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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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Cristo viene pronto

Reflección para el primer domingo de Adviento, Ciclo C.
Las lecturas son Jeremias 33:14-16; Salmo 25; Tesalonicenses 3:12-4:2 y Lucas 21:25-28, 34-36.

Dentro de un mes estaremos todos gritando “feliz año nuevo” y celebrando la llegada del 2019, pero la Iglesia, celebra el año nuevo hoy. Hoy es el primer domingo de Adviento, cuando comienza el nuevo año litúrgico. Y al igual que con el año nuevo que viene con todas clases de predicciones culturales, económicas, políticas y sociales, nuestro adviento también comienza con algunas predicciones y algunas advertencias.

El profeta Jeremías, de quien escuchamos en la primera lectura, se pasó toda su vida diciéndole al pueblo de Israel que la cosa se iba a poner bien fea si no cambiaban sus caminos – si no regresaban a los caminos del Señor. Nadie quería escuchar ese mensaje – no muy distinto al mensaje de varios políticos populistas de nuestros días que solo quieren meterle miedo a la gente – todo lo malo que va a suceder si aceptamos a esos refugiados, o si firmamos ese tratado o lo que sea. Aunque parece que hoy en día la gente si se come esos mensajes.
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