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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United We Stand? Sit? Kneel?

As a young person growing up in the Roman Catholic tradition and attending Immaculate Heart of Mary weekly, the last thing that was on my mind at Mass was being in community. While subconsciously I was being formed by my faith community; consciously, it was about me and God. I can still recall coming into the church, blessing myself with holy water and ...

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Faith in Action

“What good is it if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?”  In these words James teaches that faith must be demonstrated by works. The basic idea is that what is the good of going to church then walking out and not ‘doing’ anything in between attendance at Mass? In the second reading, James also says, “Someone will say, you have faith and I ...

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Be Strong; Do Not Fear

All we need to do is spend a few minutes listening to the news, or perhaps checking our Facebook or Twitter feed and we will find reasons to be afraid: fires burning out of control; storms ravaging communities; unprecedented numbers of refugees; wars and threats of war; economic uncertainty; abuse within the community of faith; gun violence in “peaceful” neighborhoods; devastating illnesses … ...

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