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Lent

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This week we have begun the season of lent once again on Ash Wednesday. Lent, of course, is the season where we embark on the journey of faith towards the ultimate feasts during the paschal triduum. Due to the pandemic, your start to lent was probably notably different.  The church world wide was directed to follow the Italian way of sprinkling ashes on top of the head, instead of the cross on the forehead, as we are use to here in North America.  I for one defiantly miss the ash selfies this year which decorate Catholic social media during this season.   Maybe in your city or state, churches are limited in numbers and so the emptiness of the church was particularly noticed. Maybe you weren't even allowed to gather and the services were exclusively online, and that is an immense difference for us Catholics who find great importance in gathering as a community of faith, to express our faith, and share in the divine life God offers us as a community. Lent has already been and probabl

Be Perfect

Today the gospel ends with a strong, and seemingly impossible charge from Jesus, “ Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” How on earth are we realistically suppose to be perfect just like the loving, all good, all knowing all glorious God in heaven?  The word ‘perfect’   came from the Latin ‘perfectus’ which translates properly to ‘completeness’ or ‘accomplished’. Thus nothing is or can be perfect until the end; that is, until it has been properly completed. Think of when you have finished a painting, practiced a song on an instrument or have trained to do a trick in some sport. You only say perfect when it has been completed, when there are no more changes that need to be done.   Which means there is a necessary journey to reach the perfect. A journey that is filled with failures and good performances, with messiness, struggle and accomplishments. A journey that necessarily is filled with determination and dedication to reaching that perfect end. This i

Love Alive

In Todays Gospel we hear Jesus listing the laws that Judaism prescribes to and shines a new light on them. For our Jewish brothers and sisters, the law they follow is rooted within the Torah. The word ‘Torah’ comes from the Hebrew verb ‘instruction’ and thus describes the instructions of the first couple books of the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. The Torah is the book of instruction which reveals God’s will for them; it is a gift of the basic guidelines of life. Jesus today fleshes these laws out, and expands them beyond their surface level reading. He brings this new depth and how they are especially fulfilled in this new kingdom he sought to bring about. Every single one of these fleshed out instructions deals with, above all, the love in our day to day relationships. They call for the loving of others in a dramatic, dignified, practical and holy way. The instructions are filled with a meaning that respects the humanity, dignity and temple that each and every person is. Tha

SALT

Salt Every once and a while especially during midterm and final season, I often get a craving for those delicious and perfectly salty McDonalds French fries. They are just too perfect not to cave into the temptation to order an extra large and devour. They are so perfectly unique, and just perfectly salty that it leaves you wishing that the cardboard container was eternally bottomless. In todays Gospel we hear that familiar teaching from the sermon on the mount where Jesus calls us to be salt and light for the world.   Some of the parables that Jesus uses can often be foreign to us, as we are not familiar with the particular societal significance behind the symbols he uses. But today the symbolism and themes are clear: salt and light. They are both essential, and especially within the culture Jesus lived in. Salt was even more essential to preserve foods, and light was defined by the oil lamps as there was no electricity. A couple weekends ago we heard that it was Jesus

I Introduce to you, Jesus!

Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It has now been forty days since Christmas and by Jewish law it is time for Jesus to be brought to the temple for purification. At this time too, Mary and Joseph make a sacrifice and get a blessing from the prophets in the temple.  Interestingly, we hear of Anna, one of the few woman mentioned in the New Testament, being called a prophetess, the only woman in the New Testament who is designated as such. She stayed in the temple, constantly in prayer and fasting and praising God. Thus, People would have known who she was. She would have been recognized as that pious woman living in the temple. Upon seeing Jesus and his parents Anna  began to praise God and  “ speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” In the entire history of salvation, we hear of a woman as the first person who had an encounter with Christ and who  preached Christ to the crowds. Anna, the prophetess, is truly  the firs