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We Are Citizens of Heaven

A reflection for the 2nd Sunday in Lent, Year C
The readings are Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1 and Luke 9:28b-36.

La Transfiguration by Peter-Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, Lorraine, France.

I went out to dinner with an old friend the other night. We’ve known each other since we were in high school.  She doesn’t believe in God and undoubtedly the conversation turned to the Church and the sex abuse scandals. We spoke about how sex abuse happens everywhere where there is opportunity: in sports, in dance and gymnastics, in the film industry, healthcare, the army, schools, camps – most commonly in the family – it’s not just a church thing and certainly not just a Catholic Church issue (You may be interested in reading this article from Psychology Today).

We sadly agreed that it seems to be part of our human nature.

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Deep Waters

A reflection for the 5th Sunday, Ordinary Time, Year C. The readings are Isaiah 6:1-2; 3-8; Psalm: 138; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 and Luke 5:1-11.

I just came back from World Youth Day in Panama. If you don’t know what WYD is, it’s a gathering where young people from all over the world come to meet with the Holy Father and with each other.  Each WYD has a theme and this year it was from the first chapter of Luke; Mary’s response to the angel: “I am the servant of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.” This is clearly a Marian theme; but it is also a vocational theme: It’s about the call of Mary.

And that’s what the three readings today are. We can say that this is “call” Sunday. First we heard about the call of Isaiah; then about the call of St. Paul. The Gospel was about the call of Peter.

And for many young people, World Youth Day is about the call. So many young people get called to go to WYD. There were some 100,000 young pilgrims from around 140 countries who went to Panama. Once they get to WYD, many of them receive a more specific call..  I can trace my call to the diaconate right back to WYD 2002 in Toronto.

My experience of WYD Panama has very much been one of “call”. Preparing for this WYD has forced me to look back at my life and consider every moment where God called me, as a young child, growing up in Panama, through to calling me to come to Canada; to go to Theatre school; to marriage and parenthood, to work at Covenant House; to work at WYD 2002 and then on to Salt + Light Television, to being called to the diaconate. Needless to say, these “lessons in vocational discernment” could fill the pages of a book, which I may one day write. (If there are any publishers out there interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact me.)

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O Come Let Us Adore Him

A reflection on the Feast of the Epiphany. The readings are Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 and Matthew 2:1-12.

 

The Wise Men arrive to worship Jesus in the Sony Pictures movie, The Star.

 

One of my favourite Christmas songs is “Oh Come all ye faithful… joyful and triumphant. O, come ye, o come ye, to Bethlehem….” I like it because I think that’s what Christmas is about. That’s what our Christian living is about: Going to Bethlehem.

But today is the feast of the Epiphany, when we hear about the visit of the Wise Men and there is another song that you may hear about three kings of orient who traverse a far. There’s is even another song (that I hope you don’t hear at Mass), but that today may remind you of, because today is the 12th day of Christmas. But Christmas has nothing to do with lords-a-leaping or maids-a-milking. Still it makes me wonder why we think that there are only 12 days of Christmas.

In fact, it used to be that Christmas lasted until February 2nd – the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. But nowadays, the liturgical calendar tells us that the Christmas season ends next weekend, with the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord.

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The Church is Catholic

A reflection on the 3rd Sunday, Advent C. The readings are Zephanaiah 3:14-18a; Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6; Philippians 4:4-7 and Luke 3:10-18. But my reflection today is the third in a series on the Four Marks of the Church from my parish.

4 Marks of the Church part 3: The Church is Catholic

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, a day when we rejoice because Christ is coming soon. That’s why we lighten up our purple a bit and we call today, “Gaudete Sunday” or rejoice Sunday.

For the last couple of weeks, also we have been learning about the 4 Marks of the Church, as professed in the Creed: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

How many of you had actually heard of the 4 Marks of the Church before now? I have to be honest; I had never heard of the 4 Marks of the Church until about 10 years ago. I thought the four Marks were four guys: Mark the evangelist, Mark the apostle, Mark the disciple of Peter and, I don’t know, Mark the little brother of Jude…

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