Bennochy Windows

Weekly Thoughts (May 2021)


Week of Monday 31st May 2021

Ordinary Time

We use a system of readings in church most Sundays, from the Lectionary, a Latin word meaning “reading”. Twice in the year there are a series of what are called “ordinary Sundays”: between Christmas and the beginning of Lent, and now, between Pentecost and Advent. It really means that there are no very significant Sundays with major events in Jesus’ life, to be remembered and celebrated.

But it struck me this year, more than ever, “ordinary “has perhaps never sounded more attractive?

In lockdown we longed for things to be normal again. We had time- maybe too much- to realise how amazing our everyday, ordinary experiences were. And, so, most of us have come to cherish so much more, the everyday joys of meeting and greeting family and friends, of face to face (no masks) fellowship and food!

Like so many things, “ordinary” will never be the same, and hopefully never again be taken for granted. An ordinary Sunday, or any ordinary day will be welcome, and if it should continue till almost Christmas, all the more reason to celebrate!

Prayer

Father God, help us to value every day of our lives as a gift from you.

Jesus, Son of God, help us to appreciate the ordinary things that make everyday a gift.

Holy Spirit, help us use every day of our lives as a gift to share with others. Amen

Nancy Gilmartin

Week of Monday 19th May 2021

John 9: 15, 20

Verse 15: My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one.

Verse 20: My prayer is not for them alone; I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.

These are two challenging verses from a challenging chapter of John’s Gospel.

The first challenge is in verse 15, which affirms that as followers of Jesus, we are to live out that following as part of a world which may make that a difficult task: we are called to face real problems, living real lives, not charmed ones.

And both verses say that we are being prayed for: it’s quite a thought that Jesus felt the need to pray for us and that he chose to pray for our protection from evil.

It echoes the Lord’s Prayer “Deliver us from evil” and reminds us how hard it is perhaps, to resist being sucked into the world’s seeming acceptance of hatred and injustice and the misery that they bring.

A final challenge in verse 20, is the implied responsibility on our part to share the Good News message, so that others will believe.

It’s maybe just as well Jesus prayed for us, for we need all the help He can give!

Prayer

Father God, be our safeguard in the difficult times of life.

Jesus, Son of God, may your prayers keep us safe, and protect us from evil.

Holy Spirit, help us to share the Good News with others. Amen.

Nancy Gilmartin

Week of Monday 10th May 2021

John 15 verses 9-17

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

17 This is my command: Love each other.

The word “love” or “loved “appears nine times in nine verses in this passage, and coming of age in the 1960’s, I couldn’t help thinking of, and singing the Beatles anthem, “ All you need is love”. In that song, there is the refrain “It’s easy...” but anyone who has ever loved (cue another 60’s song!) Knows that love is not easy.

For love to survive and thrive takes hard work over a period of time, and sometimes it will demand giving up your life- or at least that’s how it may feel. Whether it’s coping with a baby or child ...or caring for a sick or elderly family member...or persisting with a difficult friend...persevering with all the awkward people you meet...love in action is never “easy”.

But if we are following Jesus, that is what He demands of us in this new commandment of love.

Prayer

Father God, thank you for showing your love, by sending your Son, Jesus.

Jesus, Son of God, thank you for showing and sharing that love with us.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to share that love with others. Amen.

Nancy Gilmartin

Week of Monday 3rd May 2021

John 15: 1-8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.

3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

During lockdown, gardens have become much sought after and appreciated as places of refuge, escape and comfort. I wonder, however, how long it will be before “new” gardeners discover how much hard work is involved in simply maintaining a garden, never mind making it productive?

And I wonder too if at the beginning of following Jesus, it might seem like being in a Garden of Eden or Paradise, to feel that you might be in a safe place, a place of comfort, and a place where you might hope to be doing the right things? This passage reminds us of an often painful process: what might have to be given up, in return for growing in faith.

It’s no coincidence I think, that gardening, the real kind, and the spiritual, means at lot of time on your knees: weeding, cutting back, and yes, praying.

Prayer

Father God, forgive us for the times when we have grown our own way, ignoring you.

Jesus, Son of God, help us to remain faithful to you and your Word.

Holy Spirit, inspire us to bear fruit by living and sharing the Gospel with others. Amen.

Nancy Gilmartin




Read our Thoughts for April 2021 ...