Fr Phil

Homily – July 5th, 2020 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

There are two Old Testament prophets of the O.T. who had particularly keen and powerful visions of a Messiah who was to come. One is the Prophet Isaiah that we hear a lot about during Advent. He lived about 700 years before the birth of Jesus. He speaks about what seems to be impossible scenarios like a lion and lamb lying down together (lions eat lambs the last time I checked); a baby putting his hand in a snake’s den and the snake not harming it ...

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Reflection – Ordinary Time & Saints

Each time we celebrate Eucharist together, we are reminded that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, a cloud of Saints.  In the Apostles’ Creed, which we profess each Sunday, we say, “I believe in the communion of saints.”  In other words, we believe in an eternal bond between us and all those who have gone before us, between Saints and saints in the making. We invoke the Saints in each Eucharistic Prayer: And so, with the Angels and ...

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Homily – June 28th, 2020 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Within this Sunday’s three readings there are a couple of themes which dovetail well with each other, themes prominent in our Christian life. Theme one is dying and being buried with Christ in baptism, and theme two is about hospitality.

The first reading and gospel have to do with hospitality. We hear in the Book of Kings about a wealthy woman who welcomes the prophet Elisha into her house and something good happens to her as a result. In the same vein of welcoming, Jesus, ...

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Homily – June 21st, 2020 – 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time

In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and particularly in the Book of Exodus, there is a strong emphasis on “remembering.” Moses, speaking the words of God, would often say: Remember the Lord brought you out of slavery and provided you with manna and water as you journeyed through the desert. Remember to keep the Sabbath holy. Remember that you were slaves at one time so never mistreat anyone under you.

Remembering is so important in faith. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” That is ...

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Homily – June 14th, 2020 – Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

On this Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, a strange thing is happening, both in the readings and in our lives. As you get older and you grow in your knowledge of who Christ is more and more, you simultaneously grow in self-knowledge. This true self, who you are in God, and not who others want you to be or some persona of who you would like to be, was given at conception and takes a lifetime to discover. Discovering the true God and ...

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Homily – June 7th, 2020 – Holy Trinity Sunday

Worldwide, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity today. Theologians, saints, and mystics have tried to describe the Trinity, three persons in one God, in various ways. St. Patrick apparently used the cloverleaf as his teaching tool. Others have used the comparison of H2O; water comes in the forms of a gas, a liquid, and a solid. As helpful as descriptions are, they are not what people really want in life. People do not want a description of Trinity as much as they want ...

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Message in a Bottle #12

It has been a week of hitting restart buttons and a week of watching painful news stories. Last weekend, just when we thought we had made all the necessary adjustments and satisfied all the essential requirements to celebrate Eucharist with 50 of you, our plans were unexpectedly scuttled.  So, we hit the restart button for this weekend and get over the pain of disappointment. The bigger and more difficult pain of this week was the pain watching George Floyd of Minneapolis begging for a little air and ...

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Message in a Bottle #11

As you probably have heard, our provincial health authorities, as well as Archbishop Valery, have given us the green light to resume weekend Eucharist with a maximum of 50 parishioners. This is good news but comes with a list of protocols as long and as twisty as the Petitcodiac River. As staff, we have been working diligently, behind the scenes, trying to prepare our worship spaces and our worshippers for the new, albeit temporary, way Eucharist will be celebrated. We anticipate hiccups, frustrations, and returning to the ...

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Homily – May 24th, 2020 – Ascension Sunday

The first reading came from a book within the Bible called the Acts of the Apostles and written by the same author who wrote one of the four gospels, the Gospel of Luke. The opening line in Acts, Luke writes, “In my first book, Theophilus.” The first book refers to the Gospel of Luke. Acts of the Apostles his second book. So, think of the Bible not as a book but as a collection of books or a mini library.

Who is this Theophilus? Probably a high-ranking ...

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Message in a Bottle #10

If you are keeping track, you know that we have not gathered for Sunday Eucharist since March 15th, the third Sunday of Lent. I half-jokingly suggested we were celebrating our “Last Supper” not realizing then that my words would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We are all waiting, including Bishop Vienneau, for the health authorities to open churches for limited gatherings like we see in some sectors of society. Throwing the doors of the church wide open, though, will probably not happen until a universal vaccine is available. Until ...

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