Sunday Morning Ireland
We welcome you to Sunday Morning Ireland on this November 14th. Jesus was not a social climber. He hung out with all kinds of people. When he has a celebration all our names are on the guest list.

With this in mind:
We welcome you, regardless of your situation in life,
whether you're married or single, divorced or re-married or sharing a home without marriage,
in a ecumenical or inter-faith household,
gay or lesbian or pedophile,
and immigrant or a refugee,
whether you are healthy, sick or handicapped, young or old,
whether you are a regular or a new comer,
whether you are widowed or retired,
whether you are struggling in your faith or firm in your commitment.

We welcome you with an open heart.
The banquet is open to all who are willing to sit down with all.

Today is the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Just when we think we are beginning to understand the Bible, we come on a passage that seems to say nothing to us at all.

Take, for instance, Jesus’ words in today’s gospel:
“There will be earthquakes, plagues, and famines in various places – and in the sky, fearful omens and great signs.

Is that some kind of biblical fiction? What can language like that possibly say to us today?

,br> Pause for Quiet:

I’ll begin with a quote from Michelangelo (1475 –1564):
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we reach for it.”

Michelangelo’s advice is just as true today in your life and mine, as it was in his, over five hundred years ago. Never heed those who try to influence you with their pessimism.

I recall standing in front of the statue of David in Florence. The size of it, the majesty and spirit, seemed to jump out of the marble saying to all of us, “Aim high.” He was fond of saying to people that David was already in the marble, he simply chipped away at it, and thus released the hidden David to escape. Aim high! Speaking of high, picture the Sistine chapel, where Michelangelo painted the ceiling by lying on his back, and working every day for four years.

Albert Einstein’s famous remark comes to mind: “Greater spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

Who are the mediocre that pressure you to ‘aim low’, ask less not more, be the same as everyone else, and not different? Name those who ask you to go the extra mile, stretch you beyond your limits, and encourage you to aim high, endure, travel in hope, not despair, with total confidence in God. Name those who make the best companions on the road of life.

Jesus invites us to aim high, endure, and life will be ours.

Be still and know that I am God.

Enter your ‘inner room.’ God reigns in the core of your being. Concentrate on God concentrating on you. God invites us to be everything he created us to be, and promises to be with us every step of the road of life.

“Being with God” means “being with God’s people.”

Contemplation and reconciliation go together.

Rite of Reconciliation:

What the world longs for is the witness of men and women, daring enough to be different, humble enough to make mistakes, and brave enough to admit them.

“The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love and mercy.
Lord, have mercy, (Psalm 144).

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.

Let us pray:

God of power and mercy,
Only with your help can we offer you fitting service and praise.
May we live the faith we profess, and trust your promise of eternal life.

Gospel of Luke, chapter 21: 5 – 19.

When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All these things you are staring at now - the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed”……….. “ Master, when will this happen”. …… He said, “The time is near at hand…. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be afraid…Nation will fight against nation…. There will be great earthquakes and plagues…men will seize you and persecute you… They will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment…Keep this carefully in mind… I myself will give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends, and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


The gospel is reminding us in vivid, dramatic language that every life has a beginning, middle and an end. There’s a final chapter. There’s a final curtain. It will all end one day and there’s nothing we can do about it. Some die in the womb, some in infancy, some in middle age and some live long lives. Why God allows some to live long lives and others short lives, is something we will never know. That is God’s secret and he hasn’t revealed it to anyone.

He Aimed High

Fr. Tom taught me philosophy in the seminary. Years later, he went to Nagpur, Central India as a pioneer missionary, to start a Dominican foundation. Forty years later, he was a passenger on the night express from New Delhi to Nagpur, after giving the annual retreat to a community of nuns. He was run down, but didn’t realize it. As he slept in the heat of the night, his body succumbed to dehydration. He went into a coma and was found dead by the ticket collector when the train arrived in Nagpur. I know he gave India his all. He was one of my heroes. I don’t pretend to understand why Fr. Tom died in such sad and lonely circumstances.

There are many things we will never understand. “God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts.” Actually, I prefer it that way. But Fr. Tom’s untimely death is a grim reminder that life is not always fair. Eventually, it gets even the luckiest of us. If you doubt me, look at your body. Our scarred bodies are living records of the direct hits we have taken. Our wounded spirits have stories to tell; stories of disappointments, failure, tragedy, and maybe, years of quiet desperation. Sometimes we get hit so hard and for so long, it feels as if we can’t take anymore. We have what is called the ‘wish to die’. We say ‘I wish I were dead’, and we mean it.

