Service Times

St George’s, Tubbercurry: 11.30am Sundays

Killoran (Rathbarron): 10.00am Sundays

 

Priest-in-Charge

 

Revd Peter Norman
Hawkswell farm
Banada
Tourlestrane
Co. Sligo
00353 71 9181685

 

 

 

 

 

From: The Revd. Peter Norman

Second Sunday after Epiphany – 17th January 2021

 

John 1:43-51
I suppose that one of the things most of us have missed during the past year is talking to other
people, particularly friends and family, face to face. In those few short periods when we have
been able to meet with others our conversations have usually been through a mask.
We’ve had to learn to communicate in other ways or use other forms of communication more
than we would have done in the past. Emails, social media, phone calls and even meetings on
Zoom and good old fashioned letter writing have become much more a part of our lives than
before. In many instances they are the best we can do but many of us, where possible, would
prefer face to face.
Those who lived in the time of Jesus had none of the technology that we often take for granted
and wonder how we ever lived without (though we did). Communication had to be somewhat
more direct – apart from writing a letter (if you were able) communication was face to face.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel meets with Philip and Nathaniel and calls them to follow him. How does
he do this? – simply by going up and speaking to them.
We only read here of Philip and Nathanael. But shortly before this incident Jesus meets with
Andrew and Andrew goes off to tell his brother Peter that he has found the Messiah. Andrew
brings Peter to Jesus.
Philip goes to find Nathanael and the process is repeated. But in both instances the good news of
Jesus’ arrival is passed on by word of mouth. It was also word of mouth, from John the Baptist
that pointed the first disciples in Jesus’ direction, ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ says John and the
disciples leave him to follow Jesus.
Nathanael however is a bit sceptical “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” he scoffs. This
may be a bit of jealously between one small town and another, but Nathanael ought to know
better. Nazareth may not be a very important place but then how often is that God has used the
most unlikely people and places as part of his plan. David was just a shepherd and yet became a
great king; Bethlehem, Micah tells us was the least of the clans of Judah and yet in that town is
born the Messiah.
Jesus however is more polite about Nathanael in that he describes him as an Israelite in whom
there is nothing false – in other words, one who would be able to see God and God’s activity.
The fact that Jesus refers to Nathanael sitting under a fig tree is another important detail. Micah
had spoken of the time of the Messiah as being one when every true Israelite would sit, in peace,
under a vine or a fig tree. Nathanael sees this; makes the connection and then gives what might
seem to be a rather over the top answer “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of
Israel.”

True statements but does Nathanael really understand fully what he is saying? He sees Jesus as a
Messiah, one who will restore the fortunes of an earthly kingdom, but as Jesus points out there is
more to him than that. There are greater things for Nathanael to see if he will follow him and look
carefully.
And then using another Old Testament image, Jesus speaks of angels ascending and descending.
Angels like those in the dream of Jacob who saw them on a ladder set up from earth to heaven.
Jesus himself will become this gateway between those two places.
Jesus not only calls the disciples in this story but begins to give us this picture of who he really is –
not simply a Messiah in the Old Testament sense sent to the people of Israel but much more than
that as the rest of the Gospel will help us to see.
But all of this is Jesus meeting and talking face to face with these first disciples. Each of them gets
straight through to Jesus – they reach the one person who can truly meet their every need. This is
real communication. And Jesus helps them to begin to understand the way in which the truth
about him is communicated through the scriptures and the prophets.
We talk of Jesus as the Word made flesh – the Word which is God being communicated to us in
the person of Jesus. And although what we now have is words on a page, those pages of the
scriptures are real encounters with our Saviour. The words of the Gospel are not simply a story
about a man who lived a long time ago; they are a face to face encounter with Our Lord.
Like Nathanael we may begin with a limited vision of who Jesus really is but if we listen, if we
communicate with him, if we engage with the Gospel record then we begin to understand more.
The disciples were called to follow Jesus and to ‘Come and see’. That too is our calling – to ‘Come
and see’. See first with the eyes and then see or understand with the heart. The Gospel is the
good news of Jesus Christ – it is our way of communicating with him and with God Himself without
the need for any sort of modern technology, and you won’t get cut off when you need him most.

These are the prayers that I shall use at home this Sunday They will remain on the website and
can be used at any time.
I will be celebrating the Eucharist at home each Sunday at 11.00 a.m. until we can return to
worship in Church. Please stop for a moment if you can at that time and join with me in praying
for the Church, for the world and for all in need.
After these prayers you’ll find a prayer taken from the Diocesan website and a prayer for a Spiritual
Communion.

Father, your Son called your disciples to ‘come and see’. Help us to see Our Lord in the scriptures
and the breaking of bread as you reveal to us his true nature and ours as we seek to follow Him.
Lord in your mercy
hear our prayer

Father, you have called us to be one family with our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
May we and all your Church show our love and compassion to all your children in their suffering
and need at this time through prayer and acts of kindness.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer

Father, you are the source of all authority and wisdom. Give a share of that wisdom and integrity
to those who govern us that they may make the right decisions as they seek to keep safe those
entrusted to their care. For the Chief Medical Officer and those working with him as they work to
keep us safe and well.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer

Father we pray for the people of this Diocese, for Patrick our Bishop, and for those in our parishes.
For the lonely and the anxious, for all who live alone and feel isolated; for those separated from
their family and friends and for those facing financial hardship and an uncertain future.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer

Father, your Son suffered pain and agony for our sake and cared so much for those who were sick.
And so we pray for those who are sick at this time especially those who suffer as a result of the
Coronavirus. We pray for their families and friends – especially those separated because of this
disease; those prevented from caring for their loved ones in distress and at the point of death. We
pray for those who are bereaved; for those unable to properly mourn and to bury their dead. We
pray too for those who are anxious, depressed or afraid.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer

Father, you gave so much for our sakes. Be close to those who risk their own lives and well being
for the sake of us all. We pray for Doctors and Nurses, for all healthcare staff; for those who
continue to supply us with food and medicine; those helping the most vulnerable; for those
involved in medical research and the supply of medical equipment. For shop workers, the Garda,
Postal workers, Pharmacists, Carers, volunteers and all providing essential services.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer

Father, you shared our life and shared a death like ours. Be near to those who are dying especially
those who will die feeling alone. We pray too for those who have died that you will welcome
them into your kingdom where they may find rest and peace in your presence and that of the
angels and saints.
Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer

Rejoicing in the fellowship and prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Patrick, and all the saints we
commend ourselves and all people to your unfailing love.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

A Prayer from the Diocesan Website

Almighty and All–loving God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we pray to you through Christ the Healer
for those who suffer from the Coronavirus
in Ireland and across the world.
We pray too for all who reach out to those who mourn the loss
of each and every person who has died as a result of contracting the disease.
Give wisdom to policymakers,
skill to healthcare professionals and researchers,
comfort to everyone in distress
and a sense of calm to us all in these days of uncertainty and distress.
This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord
who showed compassion to the outcast,
acceptance to the rejected
and love to those to whom no love was shown. Amen.

Prayer for a Spiritual Communion for those unable to physically take Communion.

Spiritual Communion Prayer
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things and I desire to receive you in my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally,
Come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace you as if you were already there
And unite myself wholly to you.
Never permit me to be separated from you.
Amen.

If you wish to contact me then please do so by ‘phone 071-9181685 or by email peternorman1959@gmail.com

Take care and keep safe
With every Blessing
Revd. Peter.