Homilies & Reflections

How faith helped an NHS nurse through Covid

Reflection shared during the parish May Novena to Our Lady  My name is Kathleen Agnew, also known as Kate to my work colleagues and friends. I’m the lead nurse for theatres in N.I. I would like to share some of my experience from the last year and how my faith has...

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March 21- Homily- Living As God Would Want

Monsignor Delargy Would you like to see Jesus like those Greek visitors in the gospel story? What are you likely to hear from him? Let’s look at today’s readings. Here’s his advice for living as God would want. First, keep to God’s covenant. It’s God’s will to be your...

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March 28- Palm Sunday- Homily- Returning From Holidays

Monsignor Delargy Once upon a time I was in London airport returning from holidays.  My friend John’s luggage had split and he had real trouble collecting it together. A new Aran jumper was missing; then suddenly from across the hall, someone shouted ‘who owns this?’...

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March 14- Celebrating Mothers’ Day

Fr Paddy McKenna The entrance verse in today’s Mass says it all. “Rejoice, Jerusalem and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning, exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast”. The purple vestments may be replaced with rose-coloured vestments, there is...

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March 7- Being There For The Poor

Fr Patrick McKenna Some years ago, a visiting priest celebrated the Sunday Mass here in the parish. There were two collections, one for the parish and one for Trocaire. He made the ‘unilateral decision’ to suggest to the congregation that they forget the offertory...

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March 7- Taking a Stance For the Faith

Monsignor Delargy Let me contrast this week’s gospel message with a few popular news items reflecting modern Irish society. One leading feature in the Irish Times last week proposed that IVF should be free for all with surrogacy on demand. It profiled a single mother...

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February 21- Homily- The Struggle Between Good and Evil

Monsignor Delargy Mark is a very dramatic writer. When he was researching material for describing the very beginning of the mission of Jesus he was struck by the amazing similarity between the life of Jesus and the alarming experiences of his ancestors in their escape...

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February 14- Homily- Embracing Christ, Embracing the Leper

Leprosy is probably the oldest known communicable disease in the world. And contrary to popular thinking it has not been eradicated. Way back in 1869, a young Irishman, Wellsely Bailey, was working as a teacher in the Punjab in India. He came across a row of huts...

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7th February- Homily- Helping Others During a Pandemic

Fr McKenna In the first Reading, we discover that poor old Job was in bad form. In fact he was suffering from deep depression. He complains: “Months of delusion I have assigned to me, nothing for my own but nights of grief. Lying in bed I wonder, “When will it be day?...

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1st February- Homily- St Brigid’s Day

Fr McKenna Last year, I got a lovely present from the boys and girls in P3. It was a very colourful St. Brigid’s Cross with a special prayer underneath all about the lovely person she happened to be. She was a woman of peace. Anyone who loves God has to be a peaceful...

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If I Have Knowledge Without Love I Am Nothing At All

Recently Catholics celebrated the feast of the conversion of St Paul the apostle. Paul wasn’t part of the twelve apostles of Jesus, in fact he persecuted the early Church. But through God’s intervention, Paul’s life was instantly changed, and his writings now make up...

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24th January- Homily- True Love and Dying to Self

Monsignor Delargy We are called today to repent, in these Covid days to think of the welfare of children and the elderly first, to believe. God’s rule is close at hand. Love your neighbour, work for justice and peace. St Paul insists that the first step is to be ready...

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December 2020- Advent Talk for Careworkers

During the Covid emergency it’s wonderful to see how well parishioners cope. Some are medics and nurses on the frontline, keeping us up to date with the challenges to hospital staff and the admirable way personnel have looked after patients and each other in a spirit...

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Presbyterian Notes For 2020

Rick Hill, Discipleship and Leadership Development Officer with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, has shared ten reflections on 2020: We need more than simple positivity that tritely looks for silver linings in everything or tries to proclaim it will all be better...

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17th January- Homily- Mother and Baby Homes

Monsignor Delargy “Come and See” At the beginning of every Mass Catholics admit to failure. We say I have sinned and then ask the Lord for mercy so as to begin again and go forth with God’s blessing to live well and give unselfishly with the help of the Lord. We admit...

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13th January- Vaccine Homily

Monsignor Delargy In today’s Gospel Jesus cures many people from disease. Healing is what the Church does. What about its healing mission today? We can think of all the good work that nurses and doctors do in repelling Covid-19. However, there are also areas where...

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10th January 2021- Baptism of the Lord- Homily

By Monsignor Delargy John the Baptist spent his life reminding people that they are sinful and weak and need to repent.  In today’s gospel he tells them that God has a further plan, not just to save us from sin but to give us the fullness of eternal life through his...

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3rd January 2021- Homily

Today I would like to reflect on two phrases from the gospel of John. ‘The Word was the true light that enlightens all people, and he was coming into the world.  He was in the world that had its being through him and the world did not know him.’   Jesus is the...

