Homily – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 24th, 2021

This gospel passage was one of the most important scripture stories told to those seeking baptism in the Church in the first few centuries.  It has lots to teach us as well.  Remember, only adults were baptized during the first 350 years of the Church’s existence. Back then, what they called the Catechumenate–and what we call the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults–catechists told those seeking baptism the story of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar.  You could not become a Christian, unless a catechist ...

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Reflection – The Deep Heart’s Core*

I wondered, ‘How do the three Readings in today’s liturgy relate to one another?’  It is my gift to look for relationships, also a major flaw.  I see connections but I cannot always make them visible to others.  The reading from Jeremiah 31, from the Letter to the Hebrews and the Gospel of Mark, seemed quite random and unrelated to me.  It is suggested that in our “Exploration” we leave the Gospel to the priest and concentrate on the other readings.  Since the second reading ...

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Reflection – Are You Able to Drink the Cup that I Drink?

Be careful what you wish for.  That’s what popped into my head on reading the Gospel this week.  

It’s a little startling to hear the request James and John make of Jesus – this apparent grab for power.  Even more startling if you read the verses prior to the ones we hear proclaimed from Mark’s Gospel.  

“You do not know what you are asking,” Jesus says.  But in fact, they SHOULD know what they are asking, because they have JUST been told.  “Jesus took the 12 ...

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Homily – 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 10th, 2021

Many people read or listen to these gospel stories as simply stories from the past. When we do that, we easily dismiss them by convincing ourselves that the context of 2000 years ago was so different than our context today, these stories couldn’t possibly have anything to tell us, even if they are the words of Jesus. But I would say, the majority of you, since you come back week after week, are willing to go deeper. Without always being ...

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Reflection – Thanksgiving – The Key to Happiness

Interesting bit of trivia…did you know the feast of Thanksgiving has been officially observed as an annual holiday in Canada since November 6th, 1879?!?  Some years later, on January 31st, 1957, the Governor General of Canada at the time (Vincent Massey) issued a proclamation stating, “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the second Monday in October.” I understand that many in 2021 observe Thanksgiving as a secular ...

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Homily – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 3rd, 2021

Children, for the third Sunday in a row, play a prominent role in Jesus’ teaching. Two weeks ago, we heard Jesus say, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Last weekend Jesus warned us not to put a stumbling block before these little ones. And, today’s gospel ends with Jesus gathering children to himself and blessing them after the disciples tried to shoo them away. Children’s ability to be spiritual guides perhaps has something to do with their inherent ...

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Reflection – The Gift of Marriage

Today’s gospel had me pause often as I find the subject to be touchy, divorce! I had almost a full page written out then I stopped, read, and erased everything. This happened to me twice. I’m not going to lie, I’m happy I’m not the having to preach today’s gospel. We live in a time where divorce is a common and acceptable practice. We’ve all heard the statistics; fifty percent of marriages end in divorce and over sixty-five percent of ...

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Homily – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 26th, 2021

We were once told–during our seminary formation years–95% of all the problems that will come across our desks as future priests (if we were ordained) would stem from two fundamental sources: peoples’ false image of God and peoples’ false image of self. These false images live in all of us, priests included. However, I’m convinced the number is not 95%, but 99.99%. Equally convincing to me is that the false image of God and the false image of self are inherently connected. The ...

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Reflection – Soul and Spirit….But Mostly Soul

For most of my life I used the terms “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably, as if they meant the same thing.  I have since learned there is a difference.  Our souls refer to the depth dimension of ourselves, a reality that can only be accessed by some kind of descent (going down).  In your soul, you are absolutely unique, a one-of-a-kind creation never to be replicated.  If you listen to your soul, you will discover God’s plan for your life, a plan that nobody else is entrusted with in ...

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Homily – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 19th, 2021

Although the Son of Man is guided by the hand of God, he will be killed by human hands. Jesus has come to terms with that; the disciples clearly have not. The problem, with the way the disciples are thinking, is the same problem with the way the disciples were thinking in last Sunday’s gospel when Jesus said, “Get behind me. For you are thinking not as God does, but as humans do.” I always thought we were humans and, therefore, it ...

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