A huge congregation turned up in Gardiner St Church on Sun, Sept 13th to welcome Fr General Adolfo Nicolas, leader of the Jesuits, on his first visit to a parish in Ireland. Parish Priest Donal Neary SJ spoke of how much the visit meant to the local parishioners and Fr John Dardis SJ Irish Provincial thanked all those present on this historic occasion, parishioners, family and friends of Jesuits ‘ for their goodness and ongoing support to the Jesuits in Ireland.” Fr Nicolas in his homily spoke of how the language of the Gospel is deep and paradoxical, speaking to the heart as well as the head, in contrast to the ‘flat ‘, one-dimensional language of ordinary conversation.”
Peter, in the Gospel, gave Jesus the correct answer when asked by Him,”who do you say that I am?” “You are the Christ, the Son of God,” he replied. Peter spoke the words but didn’t get the meaning because he did not listen with his heart. Jesus understands the paradox that there is no hope or freedom without suffering and the cross but Peter cannot hear those words. The challenge for believers is to go deeper into the truth of the paradox that tells us there is no growth without pain, no living without dying.
In a comforting insight, the Father General also said that we should not fear failure but celebrate it , because it was our weakness that brought us closer to God, as St Paul knew only too well. The scandal of Calvary was the way of salvation for us all. Jesus apparent failure in his mission of love, was actually the means by which sin and evil was conquered. Echoing a theme explored in his homily at Crescent College Limerick, Fr Adolfo said that suffering is the path by which we grow into our deepest selves, becoming fully human ,compassionate, caring beings.
Afterwards, almost all of those present moved to Belvedere College for coffee, chat and a chance to meet Fr Adolfo.[nggallery id=60]