Ellen Bennett

Reflection – Relentless Hope

It is a quote that I use frequently when sleep does not come.  This week has been one of those weeks.  We are being battered, and though important to put it in perspective, remembering that others have suffered much worse for far longer, the tragedies are relentless.  Every week there is something else.  Poor Nova Scotia; I’m not sure how much more they can take.

“Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Those with faith know that to be a truth.  ...

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Time Outside Time

Where does one begin, as we sit where we sit right now?  Two weeks ago, we watched with interest as Covid-19 continued to spread.  I, ashamed as I am to admit it today, was one of the naysayers – ‘the media is blowing this out of proportion.’  Yet, now here we are, a country – nay a world as there seems not to be one country in the world that has not been affected – watching, waiting, hoping, despairing, anxious.  We are a world in angst.

On this coming ...

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Light to the Nations

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine …”

The new decade has not started well.  While January 1st dawned filled with hope and promise as all New Year’s seem to, much has happened in the few short weeks since to bring hope crashing down.  Australia continues to burn; three days into the year, an Iranian general is killed on orders from an American president, leading to the death of 176 innocent people; Puerto Rico is rocked by an earthquake causing untold damage ...

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Ah…..November

For the Northern Hemisphere, the Church’s liturgical year seems to often be in sync with nature – even though we struggle culturally to live that rhythm in the way the Church envisions. The readings we hear proclaimed these past several weeks; the feasts of All Saints and All Souls; the shorter days and longer nights; our secular celebration of Remembrance Day; barren trees; snow – during November, the focus of the Church and the world seems to be ...

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A Parable, a Painting and a Book

Two Dutch people spring to mind whenever I hear the parable of the Prodigal Son – painter Rembrandt and priest Henri Nouwen.

In 1986, Fr. Henri Nouwen spent several hours gazing at Rembrandt’s painting The Return of the Prodigal Son at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. One of Rembrandt’s last paintings, it was painted, Nouwen says, “after a life of suffering.” First captivated by the painting when he spotted a replica of it on a poster in ...

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Witnessing to a matter of interest

The Gospel we hear proclaimed today, and the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles, are like the conclusion of Part 1 and the beginning of Part II of Luke’s story.  We know that Luke wrote both the Gospel attributed to him and the Acts of the Apostles.  Throughout the liturgical year, the only time we hear from Acts in our Sunday liturgy is during the Easter season when it replaces the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) as the first reading.  It is the fledgling Church which ...

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The First Stone

“This is the curiosity about sin – it is far more easily recognized in another than in ourselves.  Matthew’s Gospel asks: “Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own?”  (Mt 7:3) Ironic isn’t it, that uncanny ability humans have?  Luke says it differently as we hear today: “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Many years ago, Wayne and I were preparing our son Marc ...

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I AM WHAT I AM

“God doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called,” is a quote I see frequently. Each of today’s readings has someone being called to do something for which they feel unworthy.  Rarely do three readings align so well as these three do.  While usually Peter is my guy – the one whose actions and words speak to me most poignantly – today, it is Paul’s words that resonate: “By the grace ...

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Peace Beyond Understanding

Last spring, I received a text from a dear niece requesting prayers for a good friend who had a few months previously been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Two weeks ago, this young lady died.  She was 23.  A last Facebook post, presumably written by her family, states: I’ve been battling cancer for over a year now, it was one mighty battle and I went further than any of ...

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Great is found in unselfish service

It is rather amazing when you think about it – what James and John do. The arrogance of it! Imagine! “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you … Grant us to sit … in your glory.” I can’t envision ever going to any teacher of mine and asking such a thing. Jesus’ final response is an explanation that for James and John and all the ...

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