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?
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
Deacon Richard HaberJune 12, 2016
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.
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:
Good morning! Happy birthday! Pentecost Sunday celebrates the beginning of the Church and marks the end of the Easter season with the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Today’s Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is a “transitional” feast”: it is at once about letting go, and about the promise of new beginnings. One story comes to a close: the Gospel, the time in which Jesus is present and visible to the eye of the flesh. Another story begins: the Acts of the Apostles, in which the Holy Spirit is the prime mover. The principle of continuity between the two stories is the person of Jesus, who says "Remember, I am with you always, to the end of time." The difference lies in the form of his presence: from now on, the followers of Jesus discern his presence in the world not by his physical body, but through his empowering and indwelling Spirit.
"Whatever was, will be again; what has been done will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun."
Believe it or not, that's from the Bible! In this melancholy text, the Preacher of Ecclesisastes laments the futility of life, its endless cycle of repetitions, humanity's inability to learn from its mistakes. He sounds really depressed!