Fr Gerard Dunne OP (vocations promoter for the Irish Dominican Province) celebrated our Sunday Eucharist this morning and launched the prayer initiative for vocations to all branches of the Order i.e. friars, sisters, contemplative nuns and Lay Dominicans. Recently he had an icon of St Dominic commissioned which he will now bring to all the Dominican priories and houses throughout Ireland to encourage the people who attend our churches to join us in praying for vocations. We felt privileged that this initiative was launched here and the icon will remain in our chapel during the coming two weeeks.

Second Sunday of the Year – Year B

Mass Readings
1Samuel 3:3-10, 19
Psalm 39: 2-4, 7-10,
1Cor 6:13-15;17-20
Gospel John 1:35-42

“I waited, I waited for the Lord
And he stooped down to me;
He heard my cry
He put a new song into my mouth
Praise of our God”

When I read these words of today’s responsorial psalm as I sat beside Sr Mary Paul’s death bed earlier this week I could not help but relate them to her life and death. Yes she had waited these 91 years and now the Lord was about to “put a new song in her mouth – praise of our God”

The palm continues:

“You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings
but an open ear.
You do not ask for holocaust and victim.
Instead here am I”

How true this was now as Sr Mary Paul lay there helpless – all she had to offer was herself and no doubt she had generously offered herself to the Lord throughout her life – her one focus was to delight in His law in the depth of her heart.” Often we forget that what the Lord is seeking is our heart – indeed unless He has got our heart all our feverish activity – no matter how good in itself – matters little in His sight.

“You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings but an open ear” –Sr Mary Paul frequently repeated a phrase from a retreat conference – ‘we, contemplatives, listen so that others may hear’. The two disciples in the Gospel follow Jesus and ask where he lives? Jesus invites them to “Come and see”. This invitation is also extended to us but where do we find Him? The second reading provides an answer. St Paul tells us that our “bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” and “are members making up the body of Christ”. We do not need to move outside our own heart to find Him. We are always in His presence – held by His right hand. Our contemplative life is a journey inward – a journey of faith as, more often than not, the Lord is asleep, unnoticed. He is also hidden in the hearts of all whom we meet and with whom we associate for we are members of the same body. Our spiritual ears need to be attuned to His voice and our spiritual sight sharpened in order to recognise His presence under whatever guise He chooses to present Himself. Just as Andrew brought his brother, Simon, to Jesus so today we must bring others to Jesus in our prayer and sacrifice on their behalf.

“I waited, I waited for the Lord
And he stooped down to me;
He heard my cry
He put a new song into my mouth
Praise of our God”