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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The Burning Bush

In this week’s first reading from Exodus, the voice in the burning bush said that I was known to your fathers as “God Almighty” but now “I Am Who I Am.” The sacred letters that form this new name of God, “YHWH” were so sacred that whenever these letters were read out loud they were replaced by the word which in English is “Lord.”

But in English we are not so reluctant to use these words. “I am…” is ...

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Living Under the Blessing or the Curse

There’s a Buddhist parable that runs something like this: One day as the Buddha was sitting under a tree, a young, trim soldier walked by, looked at the Buddha, noticed his weight and his fat, and said: “You look like a pig!” The Buddha looked up calmly at the soldier and said: “And you look like God!” Taken aback by the comment, the soldier asked the Buddha: “Why do you say that I look like God?” The Buddha replied, “Well, ...

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Lent – A Journey of Love

Lent has come to us a little later this year than usual as Easter is only four days short of the latest it can be.  On a side note, if you were wondering how the date for Easter is determined; it is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of Spring.  That information and $2 will get you a coffee at Tim Horton’s.  With Lent starting so late, it has given us much time to think about what we ...

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The Power of Words

Two phrases, one from the first reading by Sirach and the second from the Gospel reading, resonated with me to reflect on today’s readings. The first reading states, ” So a person’s speech discloses the cultivation of the mind. ”  The gospel by Luke reveals, “for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”

It made me recall being told as a child that it is not necessarily what goes into the body that causes sin, but what comes out — notably ...

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Choosing Love

Over and over again I meet people in the hospital whose pain cannot be alleviated by medications, because even though they feel it in their body, it is soul pain. It is the pain of being out of synch with the world in which they live, the pain that grips when an important relationship (with self, with others, with nature or with God) has been severely damaged and a person can see no way past the brokenness.

One of the peculiar characteristics of this kind of soul ...

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Blessed is the one who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord

Over the years I’ve found that few teachings of Jesus are meant to be viewed as “required” behaviours, needed to please God and earn a place in heaven, as they are about a God who is already pleased by our existence and would love to see us live a life filled with meaning and joy. Luke’s gospel of “Blessings and Woes” is a shorter version of Matthew’s “Beatitudes” (Mt 5:1-11) and teach less about rules to be followed, as attitudes by which to live life more ...

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