1st Sunday of Advent

Happy New Year everyone! Today we celebrate the beginning of a new year in our liturgical calendar. It is the beginning of a new cycle of prayers and scripture readings. We start this new year with the next four weeks preparing for the season of Christmas. This preparation time is termed the Season of Advent. What does the word “advent” mean? The word ...

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Hail the King!

The Church did not celebrate Christmas, at least not liturgically, until the 4th century. The same is true of the great feast of Pentecost. No Marian feast was celebrated by the Church until the 5th century. The martyrs, who willingly laid down their lives for the faith, were not honored with formal celebrations until the 7th century. And the Solemnity of Christ the ...

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Faith – Belief …. Any Difference?

As we head toward the end of our liturgical year, our readings focus on the “end times”.  In today’s gospel, Jesus sets the stage for what we can expect to see when the time for his second coming is upon us.  “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light.”  This, to me, sounds like utter darkness; and pretty scary too.  When we think about “the end“, ...

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Genuine Gratitude

Today’s Gospel narrative remembers Jesus’ observation and reflection upon the generosity of the little people in His own day. Jesus pointed out the example of a poor widow who contributed to the Temple’s charitable storehouse not from her excess, but from what she had to live on. Her generosity meant that she would have less to eat herself precisely in order ...

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Hear, O Israel

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!” These words, known as the Shema are the centerpiece of Jewish morning and evening prayer and the focus of all biblical teaching. Because there is only one God we are told: “Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your ...

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Take heart; get up, he is calling you

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks his disciples in last week’s gospel and again of Bartimaeus in today’s. Their responses couldn’t be more different. The disciples showed that even though they had been with Jesus for a while, they still didn’t understand his purpose or message, for they asked for positions of privilege in his new “kingdom.” Bartimaeus, ...

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Great is found in unselfish service

It is rather amazing when you think about it – what James and John do. The arrogance of it! Imagine! “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you … Grant us to sit … in your glory.” I can’t envision ever going to any teacher of mine and asking such a thing. Jesus’ final response is an explanation that for James and John and all the ...

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Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment

Taking care of young people is not an optional task for the Church, but an integral part of
her vocation and mission in history.

(Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, 1)

Most of you alive in 1985-86 will remember Whitney Houston’s rendition of the grand ballad Greatest Love of All, which began with the words, “I believe the ...

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Is My Faith Alive?

In preparing for this reflection, I had to pause and think a lot about our readings. I realised that it must be difficult to preach today’s Gospel. We live in a time where divorce is a common and acceptable practice. We’ve all heard the statistics, over 50% of marriages end in divorce and over 65% of second marriages end in divorce. I want to particularly focus on the beauty of what God did for man when he created the woman.

In ...

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Hungry Sinners

Back in the summers of 1982 and 1983, I convinced parishioners from my home parish to join me on the weekends to serve at St. Bridget’s Soup Kitchen in Ottawa’s Byward Market.  This image entitled “Christ of the Breadlines” hung on one of the walls and it has stayed in my mind for the past 35 years.  Though a print, the ...

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