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:

God Is Unity in Diversity

I believe it was Winston Churchill who once referred to the Soviet Union as “a mystery wrapped in an enigma.”  For many Catholics, when you ask them about the Trinity, you get a similar response.

Building Communities

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.

We are the ones who need to change

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.