Cathy Keirstead

Reflection – When You Believe

The gospel today relates the parable of Jesus overcoming the death of a young girl.  Her father implored Jesus to come and lay His hands on her so that she could live.  When Jesus and the man came to the house, they were told the child had died. Jesus took her hand and she rose and began to walk.  This was one of the many miracles performed by Jesus as He ministered to the people.

We have all heard about miracles. ...

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Reflection – The Good Shepherd

Today, the 4th Sunday of Easter, is the familiar parable of the Good Shepherd.  Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”

Growing up in a solid Catholic family and benefiting from Catholic schooling, I always had an image of shepherds as being kind, loving, patient, strong and self-sacrificing.  And I also ...

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Reflection – Giving Particular Attention to God

This first Sunday of Lent is a time to reinvigorate ourselves as Catholics.  It enables us to step back from the usual habits and distractions and give particular attention to God.  It leads us to the Easter Sunday celebration of our risen Christ.  It is a time for prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self) and almsgiving (justice towards neighbours).

Common practice for me when I was a child was giving up sweets, candy, trying to attend daily Mass, putting ...

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Reflection – Nothing is Impossible with God!

In this week’s Gospel account, the Angel Gabriel appears to Mary to tell her that she would bear a child who would be holy, called Jesus the Son of God. His words, “FOR NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD” have resonated over these thousands of years. These seven words have been the inspiration for many followers, faith-believers, over time. 

The sport company Adidas had an ad years ago – Impossible Is Nothing. It was a very inspirational and motivational campaign, reminding ...

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Reflection – Give to God the things that are God’s

This week’s gospel is the familiar rendition of attempts to entrap Jesus when He is asked, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not?”  If Jesus says that the tax should be paid to Caesar, He would be considered guilty of false worship since the Romans believe the emperor to be divine.  On the other hand, if Jesus says the tax should not be paid, He would be encouraging disobedience to Roman laws, which would be sedition – ...

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Reflection – The Feast of the Assumption

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined Mary’s Assumption into heaven as dogma of Roman Catholicism:  “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven.”

As a child growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, Mary was always an integral part of my religious upbringing. In May we took our bicycles to school for the Queen of the May parade, when our bicycles would be ...

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Reflection – Do Not Be Afraid

In the Gospel for this Sunday it states that Jesus said to His apostles, “Fear no one; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”  In saying these words, Jesus describes the worth of human beings in the eyes of God, who ...

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Reflection – Yes, We Can!

This week, the readings for the 2nd Sunday of Easter have a theme of “doubt,” as evidenced by Thomas who could not believe that Jesus was alive unless he saw proof.  We all have moments of doubt, uncertainties, confusion, disbelief, hopelessness, selfishness and frustrations. Henri Nouwen has stated that, “Doubt stubbornly exists.  It’s an unmistakable part of life that we can’t seem to get rid of. We doubt ourselves; we doubt whether or not we’ve made the right decisions, we’re full of doubts about the future. ...

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The Ten Commandments

This week’s readings and gospel reflect the theme of the ten commandments. “Those who obey God’s laws will become great in the kingdom of God.”  It has been said that the Ten Commandments given by God are meant to protect His children from self-destruction; they are not harsh rules meant to enslave and oppress. They give us our boundaries; the boundaries that make our hearts pure and prevent self-destruction. 

Catholicism is a faith of rules and regulations.  Some people misunderstand our relationship with the church and our ...

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Be Patient, Strengthen Your Hearts

This week, in the second reading from the Letter of Saint James, we are told to be “patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”

“Being patient” is something we all have experienced. Patience is a hard discipline. It is ...

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