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27th December- Feast of the Holy Family- Homily

I have a book for children about the hymn Away in a Manger. The first part is set in the Holy Land with pictures of Joseph, Mary and Jesus arriving in Bethlehem. The second part is set in a modern context with scenes taken from modern life. In both cases we are...

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25th December 2020- Homily

At Christmas the Son of God came to earth in order to reorientate the human race. The birth of the child Jesus is a time of harmony with God and neighbours. God has always had a plan for renewal and conversion throughout human history. At Christmas the process takes a...

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3rd December- Ballymena Forum Advent Reflection

Note: The video can be viewed here. John the Baptist represents all those who cry out loudly in the background giving advice and warning. We hear echoes of his cries each day in the alarming News bulletins, in the strident headlines. Covid infections increase. Rules...

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22nd November- Homily

Saul was the prison officer, we heard about last week; a man who was acquainted with tough situations and tough people.  He had been inclined to be very judgemental and dismissive of those in his charge.  When a crisis came, he expected them to fall down.  Now he...

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15th November- Homily

A few years ago, Matthew, a five-star businessman from these parts, went on holiday to the Far East.  It was to turn out disastrously.  At the airport he was arrested on suspicion of smuggling drugs planted on him by an apparently affable, chatty fellow passenger. ...

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8th November 2020

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time The Gospel begins with a realistic parable.  Jewish weddings were held in the evening.  Family and friends accompanied the groom as he brought his bride from her family home to his family home where...

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Sunday 25

Today Jesus reminds us that we are privileged to belong to the kingdom of God and to work for that kingdom without complaining or feeling entitled; the big sin of this generation. The generous Lord and Creator opens up the way from this earthly life to heavenly life...

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Sunday 23

“Where two or three meet in my name I shall be there with them.”  In the gospel Jesus asks us to correct wrongdoing. He also promises to assist those who work for reconciliation. Within the family it is a great relief to be forgiven after you have offended someone....

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Sunday 20

“It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs” In our culture that statement could be criticised for being racist and even offensive. Did Matthew quote Jesus correctly? What did Jesus mean? Jesus and his disciples were on a mission to...

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Homily for the Nineteenth Sunday

Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. In today’s miracle story Jesus asks his disciples to put their trust totally in him especially during troubled times. We have been through our own Troubles and in memory of John Hume many are doing a reappraisal of those...

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Sunday 18

"Give them something to eat yourselves." There are two stages to today’s gospel. We are first of all to make an effort to listen to Jesus, taking time to spend in his presence and receive the Word of Life and the Bread of Life. We listen carefully and allow him to...

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Sunday 17 

‘When (a merchant) finds (a pearl) of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.’ Matthew, the tax collector evangelist, liked to use business images to encourage the follower of Christ to make a good bargain and become a more active member of God’s...

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Sunday 16

You will have noticed over the last few Sundays that the gospel of Matthew is full of parables.  A parable is a story that Jesus tells to challenge his listeners. He wants his disciples to make an effort to understand the kingdom of God better and to help to make...

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Sunday 15

Hear the word of God and understand it (Matt 13:23) There never has been a better year to understand the parable of the Sower. Like many others I have been working regularly in the garden in co-operation with others. It is a delight to observe and nurture the growth...

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Sunday 14

“I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Matt 11) Jesus announces the good news that the Creator of the universe is his Father and has done us the honour of making us his children. He then invites you and me to live spiritual lives and join him in proclaiming...

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Body and Blood of Christ

Today, we celebrate the solemn feast of Corpus Christi. We give God thanks for Christ’s actual offering of himself in sacrifice for our salvation on Calvary. Christ restores us to life.  We are also thankful for his Holy Thursday gift of a sacramental celebration in...

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The Most Holy Trinity

“God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” Today we are promised eternal life with God the Father, Son and Spirit. Life is an adventure where God the Creator, the Redeemer and the Giver of life...

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Mary and the Uganda Martyrs

Christianity came to Uganda towards the end of 19th century. The Church Missionary Society (CMS) were the first European Anglican missionaries to arrive in Uganda in June 1877. Two years later in 1879 they were followed by the first Catholic Missionaries (White...

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Pentecost Sunday

I would like to reflect on the Pentecost Sequence prayer to recall how the Spirit helps us to be touched by the love of God our Father and Jesus our Lord. Fulton J. Sheen once said about the Church, "Even though we are God's chosen people, we often behave more like...

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Mary, Star of the Sea

The Ballymena Parish Novena What fine weather we have enjoyed these past few weeks of ‘Lockdown.’ Indeed, I have found not only the day beautiful, but also the night carries a charm and a peacefulness during the pleasant weather. Last night in fact the Moon shone so...

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What is it about Our Lady that we love?

Good evening everyone. During this time of lock down when we cannot be physically together, it’s comforting to have opportunities to pray together as the body of Christ. Together with many others we bring our petitions, our worries, our struggles and our many needs...

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St Philip Neri

Today is the feast of St Philip Neri who lived through a period of great reform in the Church. His greatest achievement was to establish oratories where people gathered to pray, sing hymns and plan to do works of mercy. His example is especially apt nowadays when we...

