Sunday 3rd January 2021

St. John's Church Ashe Street Tralee


This is the second Sunday of Christmas

Happy New Year to you all

Go raibh an Tiarna Libh:    Agus leat fein     


Prayer as we look to the year that is ahead,

Grant, O Lord, as the years change,

That we will find rest in your constancy & changelessness.

May we meet the coming year with courage,

sure, in the faith that while life changes all around us,

You are the same, guiding us with your wisdom

and protecting us with your love:

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


I have been thinking a lot about the hymn ‘Through all the changing scenes of life’ at the moment as it speaks to us of God who is always present through the different changes and circumstances that we find ourselves in. Especially during times of uncertainty, when our faith is low and Christ seems far away and when we find it hard to pray. On those occasions I find this lovely old hymn very reassuring.



 Through All the Changing Scenes of Life - YouTube


Reading for this Sunday.

John 1:1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth


Reflection on the reading.

The reading opens with that wonderful statement about the origins of Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God.” It goes on to affirm that the Word became flesh for us. By becoming one of us we might expect the Incarnate Word of God to share the same emotions as ourselves.

In the stories of Jesus Life and ministry, we read how Jesus showed his love to various people, to Martha, Mary and Lazarus, to his disciple John and to the rich young man who wanted to follow him.

He also shared our experience of distress.

He could shed tears at times of loss and crisis, such as when his friend Lazarus died and before he publicly entered Jerusalem, knowing that the city would reject and execute him.

The Gospels also tell how Jesus enjoyed get togethers and many social occasions and was a guest at so many dinners that his critics called him a glutton and a drunkard.

He felt a strong empathy for people who suffered, and when they were hungry, he provided the food that they needed. Like all of us, he needed companionship with others, so on several occasions he took Peter, James and John into his special confidence.

When exhausted he could fall asleep, even in the stern of a boat being tossed by the wind and waves.

He also felt intense fear just before his passion, and openly admitted to his followers how troubled he felt in his soul.


He dwelt among us generously and passionately. He didn’t just come to live a quiet life. He shared the full range of our human experience, in order to draw us near to God. He was so much in touch with outsiders that his critics called him a friend of tax-collectors and sinners. To show his compassion for lepers, he physically touched them, laid hands on them, even at the risk of becoming ritually impure

Everyone was welcome in his company.


This Word became flesh to make the Eternal Father known to all of us and in linking up with Jesus and in thinking of him often we can come to know the invisible God more fully.

Challenge and application.

Then the challenge from all of that, is to make God known and present though our words and actions and to mirror the human emotions of love, compassion, laughter, friendship and empathy that Jesus demonstrated so often during his ministry.




·        For our Churches that they will continue to be  sources of good news, hope and support to all.

·        Let us give thanks for all in our parish who keep us connected and encouraged through social media, parish website and our Facebook page.

·        For our politicians as they work for the welfare of those who they have been elected to serve.

·        For those who may be anxious as they listen to the ever-changing narrative of COVID-19.

·        For those who work in all front-line services and esp. those who work in healthcare.

·        For those we know who are in hospital at the moment and for their loved ones who are unable to visit them.

·        Let’s give thanks for the creativity of those who have developed the various vaccines, as we pray for those who will implement their roll out.

·        Let us give thanks for the generosity of our parishioners, for their faithfulness and prayerfulness.

·        Let us remember with love our departed brothers and sisters.



Feast of the Epiphany on Zoom with the Wednesday group, This will be circulated as a youtube file later in the morning.

Next Sunday the service will be recorded and circulated as a youtube file on the email list.