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Have you ever noticed the farmers harvesting their fields of barley or wheat in the autumn? Or their fields of fruits? It’s a joy to behold and an even greater joy for the farmer or the fruit growers. The preparations for a rich harvest begins earlier in the year. Lots of long hours preparing the soil, weeding, spraying, and ensuring the best conditions for an abundance of growth and produce. Ralph Ransom said, “Before the reward, there must be labour. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears but you reap with joy.” It’s true about anything worthwhile we wish to achieve in life. The groundwork is essential. Jesus speaks two parables in the gospel for today. The first compares the kingdom of God to a farmer scattering seed on the freshly prepared soil: it immediately begins its growth until it yields a rich harvest. The growth takes place quietly, surprisingly and in silence. The diligent work of the farmer pays off.

The second parable compares the kingdom of God to a tiny mustard seed, which, when it grows to maturity is the biggest tree of all, giving shelter and shade to the birds of the heavens. What may appear as unremarkable beginnings – the wheat or mustard seeds in their smallness and fragility – can make for great achievements. Look at the magnificence of the trees and shrubs now all around us! A few months ago they were lifeless and bare. Their beauty of colour gradually revealed itself. But all the while this transformation was taking place quietly and in silence.

When we think of the small beginnings of the ministry of Jesus in Galilee to the spread of his message throughout the world, we can appreciate the vast growth that has taken place over the centuries. The seed which Jesus planted has indeed grown. Who could have imagined that in Galilee in AD 27, what would emerge from Jesus’s teachings and ministry? From small beginnings – Jesus’s preaching, there did indeed evolve the greatness of the Kingdom of God.

God’s work still continues, not only in the Christian churches, but in the everyday lives of people of goodness, compassion, justice, integrity and mercy whom we met on life’s journey, the many people who bring a joy to our lives, who make a difference, who lift us up. In his beautiful poem, The Great Hunger, Patrick Kavanagh says, “O Christ, this is what you have done for us: in a crumb of bread the mystery is. God is in the bits and pieces of everyday: a kiss here and a laugh again and sometimes tears..” The mystery of God’s kingdom is to be found in the bits and pieces of everyday giving, loving, sacrificing, caring, being compassionate, being healers and encouragers, when we give new beginnings to one another, in the sharing of meals. Small deeds like the small seeds spoken of by Jesus can produce a bountiful harvest of God-likeness among us. And all us of benefit from this harvest. It’s the presence of the Kingdom of God.

Fr. Tony



The Hopes of Pope Francis for the future of the Church

464 Bishops, Priests, Religious and lay people have gathered in Rome for the month of October to take part in the Synod which is the most important happening in the Church since the 2nd Vatican Council.  Of that number 81 are women and 54 of those are voting members.

Pope Francis seeks to bring a revived sense of mission to the Church, and many are hoping that new life will emerge as a result.  The documents that will emerge at the end of the month are not the final word, the same people who attend the present gathering will meet again in October 2024, and the Pope is expected to respond to the documents in the months after.

One topic that will be addressed is the role of women in the Church and perhaps we might have women deacons in the years ahead.  The Synod will address the role of all those of us who are Baptised and encourage us to become more active in the Church and in our Parishes.  We all share in the common priesthood of the Baptised.  This gathering is a culmination of the work that took place in our parish and the parishes of Ireland in 2022.

Ireland is represented by Alan McGuckian, Bishop of Raphoe, and Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, his early years were spent as a child in the parish of St. Agnes.



We Stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts;

Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.

Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life

And not stray from the way of truth and what is right.

All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time,

In the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.  Amen.