Archive for May, 2015

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 31, 2015

THE DESIRE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP

Based on the number of conversations I have had this week, it seems I should pick up today’s homily with the question that has caused so much discussion – the question I asked at Pentecost.

How are we going to be when we gather together? Is this a gathering of consumers or citizens? That is to ask, are we here to receive something very important, but then leave with little impact on our own identity? Or is our identity very much connected to this community or parish or gathering?

And if I am supposed to do something more, then what is that? What is the next step from going to Mass on Sundays?

The answer: the answer is found in our tradition, which is based on the Gospel. Last Sunday was Pentecost – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit – the power to go out and bear witness. What we are bearing witness to . . .we are remind by today’s Solemnity so that we don’t lose sight of it: the Holy Trinity. God.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Trinity Sunday (Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Psalm 33; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28: 16-20)

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Pentecost Sunday

May 24, 2015

WAITING FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” I have always loved this bit of scripture that is our Gospel today. It reminds us – it comforts us – to know that all we need, we already have. Jesus is patient. We cannot bear it all at once, so Jesus will wait until we are ready. This is such good news!

Blessed Peter Faber used to say that “Time is God’s Messenger.” It is a hard lesson to learn, because it demands that learn how to live life without answers – we learn to live in between the spaces rather than in them.

But we have all experienced the difference between pushing and testing the Spirit – of God or of someone else. And the difference lies in our judgment, which often leads to our frustrations and fears. When we are led by the Spirit, our judgment is minimalized, freeing us to heal and compassionately accompany others while they (and we) grow.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; Galatians 5:16-25; John 15:26-27, 16:12-15)

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Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

May 17, 2015

POWER & GIFTS

In both our first reading and Gospel, we hear that the Apostles saw, but then it took forty days for them to learn. Jesus stayed and retaught them everything. Even still, they looked to him to restore the Kingdom of Israel. They wanted answers, but instead, Jesus gave them power.

They are witness, not to answers, but to the power of the Holy Spirit. It is good for us to remember this. How many times do we look up in the sky, just like they did, wanting answers. Why did this happen? Why won’t you hear my prayers? Why did could he or she not stay? Why won’t they listen? And so on. . .

God gives us power, not answers. But power is not the only thing Jesus gave his apostles. He also gave them each other. Paul reminds the Ephesians of this in our second reading: grace is given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Ascension (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; 1 Ephesians 1:4-13; Mark 16:15-20)

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 10, 2015

A JOYFUL SURPRISE

There is a Peanuts comic strip I enjoy depicting Charlie Brown who asks Linus what he wants to be when he grows up. Linus replies, “Outrageously happy!”

This is what Jesus wants for us. Our Gospel, and in fact, so many of the Biblical authors speak to this. Sirach gives counsel on labour, wealth and life: My child, treat yourself well, according to your means… Do not deprive yourself of the day’s enjoyment” (Sir 14:11, 14)

Life is meant to be enjoyed – that is what it means to live in the love of God. How many different ways has Pope Francis essentially told us that a sad Christian is a bad Christian?

Remain in my love, keep my commandments. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. But joy is more than just happiness.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Sixth Sunday of Easter (Acts 10:25-26,34-35,44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17)

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 3, 2015

SPRING GARDENING

You have heard say many times now, that the spiritual life is all about letting go. Our Gospel today exemplifies this: for we are told that every branch of ours that does not bear fruit, will be pruned and burned. And even those that do, will also be pruned so that they can bear more fruit.

In this season of possibilities – the rich period of new birth, we are challenged to understand that it is also a season of pruning.

It is a metaphor we understand well, especially during this time of year. Many of us are preparing our own little gardens for the upcoming summertime. Here on campus, I have watched Joe and Miguel and others begin to prepare the grounds: it starts with cleaning – removing everything that is dead and getting rid of all the trash. Spiritually, it is similar to what we try and do during Lent.

Spiritually, this season of looking at what we already have is what happens now – in the Easter season. It is also a time nurture the soil and prepare it for planting. We start to consider what kind of garden we would like this year.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Fifth Sunday of Easter (Acts 9:26-31; Psalm 22; 1 John 3:18-24; John 15:1-8)