Archive for September, 2015

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 27, 2015

WHAT ARE WE SCARED OF?

Both the first reading and the Gospel today find Moses and Jesus rejoicing in spiritual leadership in unexpected people. Of course, their followers do not share the same happiness. Why are they so frustrated?

Perhaps it is because they feel the need to protect what they have worked so hard to create? After all, they have invested everything in this message. Trusting others – especially those they do not know – would be a tall order indeed. (parents may feel this especially where their kids are concerned)

Remember what we talked about last week? If we are to live with the faith of our children, then perhaps it means we need to let go of our controls. . .

There is a careful and soul-searching discernment required to understand what in our families, careers and projects needs to be protected; and what no longer requires our constant, continuous vigilance. . . . and then there is a special grace needed to let go of those things that pertain to the latter.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Numbers 11:25-29; Psalm 19; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48)

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 20, 2015

INTRODUCING A NEW SEASON

If we are to have the faith of a child, then it requires us to let go of some of our controls, to step out into the unknown. It means we need to relearn how to cultivate imagination, contemplation, wonder and awe. This by the way is quite different than creating it, because creation starts with us; where as cultivation starts with someone or something outside us. In this case God.

Those of you who have been around the parish for a while know that we tend to focus our seasons. This past Lent, we focused on ecology and our communion with creation. Easter presented us with a season of possibilities, giving us permission to dream a little. Pentecost gave us a chance to think more concretely about community.

Now we are moving into a new season, during which I would like to see us open ourselves up to the first fruits of the spirit that God has already planted. Just as we move into harvest season, I propose this is time we learn to cultivate the seeds of wonder that are buried underneath our layers of judgment and routine. In order to do this, we are going to do things a bit differently . . .

CLICK HERE for the readings for 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Wisdom 2:12,17-20; Psalm 54; James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37)

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 13, 2015

DEFINING THE RELATIONSIP

One of my favourite questions to ask people is a word association with the Catholic Church. What words or phrases or images to you associate with Catholicism?

Of course, the associations voiced are quite different for Catholics and non-Catholics, but often I think they are actually quite similar – one is just more polite than the other.

In response to this, you can start to understand why Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do they (or you) say that I am? Notice, he didn’t ask them about teachings or rules or traditions or anything of the sort; rather he asked about a person – he asked how we define this relationship?

When people talk about the church, they typically speak about it as an organization, but it is actually a rather unhelpful description. Because it is much more like a family, and if we think about this way – then all of the sudden it is not about rules, performances and hierarchies – it is about motivations, complementarity and spheres of influence.

CLICK HERE for the readings for 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Isaiah 50:5-9; Psalm 116; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35)

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 5, 2015

ARE WE READY FOR THIS?

In our first reading, Isaiah tells us that God will open our blind eyes, clear our deaf ears, strengthen our lame legs and turn the thirsty ground into springs of water.

And in the Gospel, Jesus does these very things. The people bring the deaf man with a speaking impediment and asked Jesus to heal him. However, the Gospel is never just about the characters in the story.

One of the reasons we stand when the Gospel is read is to remember that these stories are equally about each of us as it is those whom Jesus was with. Often times, we can imagine that it is us who stands before the crowd – it is us who listens to the words of Christ.

As we listen to the readings today, we ask ourselves when have we been blind, deaf and lame to the needs of other and witnessing the Gospel?

CLICK HERE for the readings for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalm 146; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37)