Between Faith and Certainty

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.

At times, I wish there was a visible sign it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me, so I would know when to listen to it, and when to work at filtering out my own ego and emotional baggage. Then, with this visible sign, I would know for certain the finest ...

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I Give You a New Commandment

Easter is a time when we both remember and celebrate the new life which has come to us through our Risen Lord. Today’s readings speak to a “new life”. The word “new” appears several times today. The passage from Revelation speaks of a “new” heaven, a “new” earth and a “new” Jerusalem. Jesus in the Gospel speaks of a “new” commandment. What’s supposed to be “new”? Can you say that you have experienced a “new life” this Easter? Or have ...

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Figure It Out

My friend, Byron, wrote and successfully defended his PhD dissertation on the Apocalypse.  After he died, I was given a copy of his work, although before that, he had told me his understanding of what the Apocalypse or the Book of Revelation was all about.  There were two points that Byron made to me.  The first was that it was a message sent to particular Christian communities at a very definite time in history, a time when they had just survived a terrible persecution and were facing a new ...

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Through Death & Into Eternal Life

Central to all the beliefs we hold to as Roman Catholic Christians is that Jesus, once dead, is alive forever, and that the “new life” he offers liberates us forever from evil, sin and death. This new life, this salvation, is meant for all peoples of the earth.

This central truth is proclaimed by the Church particularly during these 50 days of Easter. Moreover, it’s meant to be proclaimed by each of us every day of the year by the way ...

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The Many Stages of Mission

The Many Stages of Mission
If we were to combine this week’s readings with the Passion reading we heard on Good Friday, we could probably make a miniseries called “The Many Faces of Peter”. I think that’s one of the reasons I love Peter so much is that he is so relatable to me. Always with the best of intentions, but sometimes falling a little short of the mark. Yet, no matter how many times he fell, ...

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Faith and Doubt

Today’s Gospel according to John is the familiar story of Jesus appearing to the disciples after His death. But Thomas, who was called the Twin, was not with them at the time and doubted that this was indeed true. Hence the term “Doubting Thomas” one of few biblical references that retains instant recognition.
In “The Genesee Diary” Henri Nouwen recalled that Didymus, the name of Thomas, means, “twin” and that the Fathers of the Church had commented that “all of ...

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Death and destruction will not have the final word

Monday Paris, accompanied by the world, watched as the Cathedral of Notre Dame burned. In those hours so much seemed to be swallowed by flames, not just a phenomenal piece of gothic architecture, but also a tangible promise of hope, continuity and resilience. News image after news image showed the faces of people looking lost, bewildered and devastated … and it struck me that once again the Cathedral was serving the purpose for which it was built. It was helping people experience the many layers of ...

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The Lord helps me…..and I know that I shall not be put to shame

In many churches around the world today, people will hear the story of Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem and they will then be invited to take their palms and process into or around the church waving those palms and singing “Hosanna!” The invitation is usually met with varying degrees of enthusiasm and for many; there is an awkward discomfort about it all.  Some who feel it is just too weird, opt to stay in their pews and observe from a safe distance. Well, if it feels ...

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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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The Same River Twice

There is an African proverb which states “you cannot put your foot in the same river twice,” but this piece of wisdom can also be found elsewhere with the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus (535-475 B.C.) who wrote “it is impossible to step into the same river twice.”

“But I have swam in the Pollett River all my life and it is the same now as it was 50-60 years ago,” you say?  I also swam in the Pollett River as a child, and if I were to ...

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