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Showing posts from 2015

The Example of Bartimaeus

As preparations were being made for my trip to El Salvador we were told of the cultural shock that we would experience. Upon multiple things we were told that their would be no hot water, that their is barbed wire everywhere, that the children loved stickers, and that it is a catholic country.  It was one thing to tell us about what will be to what actually happens. When we were told of these many things, they had a very small impact because it never really sunk in. It was only until we got to El Salvador that we began to feel nervous because of the barbed wire, upset that their was no cold water, and to see how truly happen the children were to receive stickers. It was only until the actual adventure that all these statements became alive and left a mark. 

    In a way as I was preparing for El Salvador I was a St Thomas. The reality of the situation hadn't come alive until I actually saw it.  It is not to say that I didn't believe these things but rather that they were…

Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Today, Canadians take the day to stop and be thankful for everything that we, as a nation and a citizen have been blessed with. Yesterday we heard the story of the rich man wanting to follow Jesus. However, he left disappointed because Jesus called him to give up his possessions. Thanksgiving is a time where we can be thankful for the things that we have, and to remember that the items and things we do have are used to bring us closer to God and eternal life. It reminds us that our relationships with family, friends, strangers and God are most important, and that the need for possessions must always come last. 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you enjoy the day with family, friends and lots of fun! 

Letting It Go

Last weekend I had attended a vocations retreat for those discerning their vocation in life. One day at lunch I was sitting with the Jesuit priest who had been vocation director for the Jesuits in Canada for 16 years.  He had explained that the Jesuits, as part of their entry must go on a trip, with a one way ticket. Their ticket was either to their location, or back. However, they were not allowed to bring money and very little supplies. This trip could be anywhere in Canada or the United States. The point of this trip, the priest explained was to develop within the novices a reliance on the divine providence of God.

     In the gospel today from Mark, a man approaches Jesus wanting to know what it takes to attain eternal life. Jesus' answer begins with restating the well-known and strictly followed commandments given by God to Moses. Jesus quotes the part of the mosaic law that deals with ones' relationship with each other. Then Jesus continues to tell the man to leave…

Becoming a Servant

As we draw a closer and closer to the end of our liturgical year, the readings focus us on eschatological events. It brings our attention to the identity of Jesus and what his ultimate goal is. The readings have now begun to build up to the climatic end of the feast of Christ the King, when Christ is finally revealed has king of the whole world.  However, with the readings now, we learn a part of Jesus that is new to the disciples. We learn that Jesus will be/ is the suffering servant. That he has come to serve and not to be served (Mk 10:45) and that he has come to set an example in living our lives (Jh 13:15).

    Again this weekend we hear the second of three passion predictions. (the eschatological element to the reading) The disciples had just witnessed the transfiguration of the Lord into his heavenly, perfect, figure talking with Moses and Elijah. Jesus then bursts their bubbles, by bringing them back into reality saying that he must be: betrayed, killed and resurrected o…

Making the Unattractive the Attractive

Since the beginning of the Advent Season last ​December we ​​have been journeying in Liturgical Year B which allows us ​​to hear ​the proclaimed ​scripture from ​the perspective of a different evangelist. For this past liturgical year we have been hearing the readings from “Cycle B” of the liturgical readings.​ Cycle B allows us to hear and be inspired by the Gospel of Mark​  which is the shortest of the four gospels and is accepted as being the first gospel written.  Mark was writing to a Christian community that was under great persecution from the Romans. Within his Gospel, therefore, Mark was trying to explain who Jesus is, and what it means to be His follower within the context of life and death. By doing this, Mark gives hope, encouragement and establishes a deeper faith in a counter-cultural man, named Jesus​ ​within the Christian community.​
     The Gospel this weekend has three different, but very important sections to it. It begins with the famous question “Who do you…

Listening and Responding

Since his election on March 13th 2013, Pope Francis has given the church a renewed mission to serving and aiding the poor and marginalized. He has made an effort, in being pope, to refocus the mission of the church to care for the poor. In his Encyclical The Joy of The Gospel His Holiness writes," If we who are God's means of hearing the poor, turn deaf ears to this plea, we oppose the Fathers will and his plan... A lack of solidarity towards his or her needs will directly affect our relationship with God. " (187) Throughout his papacy, thus-far, the pope practices what he preaches. He has installed wash rooms with showers for the homeless, he has had sleeping bags with his coat of arms given out at night, he has has barber shops open for the poor, and much more for the sake of poor.

