Archive for March, 2013

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The Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Sunday) 2013

March 31, 2013

EASTER IS POETRY

On this most sacred of days, we are posed with a question from the angels. As the women gathered at the empty tomb, two men is dazzeling robes asked them, “why do they look for the living among the dead?”

Even today, the question is much more relevant than many of us realize. Perhaps we are too familiar with this story.

And so, this Sunday our message takes on a different feel: one of poetry and rhyme.

A blessed and happy Easter Season. He is Risen, Allelulia, Allelulia!

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Easter 2013: (Acts 10:34,37-43; Psalm 118; Colossians 3:1-4; Luke 24:1-11)

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

March 17, 2013

A FUTURE FULL OF FORGIVENESS

How very fitting our readings are today, for they reflect the very tone of our Church brought about by the election of Pope Francis.  The world over has been captivated by our new Pope who models for us holiness, simplicity and compassion.  In just a few days, he has shifted the focus from politics to prayer; from exclusion to inclusion and from the our past, filled with so much sin, to our future, filled with compassion and forgiveness.

The same goes with our readings today and so I urge you to listen closely as you hear in Isaiah the Lord who speaks to the Israelites as he makes a way for them from the deserts of captivity to ‘something new’.

Listen as we hear St. Paul write about forgetting what lies behind and straining for what lies ahead.

Listen as we hear the Gospel about the women caught in adultery whom Jesus forgives insisting that her future is more important than her past.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent: (Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippines 3:8-14; John 8:1-11)

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Presentation: A Preference for Sacrifice

March 11, 2013

“Love demands preference and preference demands sacrifice.” – Thomas Merton

Everyone likes options, but our faith exemplifies for us that keeping our options open is not a path to happiness or holiness. We live in a society that loves “Yes”, because “Yes” makes us feel important. We believe that doing more is how we can become more holy, but Lent is a time when we relearn the importance of “No.” Is holiness is not a matter of saying more prayers, doing more activities or do we need to do less, so that we can be more?

Jesus’ gives his life freely and so must we. The cross does not happen to him. He chooses it. This Lent, what do we choose?

Presented to the “Ignite” Young Adults Group at St. Patrick’s Church in Toronto, Ontario.

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Presentation: Sin, Suffering and Reconciliation

March 11, 2013

This presentation was given to a retreat for teachers, faculty and staff during Lent.

I was asked to speak about sin, suffering and reconciliation and then be available for confessions afterwards. There are sections of the presentation that are missing, but the talk was a sort of examination of conscience before the sacrament was celebrated.

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 11, 2013

TWO SONS WITH ONE PROBLEM

It is always wonderful to have the opportunity to reflect on this great parable of a father and his two sons during our Lenten journey – a journey when we are so very aware of our sinful and hopefully, so very thankful for God’s mercy.

Here we have a father and two sons. The younger son first takes and then receives. This is important. There is a moment of grace that happens in the story – one that I must admit I never quite noticed before.

When the son is sinful, he takes. “Give me this,” he says. God is Love and love does nothing else but give. It is all love can do. Sin takes. Love is about the other. Sin is about me.

But notice what happens when the son returns: he no longer takes, he receives.

When we love, we receive as a gift, but since it is not about me, that gift flows through me to others. But when we sin – when our ego is in the driver seat – we take the gift saying this is for me. It is mine. We may even be thankful and humbled by it. But it is never yours.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent: (Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 34; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)

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Third Sunday of Lent

March 3, 2013

SUFFERING AS A FAMILY AFFAIR

This past week, I was giving a presentation on suffering and the problem of evil.  It brought to light, what I believe is the greatest stumbling block in our relationship with a loving, compassionate God:  simply put – why does such a God permit such suffering?

The problem is that many of us do not understand God and even less so, the ways of God.  And it is this topic that is at the heart of our readings today.

Our first reading recounts that most illustrative and imaginative story of Moses encountering God in the burning bush.  In the interchange, God reveals God’s name:  I AM.

Our Second reading and our Gospel start to offer an explanation as to why bad things happen.  First we must understand, that it is not because of our own actions.  Those who suffer are not more sinful than others.  In fact, God really offers no reason at all, only saying that we must learn to repent.

The point is that we are not meant to suffer alone and yet that is precisely what we try to do.  There is no answer to suffering, there is only meaning.  But our own conscience iS incapable of offering such meaning on our own.  We cannot understand our suffering on our own because it is not ours alone for we are part of a family.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the Third Sunday of Lent: (Exodus 3:1-8,13-15; Psalm 103; I Corinthians 10:1-6,10-12; Luke 13:1-9)