For a child, the anticipation of Christmas is a time of excitement and joy as they count down the days for the up coming feast. All of this excitement slows down to a quiet whisper as the child experiences the ‘not yet’ moment. Getting up early on Christmas morning and tiptoeing to the front room to see the Christmas tree which outstretches its arms in a protective gesture of the many gifts waiting to make a child’s delight.
All of these sights and sounds of Christmas are not for everyone. Our world still hungers for peace and a sense of belonging. Our Lord, like many people today, has experienced being a refugee in the land of Egypt. Climate change, political unrest and wars have forced people to flee their country of origin –becoming refugees and migrants as they journey towards an uncertain future.
On the night Our Lord was born, angles came to bring news of great joys to shepherds tending their sheep in the dark of the night. Their message was about the arrival of the Messiah, the one who is to lead the people of Israel through the troubled times they were experiencing. In our modern world we need to recognize this announced savior who comes to save and liberate. The role of a true leader is to gather people not only in good times but also in times of darkness, uncertainty, and trials. These are individuals, who do not loose they focus in times of confusion but are able to lead with conviction. For these leaders the needs of the people come first. Our Lord is such a leader.
The Lord tells us over and over again that he will not abandon us in our time of need. In Scripture the words, “BE Not Afraid” is re-stated many times. How is the Lord present today? He makes his presence felt through the disciples he sends to give witness of his love and concern. I can see this in the people who are struggling with either crushing heat during the summer or the bitter cold being experienced by Canadians in the western part of the country. Although the situation can seem dire, the Spirit of the Lord continues to inspire people, ordinary people, who reach out to those in need in bringing hope in times of darkness. This year, more than ever, we are all called to be pilgrims of hope in communion with one another. May the star of Bethlehem be your guide to the Christ Child this night and always giving you strength to be authentic witnesses to the Gospels we live.
Fr. Robert Laroche, OMI Continue reading Fr. Robert’s Christmas Reflection & The Parish Bulletin →
Welcome to the first day of Advent! We’re beginning our annual 28 day pilgrimage towards Christmas. It’s a familiar journey for us, yet each year we are called to find new and fresh insights along this well-traveled path. Continue reading Mark McCormick’s Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent 2022 →
We are pleased to share with you the reflection from the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time from Nov 12-13.
So, we’re already celebrating the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary time. Next Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King, the end of our annual liturgical cycle. In the final weeks of each liturgical year, the church Continue reading Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time →
Here is the relection from 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time – October 16, 2022
29th Ordinary Time 2022
Today I’d like to speak about symbols and how they might help us remember to forgive readily and how that way of being helps us experience God’s love. Continue reading Donna Rietschlin: On symbols of forgiveness →
Announcing our Coordinator for the Synodal Process at St. Joe’s
Eleanor Rabnett has agreed to serve as the Coordinator for the Synodal Process at St. Joseph’s Parish. As a member of our parish for many years and as an Oblate Associate, many of you will already know Eleanor and her passion for community. In early February, we will begin to offer opportunities for parishioners to participate and to share in several areas, including in how belonging to the local and the broader Church has led to experiences of both joy and suffering, what steps you feel the Holy Spirit is asking us, as the church, to take and what changes is the Spirit suggesting for the church moving forward together? We’re grateful for Eleanor’s willingness to coordinate this process in our parish as part of a team. St. Joe’s, along with other parishes in Ottawa-Cornwall, will be submitting a report to the Archdiocese by May 2022.
Professors John Renken & Cathy Clifford on Synodality
Pope Francis has invited all of us throughout the world to share with him our experience of journeying together as Church and how that experience can be improved. To hear more about this and how you can participate, we have asked Fr. John Renken and Professor Cathy Clifford to tell us more. The dates and times of the presentations are the following: Friday, Jan. 28, at 2pm with Fr. John Renken and Wednesday, Jan. 19 and Feb. 2, at 7pm with Cathy Clifford. You can register for one or more of these sessions by clicking here. Find the Zoom link for the presentations here.
Fr Richard Beaudette, OMI has prepared a video homily for second Sundar of Ordinary time and we are also sharing with you resources for this Sunday.
A Wedding Story
Continue reading Announcements, Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Resources & Bulletin →
Mark McCormick offers us this weekend’s reflection. In it, Mark shares: “Jesus asks us today to be on the leading edge of change, for we cannot escape the conclusion that human hearts outside of God make enemies of the other. When we watch unfolding tragedies and say “no more” and “not again”, the pattern still endures and emerges with another group suffering under our oppressive ways.
In Christ, our hearts are tamed and taught in the gentle and humble ways of peace, understanding and friendship. These are the ways that Jesus lived. His sacred heart reaches out to us today to imitate his compassion for one another.” Continue reading Mark McCormick’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time →
One of my hobbies is gardening and I think I am pretty good at it! Here’s one example- as many of you will know, this is a peony. It’s the time of year when peonies bloom- they are over the top in terms of their beauty and profusion, with multiple blooms in any one bush.
I have taken time and care, nurtured my plant with rich soil, added fertilizer to spur growth and ensured just the right amount of water. I am proud of my gardening skills!
Jesus’ story for us today about the tiny but mighty mustard seed makes us think. Within the mustard seed, any seed, is contained all that is required for the seed to grow, to blossom and flourish. The Gospel reminds me that I have had nothing to do with producing that seed. When I think of my time and labour and my outsize pride and boasting, Jesus tells me that God does the growing, not me- “we sleep and we rise each night and day and the seed would sprout and grow- without us knowing how”- the earth produces plants with seeds sown by God. Continue reading We are gardeners, whose role must be to tend to the seeds that God has planted →
Fr. Jim offers the reflection for Pentecost and shares: “There is only one way to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. And that is to believe in the spirit being alive in our midst today. Like the first disciples, gathering together in faith and prayer, we experience the presence of the risen Christ.” Continue reading Fr. Jim’s Reflection, Zoom Liturgy of the Word and a Parish Update for Pentecost →