12th February 2017 – 6th Sunday Ordinary Time (A)

People say that Jesus replaced a religion of rules and regulations with one of freedom and love.  Yet in this Sunday’s gospel reading Jesus says he has not come to abolish the law of the Old Testament, but to fulfil it, that each little bit of that “Old Law” is important and its purpose will be fulfilled.  Properly understood the Ten Commandments and the whole of the Old Law did not amount to a set of restrictive rules but offered a key to living in a right relationship with God and one’s neighbour.  At their best the people Israel regarded the Law as a gift, and prayed “open my eyes that I may see the wonders of your law” (Psalm 119).  But the shallow virtue of the scribes and the Pharisees was legalistic. We too tend to legalism: keeping the law to be a good law abiding person, to save my own soul; or we tend to minimalism: “how far can I go?” or “what can I get away with?”  Apart from being a wholly inadequate response to God’s love, such approaches are focussed on the self rather than the other; they are essentially selfish rather than loving.  Jesus calls us to something better than those and similar slavish attitudes.  The law said “thou shalt not kill,” but Jesus tells us not even to insult others, not to harbour resentment or anger.  This is not a question of making the law stricter, but of going to the root purpose of the law.

Great golfers are familiar with the rules of golf and try to keep them, but one does not become a great golfer through detailed knowledge of those rules.  Compliance with the letter of banking regulations did not save the banks in Ireland when underlying principles of prudence and honesty were lost.  Laws and rules are not an end in themselves, but they do have their place.  Jesus’ new commandment is: “love one another as I have loved you.”  This is how we are to be recognised as his followers.  Self-righteous adherence to the letter of the law can be deadening, but joyful adherence to the spirit of the law gives life, and indeed leads to eternal life.

 Trocaire wish to thank all who helped to sell gifts over the Christmas period and to the Parishioners of Turners Cross for their kindness and generosity. A total of €850 was collected.

The Parish Assembly: meeting this Monday 13th February in the Parish Centre at 8.00 pm.

Lourdes 2017 – Young Adult Helpers. The Diocese of Cork and Ross invites Young Adults 18-30 year olds to come to Lourdes as helpers from 11th to 16th June.  As helpers you will assist with the sick and be involved in the full pilgrimage programme as well as time for prayer, for making new friends and sharing in the story of Lourdes.  Limited number of places.  Closing date for applicants is 28th February 2017. Contact Fr. Charlie Kiely 021-4537603, or email: charliekiely@gmail.com

Lourdes Invalid Fund collection at all Masses this weekend 11th/12th February

Vocations to Priesthood Weekend
An invitation is extended to men between 18 and 40 who are interested in the Diocesan priesthood as a way of life, to a weekend from 6.00 pm on Friday 17th February to 3.00 pm on Saturday 18th in Thurles.  There is no charge to attend the weekend – please contact Fr Charlie Kiely on 021 4537603 or at  charliekiely@gmail.com for further details.