Bad Things Happening To Good People

Jesus knew that kind of empty feeling, and he knew there would be times when we would feel that way about life. In today’s gospel, he catalogues some of the awful things that can happen: hurricanes, accidents, floods, betrayal and sudden illness to oneself or a loved one, death itself. While acknowledging that bad things can happen to good people, he is at the same time saying that despite these terrible things, “not a hair” of your head will be lost” without his knowledge. That is his personal way of saying, no matter what happens, trust me. I am God. I am in charge. Don’t quit. Don’t run away in the face of life’s injustices. Aim high! Stay with me. I am with you. Together we are a majority. Just wait and see.” Robert Browning has this beautiful line in his poem, “Perfection”: “God’s in his heaven, All’s right with the world.” That is what Jesus is saying. That’s his promise and a promise is a promise!

Count On Me, Darling!

I’ve been reading the inspiring story of a mother who has cared for her beloved comatose daughter for twenty-eight years. Caring for her daughter has meant feeding her every two hours, giving her insulin every four hours, changing bed linen several times a day, raising money to pay the medical expenses, sitting in a chair every night, next to her daughter. Why? Because twenty-eight years ago her daughter Edwarda, then sixteen years old, pleaded with her mother before slipping into a diabetic coma, “Mom, you won’t leave me.” Her mother, Kaye, responded, “I will never leave you darling. I promise. And a promise is always a promise.” Twenty-eight years on, that remarkable mother is sill aiming high and still keeping her promise.

Yes, we live in a complicated world and God is complex. Yet God is the eternal optimist inviting us to embrace life with a passion, to dream great dreams, and despite life’s knocks and set backs, to aim high, endure, and have confidence because with such a God on our side, life will surely be ours.

Pause For Reflection.


Lord, you never promised to preserve us from trials. You promised to be with us amid the disasters; may we let never get go of that promise.
Lord, hear us.

Lord, you were not preserved from suffering and death. Neither are we immune from these realities. You give us one guarantee only, that you will support those who try to be faithful, that in the end the power of good will prove stronger than the power of evil. Lord, may we believe all of this, amidst the storms of life.
Lord, hear us.

Lord, your way is the less travelled road not the more travelled. May we have the stamina to endure right to the end of that road, till our journey is complete.
Lord, hear us.

Lord, be merciful and kind to the peoples of Latvia, Monaco and Lebanon. May they know your loving presence in their lives always, especially this week, when they celebrate their national holiday.
Lord, hear us.

Our Father:

Let us pray for the coming of God’s kingdom and for the grace and strength to bring about that kingdom in the world we live in:
Our Father who art in heaven…

Let us pray:

May the gifts, with which you bless us,
Increase our love for you
And bring us to eternal life.

May Almighty God bless us, and all our loved ones, wherever they may be, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Sunday Morning Ireland is an attempt on my part to reach out to the people I have ministered to and who have enriched my life in different times and places.
It is also an attempt to reach out to the people who have stopped going to Mass on Sunday but still feel connected with the Church.

It is my fondest wish that it speaks to anyone who is seeking to find God and make God an essential part of their lives.

On Song With God

I am pleased to announce that my new book, On Song With God, has now been published.
The book was published in Vancouver, and by Dominican Publications, Dublin.

"I can recommend this book to anybody seeking spiritual nourishment. Fr. Travers expresses the central message of the Christian faith in simple and appealing language." - Dr. William Lee - Bishop of Waterford and Lismore."A book for all God's People." - Religious Life Review."This book is definitely one for the bedside locker." - Spirituality.
"This book comes straight from the heart and the heart of the author is beating with the pulse of God..."
"Fr. Travers' books hit the nail on the head. They are easy to read and the message is profound." - Catholine Butlet, The Celtic Connection, Vancouver, Canada.

Book is now available from: Dominican Publications, 42 Parnell square, Dublin. Phone - 01-8721611. email:
or Dominican Bookshop, Bridge Street, Waterford. Phone - 051-875061.
or Sr. Katherine Nickerson 604-437-3487 or Pauline Rugge 604-291-1527 in Vancouver, Canada.