Sunday Homily for October 23rd, 2016

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Liturgy | 0 comments

Sunday Homily for October 23rd, 2016 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time We all have ideas about what humility is and what it looks like. An old Oblate often quoted the last line of today’s gospel thus “Those who humble themselves will be exhausted.” If humility means always being at everyone’s beck and call and being a doormat, that version would certainly apply! In the gospel, Jesus portrays two attitudes and invites and challenges us to reflect on which attitude best describes our relationships with God and one another. When Jesus uses the example of the Pharisee, we must not stereotype the Pharisees and make them all bad. The Pharisees spirituality and faith response were probably more in line with Jesus’ thinking and teaching than that of many others in the society and culture of the time. The tax collector also gets a bum deal in our minds, because the tax collectors get lumped into the general category of degenerate and unredeemable. So let’s look at the parable Jesus tells. First of all, the Pharisee. Pharisees were concerned with living the commandments and being faithful to the covenant that God made with Israel. The issue is that often the Law became the be-all and end-all, and following the letter of the Law became more important and central than responding to the spirit of the Law which calls us to love God and our neighbour. So now this Pharisee comes to pray. What is the prayer? Really, it is a progress report. The Pharisee basically lectures God, reminding God how the Pharisee is so unlike most others, and that he not only avoids all those ugly sins, but also gives a tenth of his income and fasts twice a week. His prayer is basically him telling God how well he has done, and now he will have his gold star or A+, thank you very much. The message to God is that the Pharisee really doesn’t need God, he can do it all on his own. How can God work in such a person? God can only work in our lives when we welcome God to do so. Then we have the contrast of the tax collector, who comes into the temple to pray, knowing that he probably hasn’t been there is quite some time, but feeling compelled to come before God. He recognizes his need of God’s help in his life if anything is to change. His prayer is simple; “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” With this openness, God is able to enter into this man’s heart and life and give new life. The tax collector is open to atonement and reconciliation, which are actions on God’s part...

Read More

Sunday Homily for October 9th, 2016

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Liturgy | 0 comments

Sunday Homily for October 9th, 2016 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Often when we are presented with God’s Word, we latch on to the “obvious” message and do not take the time to dig deeper and discover more of the richness of the Word. Such is the case with today’s readings. It is Thanksgiving weekend, and in both the first reading and the Gospel, we have the stories of lepers who are healed and want to give thanks. The obvious message to us, therefore, is that we must be thankful for the blessings we have been given. That message is a true one, and important. It is good and right to be thankful and to express our gratitude; to God and to one another. To discover a deeper message in the readings today, we need to have a little bit of background knowledge. Naaman, the Syrian, was a Gentile, not a Jew. He was a member of a foreign nation and people, and the commander of the army of a foreign power that was often a threat to the kingdom of Israel. The Samaritan leper in the Gospel was similar. While the Samaritans thought of themselves as God’s People, the Jews saw them as outsiders, not pure members of God’s chosen people, but as heretics. This was for a number of reasons: they were a mixed race, the result of intermarriage between the local people of the Northern Kingdom and the soldiers of the conquering army. They had their own temple on Mount Gerazim and did not worship at the Temple in Jerusalem.  So in both cases, the contemporaries of Jesus saw these men as outsiders, foreigners, and not worthy of God’s love or compassion. They were excluded, pushed to the margins. It is seemingly part of human nature to have an us-and-them attitude. That plays out in our world in so many different ways. We see that in immigration policy in various nations. Think about some of the statements from the presidential race in the United States regarding immigrants, immigrant policy, and the need to guard the nation from being swamped by immigrants who do not share the values of the majority of the nation. We do the same thing when we set up organizations, clubs, fraternities or any kind of group in our society. There are rules and conditions for belonging, and if one cannot fit into those rules and conditions, then one is excluded. Certainly the Jews of Elisha’s time, and especially the Pharisees and lawyers of Jesus’ time had very clear rules about who belonged and who didn’t, who deserved God’s grace and who didn’t. In both readings, the people who asked for healing were...

