Homilies

Anniversaries of Priestly Ordination

When we were preparing the liturgies for this joint celebration of our anniversaries of ordination, Fr. Bertoli and I both agreed that the suggested Gospel of the day – Jesus’ parable of the “dishonest steward”, the corrupt manager who, when he learns he is about to be fired, “cooks the books” to give himself an exit strategy with his master’s debtors, might not be the ideal text to have to preach on!!

Three Parables

The French novelist Charles Peguy famously wrote that if, in some tragic cataclysm, all the copies of the Bible were lost, and only the one page containing the parable of "The Prodigal Son" was salvaged, we would still know the God whom Jesus Christ came to reveal, and could eventually reconstruct the entire Gospel message.  It is a text not only of literary genius, but layers upon layers of depth and meaning. 

Lord, it is good to be here

“Lord, it is good to be here.” These words of St. Peter, uttered in awe at the manifestation of Christ’s glory at his Transfiguration, express well how we feel as we come together this weekend to give thanks and praise to God in this Eucharist, and especially as we celebrate our beloved Fr. Adelchi Bertoli’s 65 years of faithful service as a priest, of which the last 50 have been spent right here at St. Monica’s.

There is a Martha and a Mary inside each of us

Unexpected guests arrive at your door.  What do you do?  Jump up, Martha Stewart-like, immediately ready to entertain?  Rejoice internally in the prospect of good time spent with friends?  Curse at the re-arrangement of previously-made plans for the day which will now have to be rescheduled into an already too-full week?  Or stay very quiet, and pretend that nobody is home, in the hope that they will go away?

We ask forgiveness for our indifference

A few years ago, in a story that shocked our city, a 17-year old girl was savagely beaten and left for dead near the Vendome Metro.  Apparently, she lay there for hours.  For who knows what reason – busyness, fear, apathy, confusion, hard-heartedness – her plight was ignored.  She remained in a coma for many months.  We do not know who her assailants were.  We do not know the motivations or the stories of those who walked by and literally did not see her, or of those who did see her, but looked the other way.  The report showed that although we are capable of great compassion in some instances, we can also be oblivious to human suffering in our midst, indeed on our very doorsteps.  

Listening for the call of God

“The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  How often we have heard these words and how often Catholics have appropriated these words by simply praying that God send them priests or nu

The cost of freedom

On this Canada Day weekend, Paul’s words have great resonance for us.  They speak to us of a God whose desire is to help us come to true freedom.  But what is this freedom of which Paul speaks?  For what kind of freedom has Christ set us free?  And what might this have to do with us as we celebrate our national holiday this weekend? 

Transformed in the Spirit

Three years ago, when we met as parish leaders to discern our future orientations, we reflected on a video of Pope Francis’ Pentecost homily to the lay movements and associations in the church. In the ensuing discussion, we discerned a call to embark upon a three-year journey into the “New Evangelization.”  As you may remember, we began with a focus on encountering Jesus, both in the Word and in our daily lives; we continued by deepening that relationship through growth in Prayer and by embracing Sacramental Living; finally, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we give witness to our faith by living our mission: to live and proclaim God’s mercy in the church and in the world. Jesus, Prayer, Mission: quite the program!  So what’s next?

Justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ

Luke’s Gospel today gives us a wonderful insight into who our God is.  When we enter into this Gospel we begin to catch a glimpse, through a glass darkly, as Paul says elsewhere, into the beautiful mystery of God.  A great theologian, Hans Kung, wrote a book entitled On Being a Christian published some years (1979) ago and although I have not read it for many years, a question he poses has always remained with me. 

The union of two good forgivers

Having been married to my beautiful loving wife PattyAnn for almost 50 years,-- 49 years, 9 months and 1 day, and some hours to be exact,-- Father Ray thought I would be the best one to preach at this celebration. Marriages are parodied, praised, cursed, blessed and form the plots of movies and TV sitcoms. Many poets and writers  have written countless pages about marriage. Here ‘s a little sampling of what they have said:

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