Fr Phil

Homily – November 15th, 2020 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Once again, there is a connection between the first reading (Proverbs) about the “capable wife” and the gospel about the slaves left in charge of their master’s money. For me, the invitation in both passages is to be a risk taker. I find that challenging, because my nature is not to be a risk taker. For the most part, being cautious has served me well. I always look before I leap. But other times, being overly cautious has meant that ...

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Homily – November 8th – Feast of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

As our liturgical year is drawing to an end, and we are on the cusp of beginning a new liturgical year in just a few weeks with Advent, our Scripture stories are more and more about the end times, or if you prefer the fancy, theological term “eschatology.” One thing I sense in these readings is that we are not to become obsessed with the questions of: “When will the Lord will return in glory?” nor with the question: “What ...

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Homily – November 1st, 2020 – All Saints’ Day

While God, through Moses, gave us the 10 Commandments, God, through Jesus, gave us the Beatitudes—a new way of living our relationship with God. You may have noticed there are eight Beatitudes with the eighth one sort of spinning into a ninth one about rejoicing in the face of persecution.

I like to look at the first four Beatitudes one way and the last four, differently. The first four–Blessed are the poor, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, ...

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Reflection – Hear, Ye! Hear, Ye!

“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.” Isn’t that true? Bad habits abound in all of our lives and are not just the downfall of gambling-chain-smoking-foul-mouthed nuns! As Catholics we have always been susceptible to having bad habits encroach upon the way we celebrate Eucharist. And now with the restrictions and protocols thrusted upon us during this pandemic time, it is even easier for us to slip into bad liturgical ...

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Homily – October 25th, 2020 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When Jews of Biblical times read the first five book of the Bible (also called the Pentateuch, Torah or the Law of Moses), they discerned, for better or for worse, that there were 613 laws that they felt God was asking them to follow. (By the way, we have 1752 laws as Catholics in the Code of Canon Law). These 613 were apart from the 10 biggies we have come to know as the 10 Commandment. Now, the Pharisees who ...

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Homily – October 18th, 2020 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

You have all heard the expression “Money talks.” I heard a good one-liner the other day that said, “Money talks, all mine says is good bye.” It was true in Biblical times and is probably even more true now that “money talks.” When you have money, you can buy your way out of certain situations that a poor person cannot. When you have money, you can influence a situation in ways that you could not if you did not have ...

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Homily – October 4th, 2020 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is the third Sunday we have a parable set in a vineyard. Vineyards are places where both labor and love take place. Biblically speaking, vineyards are where you earn your keep by working hard, and they are places of romance and courting. Labour and love. These three last Sundays have given us stories of labour but not so much love. You may recall the parable from a couple of weeks ago of the vineyard owner who hired labourers at ...

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Homily – September 27th, 2020 – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

As you just heard, the tax collectors and prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of us. If this was a parable to be taken literally, I would be encouraging you all to work for Revenue Canada or to don fishnet stocking and hang out on street corners. The underlying message, nonetheless, is to be taken seriously. Jesus is addressing the chief priests and the elders, those who are supposed to be doing it all correctly, yet find themselves at the back of the line. ...

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Homily – September 20th, 2020 – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

There are two things to keep in mind when we try to grapple with this parable (Mt. 20:1-16).  Firstly, Matthew is writing for his faith community that is a mixture of Jewish Christians and Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians. The Jewish Christians know that their faith has come down to them through the centuries beginning with Abraham, Moses, and all the great prophets. It is a long-standing and rich relationship with God who selected them as the Chosen People. The Gentile Christians, by contrast, are seen as late-comers to the ...

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Homily – September 13th, 2020 – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the first reading, the Book of Sirach poses a question to us, and I do not think it is just a rhetorical question. Does anyone harbour anger against another, and expect healing from the, Lord? The answer unfortunately, is: of course! I know lots of people, including myself, who want God’s healing mercy for themselves but who also want punishment for others. Our logic goes something like this: that person over there, by their sin, has crossed a line that I have not crossed. And ...

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