Archive for September, 2013

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Feast of the Archangels

September 29, 2013

THE ANNOUNCERS

This Sunday, in the Archdiocese of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins has declared that the Feast of Michael and the other Archangels would be celebrated across the diocese.  Since Michael is the patron of the Archdiocese and of the University Campus on which our parish dwells, it is all too fitting for us to reflect and praise with these protectors of humanity.

The readings for the Feast of the Archangels are apocalyptic, save the Gospel, where we (and Jesus) finds Nathanael under the fig tree.  But the context of Nathanael’s story is important for it is at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.  Like Simon Peter, Andrew and Philip, Nathanael announces the presence of the Messiah, but he takes it one step further, by signaling through his own actions what Jesus would require Israel to do.

The readings for the Feast of the Archangels are: (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Psalm 138; Revelation 12:7-12; John 1:47-51)

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 22, 2013

WITH WHAT HAVE WE BEEN ENTRUSTED?

The question the Gospel poses to us is what have we been entrusted with?  Are they small things?  Big things?  Are they things of this world or things of the next?

The Gospel is a confusing one to be sure – even the commentaries speak of confusion trying to make sense of Jesus’ intention as it seems odd to offer praise for someone who did wrong.  But it is all about waking up, paying attention – much like a pain in the chest, or a warning light on the car.

Everything is a gift, given to us, for a finite amount of time, so that it may be transformed, increased and then passed on to others.  But we forget this and we get comfortable and complacent – until something happens. . . Of course, it would be better to be proactive or in the case of our steward to do his job so well that he wouldn’t ever get fired.

But he does and he take drastic action in hopes of surviving.  He hatches this morally questionably scheme so that, if anything, he will have some friends when he is unemployed.  But rather than be punished, he is praised for his decisive action.

What does it take for us to be shaken out of our comfort zone?  What will it take for us to take action?

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 113; 1 Timothy 2:1-8; Luke 16:1-13)

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 15, 2013

GOD IS COMFORTABLE IN A MESSY HOUSE

Not that long ago, two good friends of mine invited me for dinner at their home.  The wife especially is always quite particular about her home, but upon welcoming me this time, she asked me to pardon the mess because she just didn’t have a chance to clean up like she usually does, “and besides you have come over enough now that you are no longer a guest.”

I was no longer a guest. . . implying that she felt like they didn’t have to put on a show, didn’t have to mask the usual mess and chaos.  It is not that they didn’t care – they did – a lot actually – but they knew that the state of their home wouldn’t phase me – they knew I would be comfortable with it – and I was.

Without knowing it that night, my friends had just given me a great example of our relationship with God.  Until we know God well enough – we feel like everything should be perfect – we want to be in a state of grace as we come the Eucharistic Table, and it not that God doesn’t care – God does – but God is more joyful because you have invited God to your house than concerned about the state of your house.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; Psalm 51; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-10)

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 8, 2013

THE CREATOR AND THE CREATED

Last week we spoke about humility as the ability to serve and be served.  But this week, we ask who we serve?

Our first reading from Wisdom reminds us that our own knowledge is fraught with uncertainty – that the only sure knowledge belongs to God.  In our second reading, Paul writes to Philemon – the owner of a man, once a slave, but now returning as a brother.  And our Gospel finds Jesus offering challenging words to the crowds:  that we must hate all others, renounce our possessions and take up the cross to follow him.

The question for us to consider today is, in part, the difference between a slave and a servant; and to know the difference between the created and the creator as the object of our worship.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Wisdom 9:13-18; Psalm 90; Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33)

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 1, 2013

TO SERVE AND TO BE SERVED

All of our readings today are about humility.  Sirach tells us it is the source of our greatness.  The Hebrews are told of the approach to God – implying the necessary humility.

And in our Gospel, we are reminded of the parable of the banquet; that we should not take the place of honour, but rather allow ourselves to be raised by our friends.  Likewise, when we host a gathering, not to invite those who could repay the favour, but rather, those who credit our righteousness in the eyes of God.

In theory, humility is a easy thing, but in practice. . . . it seems to stand in contradiction to all we have been taught.

CLICK HERE  for the readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Psalm 68; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24, Luke 14:1, 7-14)