Archive for November, 2014

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First Sunday of Advent

November 30, 2014

A SEASON OF POETRY

Advent is a season of poetry – rich and layered. It is about hope, for the fulfillment of a promise, without understanding what that fulfillment will be.

It is a light breaking through the darkness – not the many coloured lights we see in the city or at Christmastime, but a single solitary light that gives rise to the expectation that something more might follow.

It is a season of the impossible becoming reality – the return from exile, the end of war, healing of suffering, peace that overcomes fear, the breaking down of division between those who have power and those who don’t.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the First Sunday of Advent (Isaiah 63: 16-17, 19, 64:2-7; Psalm 80; I Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37).

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Solemnity of Christ the King

November 22, 2014

SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP

Our readings today remind us that a king does not rule by authority; but rather, by his service to the people in his care.

Thus says the Lord God:  I myself will look after and tend my sheep.

 The scattered sheep

The Lost sheep.

The sheep in need of rescue

The sheep longing for a pasture.

 I myself will tend my sheep says the Lord God.  And give them rest.

In these rather poetic and forceful readings, we are challenged to see the worthiness in others as well as in our selves.  We are reminded that while a king has authority and power, he is more like Christ when he serves.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Solemnity of Christ the King (Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46).

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 16, 2014

HOW DOES GOD DESCRIBE YOU?

I want you to think for a moment: how would God describe you?

Paul tells the Thessalonians that “we are children of the light” Our Psalm response reminds us that we are blessed when we fear the Lord and walk in his ways. Perhaps, we too are like the wife described in the Psalm: a fruitful vine.

Do we follow the example of wife we hear about in Proverbs? Working with loving hands? Extending our arms to the needy. Are we like the husband, willing to entrust our heart to her?

What would God say? How would God describe you?

CLICK HERE for the readings for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Psalm 128; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30).

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Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

November 9, 2014

GLORIOUS AND INGLORIOUS

I have always struggled with this feast. It seems strange to have a day, let alone a Sunday dedicated to a building. Granted I know all too well, buildings are important, but what does a building have its own feast day?

As I was lamenting this point with my confreres, I was instructed to read Basilian Fr. Owen Lee’s comments on the Basilica of St. John Lateran – and it warmed my heart. So I want to share with you a bit of his own his thoughts and words paraphrased with my own.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Basilica, it could probably best be described as the loveliest and ugliest churches in Rome. It is under constant repair and is exactly what it looks to be: one renovation on top of another. It has been partially destroyed countless times but it has always survived just enough to rise again.

And we celebrate it: because, perhaps more than any other building on earth, it IS OUR CHURCH. It reflects US. John Lateran’s stones, both hideous and glorious have stood the test of time just as humanity with all of its virtues and vices, our potential for good and evil, has survived and continues to flourish.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome (Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Psalm 46; I Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22).

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The Commemoration of All Souls

November 2, 2014

WHY WE REMEMBER. . .

Just this past week, I was talking about prayer with our RCIA candidates, and was quite appropriately asked, “but why do we pray for the dead?”

The answer is two fold: one, because we believe that many of them are still struggling to receive the full grace of God that allows them to receive the gift of eternal life. After all, it is a tremendous gift – one many of us, I imagine, will feel unworthy of.

The second reason is that we believe they are not dead, but alive in a different state.

Of course, it is also coupled with All Saints – a day when we not only remember the proclaimed saints of the Church, but the many, many more who God has recognized.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the The Commemoration of All Souls (Lamentations 3:17-26; Psalm 103; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; Matthew 25-30).