our souls need that as much as they needed the time of penance and contrition that we lived in Lent. The Church is a wise mother giving us six weeks of Lent but eight weeks of Easter. 

Today, as we receive the risen Lord in the Eucharist spiritually or physically, let us promise him that we will find a way to benefit from that wisdom. 

✠ ✠ ✠ ✠ ✠

Deus, qui hodiérna die per Unigénitum tuum, æternitátis nobis ádiutum devicta morte resrásti: vota nostra, quæ præveniéndo aspíras, étiam adjuvándo proséquere. Per eúmdem Dóminum. Amen.