Sunday, July 31, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

TIME seems to be moving extremely quickly. It’s hard to believe that August has arrived. This is a wonderful time of year, when harvest begins to be gathered. A time which evokes a deep sense of gratitude that what has been planted now produces rich fruit.

Recently, Pope Francis highlighted the very important role that grandparents play in the lives of every family. Like a rich harvest, they have spent their lives nourishing and encouraging the fruit of their love. Grandparents have the gift of time and wisdom. Grandparents inspire a younger generation, which benefits by their love example and faith. I pray in gratitude for all grandparents, alive or gone before us.

Even though we’re still in holiday season, the Celtic festival of Lughnasadh heralds the beginning of early harvest. Marking the cross-quarter day between summer solstice on 21 June and the autumn equinox on 21 September, it is traditionally held on 1 August, though some of the celebrations in recent centuries have shifted to the Sunday nearest this date.

As one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, Lughnasadh is followed by Samhain  and winter, Imbolg and spring, then Bealtaine and summer.

Lughnasadh itself is named after Lugh, an Irish God called Samildanach (pronounced sam-ill-dawn-ack), meaning he was highly adept at many arts simultaneously. Countless inscriptions and statues are dedicated to him, and even Julius Caesar commented on his importance to the Celtic people.

There is something very fulfilling about eating fresh vegetables that you have nurtured and cultivated with your own hands. As we celebrate the beginning of harvest time, once again we are reminded of God’s bounty.

In Celtic times, this season of Lunasa was an occasion of thanksgiving. The Celtic people burnt huge fires, danced and celebrated many rituals as they thanked God for the food and sustenance that fortified them as they faced the darker and more vulnerable months of the year.

Autumn is indeed a time of rich blessing, a time to gather all that has been planted and cared for since early spring. There can be no harvest without all the necessary tilling, planting, pruning and weeding that accompanies any fruit that ripens into something good.

Perhaps this harvest time is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the fruits that we all have in the depths of our being … fruits that take a lot of time to grow and mature into the beautiful personality and unique qualities that are particular to all our stories; a time to appreciate the gift of grandparents, who embody the story of every harvest; and parents, who respond so generously to the needs of their children. In many ways, parenting can be likened to tending the needs of the vineyard. Their role is constant, demanding, most challenging and in many ways totally dependent on the unconditional generosity and reservoir of love that provides for the needs of family life. I am often truly inspired by the sacrifices that so many wonderful parents so often make for their children to allow them to grow and realise the best possible harvest for their family.

No fruit or talent can realise its potential without effort and work.

 

Thank you, O Lord, your love is boundless 

Thank you, O Lord, your love is boundless 

Thank you, that I am full of you
Thank you, you make me feel so glad
and thankful as I do.
 

Thank you for all the grains of wheat 

Thank you for all the bread we eat 

Thank you for all the turf we gather 

Thank you will have plenty of heat 

Thank you for all the ripe bananas 

Thank you for orchards in the field 

Thank you for all the new potatoes 

Thank you for all the beans and peas 

Thank you for all our gifts and talents 

Thank you we share with those in need. 

Thank you I see your world has meaning 

Thank you I know your spirit here 

Thank you because you love all people

Those both far and near.

 

 

 

 

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