Daniel’s ‘Strictly’ exit hit hard for Fr Sean

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It has been a tough couple of weeks with Ireland knocked out of the Rugby World Cup and Daniel O’Donnell voted off ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ - but every cloud has a silver lining.

It has been a tough couple of weeks with Ireland knocked out of the Rugby World Cup and Daniel O’Donnell voted off ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ - but every cloud has a silver lining.

My fellow priest, Father Sean, being a Donegal man was more upset about Daniel than the national rugby team. At one stage he had Fathers Michael and Joseph sending multiple texts to try and keep his fellow county man on the dance floor. Obviously the boys must have pay as you go contracts with limited texts because poor Daniel has been retired. So a cloud descended over the parochial house and many of us were worried about Father Sean because he was in such bad form. Someone suggested buying him a Daniel O’Donnell CD or DVD but the housekeeper complained she was too young and too embarrassed to buy a Daniel O’Donnell album. So the last few days we have been walking on egg shells in the parochial house. Even at dinner Father Sean stopped talking about his time working in the bowling alley or driving buses. It’s terrible having to witness the brokenness of the man, I’m seriously thinking about writing to the BBC. As a parish we might have to start a petition to bring Daniel back to ‘Strictly’. It really is horrible watching a colleague suffer and if I have to endure another ten minutes of Daniel O’Donnell just so Father Sean can smile again then it’s nearly a price worth paying. I suppose every county has their heroes. You only have to return from filling with diesel and you’re bombarded with signs: ‘Vote for Daniel muckers, he’s wile sound.’ So there’s a big moral dilemma, a question of the heart; to make people happy, to bring healing into their broken lives, could you make the ultimate sacrifice and vote for Daniel? Could you throw off all shreds of dignity, empty yourself off all pride and send that text.

Bartimaeus as a blind beggar was confronted every day by his vulnerability and his need of healing. When Jesus passes by, despite his blindness and suffering, Bartimaeus is the one person who truly recognises who Jesus is. Sitting on the side of the road as life passes by, Bartimaeus can see more than most. In his hunger, in his desire to be healed Bartimaeus does not ask for money because he truly believes in the person of Jesus. Bartimaeus overcomes his own embarrassment, the ridicule and abuse of the crowds; he’s risked walking towards Jesus even if it meant facing his fears and falling. Bartimaeus allowed himself to be helped as he approached Jesus and listening to his voice was able to recognise Christ as the very presence of God’s healing mercy. Like most people in various stages in our lives we can be the ones in need of healing or the ones who help to bring others to Jesus the font of mercy. As we walk in the way of discipleship may we trust in the person of Jesus and encourage others to seek his help.