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The Ascension

It’s interesting to compare different words used for Ascension. Analepsis the Greek word stresses that Jesus is taken up by God into heaven. The German word aufstieg means ascending and also reaching the next stage, so the departure of Jesus is the beginning of a new...

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Easter 6 Sunday

“l live and you will live”. John 14:19 Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure. They are fearful that religious life will not be normal from then on. The Shepherd will be gone and the sheep scattered. No public gatherings, no miracles, no big preaching...

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Reflection

I am delighted to have been asked by Father Delargy to share a short reflection on Mary the Mother of God, during her month of May. I hope to convey the impact she has had on my life and to bring all of you closer to Jesus’ mother, who is also your mother, and my...

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Walk back to happiness

Walking back to happiness; the Emmaus story Today’s gospel features two men who were in danger of losing hope for the future.  Jesus had been a good friend, a leader, an admirable preacher, a wonderful character. He had a spiritual presence; he was a joy to be with. ...

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Easter 4 – Funeral Mass Mary Jane Reid

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his flock. We are sheep of the flock, a blessed creation of God. Jesus first of all identifies with us; He becomes the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Therefore a good Christian is ready to lay...

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The Glorious Mysteries

We gather today in honour of Our Lady to reflect on the 5 Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.  When I was first asked to do this Novena, I decided that I wanted to speak about the Joyful Mysteries - I love them so much - that great account of the Annunciation to the...

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The Rosary: A Family Prayer

The rosary is indeed one of the traditional family prayers. It helps to reflect on the life, ministry and mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. In time of Joy or darkness, praying the rosary is like holding the hand of Our Blessed Mother. As we know Our Lady revealed to...

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Joyfulness

Novena I began to say the Rosary as a child in the family home. Later when my mother was terminally ill we used to meet every evening to chat and do crosswords together. She got the first 70% right, I added 10% and she finished the rest. And we always said the rosary....

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Praying the Joyful Mysteries 

As we recite the Joyful mysteries today let us remember that Jesus loves and cares for each of us and he is inviting us to behold our Blessed Mother not only in trial moments but each day of our lives. Let us pray for our families and loved ones, those we cannot visit...

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A reflection on the Sorrowful Mysteries

The sorrowful mysteries are a prayer to remind us that Jesus loved us so much that he died on the cross for us. In praying the sorrowful mysteries, we can appreciate the mystery of Christ’s passion and death, and how it applies to our own lives. First Mystery: The...

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Sorrowful mysteries

Playing Music for God along with Mary      During the time I have been in isolation I have been reading the occasional book and listening to music. I have been reminded how Mary the mother of Jesus influences our lives if we let her. The English mystic Caryll...

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Miracle of the loves and fishes

In today’s gospel from John chapter 6 we learn that the Lord Jesus can transform the human situation, even the awkward episodes, and help us to benefit fully from listening to God’s word. He can remedy every ill and bring joy and plenty and he can use what seem very...

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Divine Mercy Sunday

Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, “Peace be with you” and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy.( John 20) Catholics spread the Good News of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a gospel of joy and mercy....

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Gospel Reflection by Monsignor Delargy

We have all learnt about the Resurrection from people we trusted. Mary of Magdala is one such impressive witness. Because of her friendship with Jesus, her teacher and inspiration, she continued to visit the garden. Love sprang eternally in her heart and her faith was...

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Diverse portrayals of Crucified Jesus by Fr Kevin McHugh

DIVERSE PORTRAYALS OF THE CRUCIFIED JESUS There are different accounts of the Passion and all emphasise different perspectives. While there is only one Jesus, he is presented in different ways by the 4 evangelists. Each one presents a different but not contradictory...

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An appreciation of medical staff, carers and community workers

Written by Fr Delargy and published in Irish News - Tuesday 7 April 2020 As the coronavirus pandemic exploded priorities were tested, with interesting results.  When asked if rugby or gaelic sports were worth risking life for even the most avid fans were happy to say...

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Palm Sunday

Jesus is the goodness of God made flesh On Palm Sunday we see clearly the goodness of God revealed in Jesus. There is a sharp contrast within the liturgy. He takes the initiative to call people to celebrate God’s goodness and soon he was surrounded by hopeful pilgrims...

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Cardinal Newman prayer for those nearing death

Jesus and Mary – I am near to death, And You are calling me; I know it now. I am going, so pray for me dear friends for I have not strength to pray. I hear no more the busy beat of time someone has me fast within his ample palm . . . a uniform and gentle pressure...

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Lent 2020: Confession and coronavirus?

Lent seeks a change of heart that we may truly celebrate Easter.  In preparation for this great feast many celebrate this "change of heart" in the Sacrament of Penance.   Confession to a priest is an essential part of the Sacrament of Penance but what are we to do...

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An Act of Penance, Lent 2020

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. Lord, hear the prayers of those who call on you, forgive the sins of those who confess to you, and in your merciful love give us your pardon and your peace. We ask this through Christ our...

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