     The letter from St James, that we hear this weekend is a continuation from last weekend. WE heard, last weekend, James preaching that Faith, without works, is dead. This week, he …

3 Years of Pray To God Today!

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Four years ago today, I started a new adventure in my life, a blogging one. An adventure that would use creativity, courage, intelligence, time and perseverance. On September first 2011 I had started my first blog, Life of Us an Saints. It was a small blog, (but big in my head!) I remember my very first blog post was on Pope John Paul the Second, and how I thought he would be a good saint. I quote myself from 2011, I promise I haven't changed anything, " I am thinking by 2015 he will be a saint... Who knows it could be earlier or later." He was canonized in 2014. Wow! If you search hard enough, I am sure your could find the post. 
This blog had gone through a name change after it's first 15 days. I wish I could remember the original name. Unfortunately, I never did a post welcoming people to the blog. However, Life of us…

Acting On the Word...

Friday night, as I sat in bed watching T.V I heard the talk show host, explain that rules give us freedom. I had no idea what they were actually talking about, but by the time I got settled into bed, and paid attention to the lady on the Catholic channel, I had become fixed on this intriguing idea presented. Obviously, I had zoned out of the rest of her conversation, and when I had come to accept the idea, the host was saying good bye. As I woke up the next morning, again the thought-provoking idea repaid a welcomed visit and it became the focus of my thought for majority of the day.

     From the time of Moses to the the time of Jesus, their were more than 600 rules made by the Pharisees and scribes.  Most of them were conceived throughout history, personal desires by those in power, and over developments of certain laws. Very few (in proportion to the 600+) had originated from the time of Moses which are written in the pentateuch. By the time of Jesus, it was almost impossible…

Your Time to Choose

For the past five weekends we have journeyed through the "Bread of Life" discourse in the Gospel of John. On this path Jesus has gained followers, increased his popularity, multiplied loaves, and began teaching one of the most difficult subjects for his companions to hear. Today, we come to the conclusion of this discourse with a final question: to believe or to turn away. The great crowds that had once followed him and were amazed by him, have now become perplexed by His words and have left. However, Peter responding for the apostles, replies, " Who else can we go to Lord?"

     At the beginning of John 6, where we find the "Bread of Life" discourse, we read the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. Then, the large crowed follows Jesus for more. They realize the great event that had happened, and they wanted more signs to believe. However, Jesus sees through their words and knows that their need for sig…

Tuesday Prayer: St Michael The Archangel

St Michael the Archangel Defend us in battle. Be our protection against The malice and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him,  we humbly pray and do though O Prince of the heavenly host, By The power of God, Thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits Who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls AMEN 


Invitation To The Banquet

Earlier this past week the church celebrated the feast day of St Maximilian Kolbe, a priest and martyr. St Maximilian was once quoted in saying, "If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." Maximilian was stressing, within this simple quote, the power, necessity, and specialness of the Eucharist, that it would make even the angels jealous. For the past five weeks within the Sunday lectionary, we have heard the "Bread of Life" discourse from the deeply theological Gospel of John. This discourse is the first theological work on the Eucharist, the bread of life. Within this discourse we begin to develop our Eucharist celebrations, traditions, and reasoning.

     The first reading illustrates for us the beauty and hard work of lady wisdom preparing for a banquet. Wisdom prepares the meal, and calls us to the banquet, and is critical that we leave behind our immaturity so that we might live and fully participate of her prepa…

Prayer For Those In China

Heavenly Father,  We pray for those whom are affected  by the explosions in China.  We pray for the safety of the people living there,  and for the healing of those who have been hurt.  Grant eternal Rest, we pray, to those whom have been taken by this horrific event.  Send forth your spirit to comfort those who remain, and to those scared by the horrors of this event. We pray for the people in China, that your protective mantle may cover them, and assist them in their time of need.   We ask this through Christ our Lord.  AMEN.

ps. You can watch the video, and read the article about the explosion here from CNN.

Turning Back To Our Source!

I would say one of the most quoted lines from the Documents of the Second Vatican Council by Catholics (including bishops and lay people bloggers) is that "the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life" (Lumen Gentium 11) This quotes teaches us that the Eucharist, which is the body of Christ, must be received by his gathered people, which make up the living body of Christ. The Eucharist is the churchs foundation, it is the source where accomplishment, acceptance, unification and compassionate hearts are formed and fed among its members. The Eucharist, also is the peak of the mountain, the most incredible thing that is truly the summit, of a Christians life. The readings this weekend express the need for our source, and who the source is.