Read More

Sunday Homily for October 2nd, 2016

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Liturgy | 0 comments

Sunday Homily for October 2nd, 2016 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Anyone who enjoys gardening knows that plants have definite needs in order to thrive. Plants need good soil, enough nutrients, water, sunshine and heat in order to survive and thrive. If a good friend gives me a gift of a plant, my response is to cherish that gift and keep it alive. I don’t rely on the friend who gave the gift to come over and water and fertilize it, making sure that it is in the right spot to fill the conditions of light and heat for that particular plant to thrive I do it myself, out of gratitude to the person who gave the gift and out of a desire for the gift to continue to grow and give pleasure. In the Gospel today, the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus’ response reminds us that faith is a gift given to us by God and passed on to us by those who love us and want us to have this precious gift. Our parents who had us baptized as infants, or those people who inspired us by their faith and helped us choose to respond to God’s call to live as disciples of Jesus handed on a precious gift that they wanted us to have and to cherish. Once we accepted the gift as our own, then we took personal responsibility to help that gift grow and thrive, in the same way that the recipient of a plant would be responsible for the continuing life of that plant. So, how do we help our faith to grow? Having given us the gift of faith, God gives us other gifts to help that faith grow. What are some of those gifts? First of all, we have God’s Word. The Word is proclaimed every time we gather as a faith community to celebrate our faith and particularly when we celebrate the sacraments. The Word is given to us to help us grow in our faith. In the Word, God speaks to us, reminding us of God’s love, of the call to live as disciples, of the way of life expected of a disciple. God’s speaks to each of us in the depths of our hearts, helping us to understand who we are, how we fit into our world and our church, how we can continue to build the reign of God in our world. We listen to the Word, but we must also take the Word and reflect on it, pray with it, seek understanding and insight, asking for the gift of discernment and openness to the work of the Holy Spirit as we respond to...

Read More

Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time 2016

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Liturgy | 0 comments

Schedule of Reflections and Readings: January 2016 – May 2016   Date Liturgical Date Readings Reflector Saturday, January 23, 2016 Sunday, January 24, 2016 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time   Week of Prayer for Christian Unity     First Reading:   Nehemiah 8. 2-4a, 5-6, 8-10 Psalm 19 Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 12. 12-30 Gospel Acclamation:  Luke 4. 18-19 Gospel:  Luke 1.1-4; 4.14-21   Mike Britton Saturday, January 30, 2016 Sunday, January, 31, 2016 Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 71 Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 Gospel Acclamation: Luke 4:18-19 Gospel: Luke 4:21-30 John Rietschlin Saturday, February 6, 2016 Sunday, February 7, 2016 Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time First Reading: Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 138 Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Gospel Acclamation: Matthew 4:19 Gospel: Luke 5:1-11 Fr. Richard Beaudette Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:00pm & 7:30pm Ash Wednesday First Reading: Joel 2. 12-18 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 51 Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5.20 – 6.2 Gospel Acclamation: Psalm 95. 7-8 Gospel: Matthew 6. 1-6, 16-18 Fr. Richard Beaudette Saturday, February 13, 2016 Sunday, February 14, 2016 First Sunday of Lent First Reading: Deuteronomy 26. 4-10 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 91 Second Reading: Romans 10. 8-13 Gospel Acclamation: Matthew 4.4 Gospel: Luke 4. 1-13 Justin Clark  (Guest Reflector)  & Donna Rietschlin   Saturday, February 20, 2016 Sunday, February 21, 2016 Second Sunday of Lent   (Children’s Liturgy at 9:30am) First Reading: Genesis 15. 5-12, 17-18 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27 Second Reading: Philippians 3. 17 – 4.1 Gospel Acclamation: Luke 9. 35 Gospel: Luke 9. 28b-36   5pm & 11:30am: Bob Part   9:30am: Marina Lamont Saturday, February 27, 2016 Sunday, February 28, 2016 Third Sunday of Lent First Reading: Exodus 3. 1-8a, 13-15 Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 103 Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10. 1-6, 10-12 Gospel Acclamation: Matthew 4. 17 Gospel: Luke 13. 1-9 Ewelina Frackowiak Saturday, March 5, 2016 Sunday, March 6, 2015 Fourth Sunday of Lent First Reading: Joshua 5. 9a, 10-12 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34 Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5. 17-21 Gospel Acclamation: Luke 15. 18 Gospel: Luke 15. 1-3, 11-32 Fr. Richard Beaudette Saturday, March 12, 2016 Sunday, March 13, 2016 Fifth Sunday in Lent Solidarity Sunday – National Collection for Development and Peace First Reading: Isaiah 43. 16-21 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 126 Second Reading: Philippians 3. 8-14 Gospel Acclamation: Joel 2. 12-13 Gospel: John 8. 1-11 Members of St. Joe’s Development and Peace Committee Saturday, March 19, 2016 Sunday, March 20, 2016 Passion (Palm) Sunday World day of Youth   (Children’s Liturgy at 9:30am) Opening Gospel: Luke 19. 28-40 First Reading: Isaiah 50. 4-7 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 22 Second Reading: Philippians 2. 6-11 Gospel Acclamation: Philippians 2. 8-9 Gospel:...

Read More