     The conclusion of the first book of Kings is dominated with Elijah and his travels. Currently, Elijah is running from his antagonistic counter part Queen Jezebel (who is married to the king, king Ahab) who has threat…

"Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread..."

Currently in El Salvador the country is in their rainy season. A season where normally floods happen, crops thrive, and people have full supply. However, going there, we saw the exact opposite. They are in a major drought, crops are dying, and the water is being rationed. The existence of climate change is not debated-it's a known fact. Normally the water is rationed- about every 2-3 days people would receive water and store it in large jugs for showers, dishes, and other utility uses. If they turned on the tap, it normally wouldn't spew out water until they get their next supply of water.  However, the week before we arrived water hadn't gotten to the homes, school, and restaurant in a week. Everyone was running out of water. They live with an uncertainty of when they will receive water and therefore, ration water at their own homes, making it last for as long as possible. However, being there, no one ever complained to us about it, we were just informed about it. It…

Following the Crowd....

Last Tuesday I had landed safely in the evening back in Canada after my two week mission trip in El Salvador. It was: a unique, eye opening, culture shocking, life changing experience. From the moment we had left the airport and headed to our hotel, I was immediately shocked by the amount of barbed wire that was on top of every fence, gate, or wall.  El Salvador is a high-crime country, and so people set up barbed wire coils, and fences to protect their property. However, something more significant stuck out to me, not right away, but over time, is how important, precious, and open El Salvadorians are about their Catholic faith. On the back of the school busses that they use for public transportation, their are images of Jesus on the cross, or will have bible verses on them. On many walls of building their will be painted bible verses, Blessed Oscar Romero quotes, or a picture of Romero, or a saint. All of the restaurants we went to had pictures of the Last Supper, or of at least…

Tuesday Prayer: Give Me Strength Lord

Lord, you are Holy above all others, and all of the strength that I need is in your hands.  I am not asking, Lord, that you take this trial away. Instead, I simply ask that Your will be done in my life. Whatever that means, that is what I want.  But I admit that it's hard, Lord.  Sometimes I feel like I can't go on. The pain and the fear are too much for me, and I know that I don't have the strength on my own to get through this.  I know that I can come to you, Jesus, and that you will hear my prayer. I know that it is not your intent to bring me to this point just to leave me in the wilderness alone.  Please, Lord, give me the strength that I need to face today. I don't have to worry about tomorrow.  If you just give me the strength that I need today that is all I need.  Keep me from sinning during this trial. Instead, help me to keep my eyes on you. You are the Holy Lord, and all of my hope rests in you.  Thank you for hearing my prayer.  In Jesus' name.
 Amen.

_…

Tuesday Prayer: Travellers

Heavenly Father,  I am presently embarked on a journey in pursuit of some good.  Grant that I may travel in safety,  without undue disturbance or worry, and ultimately attain the goal I seek. 
Let me also keep in mind  that I am on another and more important journey-through life.  Keep me ever safe and close to You  as I travel the sometimes hazardous road toward your kingdom in heaven. 
Enable me to follow the guidelines given us by Your Son Jesus  so that I may arrive safely at my eternal destination  with You in heaven. 
St Anthony, Pray for us! St Raphael, Pray for us! St Joseph, Pray for us!
Amen
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Just a quick note: 
     Early this morning I have left on a Mission trip to El Salvador. I will be their for two weeks!  I will be working in one community and assisting them. I am going with a group of people from multiple schools. Posts about the trip, and pictures will be published when I get back on July 14th. Normal Sunday posts have been schedule…

A Touch of Faith

A couple years ago a long time parishner had left this world, to join the heavenly father. She was an elderly lady and was a parishner since the openings of the parish. She sat in the same second pew every day when she came for Mass, and would be behind everyone in saying the responses. She was a lively women who had loved to talk to people and extend a warm smile to everyone. One thing in particular that I remember about this women was her faith. When she walked in to the church, she had a routine, and she stuck with it. Before she would say hello to anyone, she would walk in, mark herself with holy water, walk over to the blessed sacrament chappel bow, and has she headed to her spot she would bow to the Altar. Only then, would she start to smile, wave and talk to people already their. She had placed her faith first and it was so evident.

      Today, we hear, in the Gospel, two healing stories that took place. We are firstly introduced to the situation for the second miracle at…