Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. Often referred to as “Little Christmas,” Epiphany is in fact just as important as Christmas, as our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Christian churches know only too well.
That's What Christmas Is All about, Charlie Brown!
Fr. Raymond LafontaineDecember 25, 2015
We have just listened to the story of the birth of Jesus: “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. Mary and Joseph, angels and shepherds, sheep and oxen, a miraculous birth: we know the story so well. Throughout history, in virtually every culture that the Gospel message has penetrated, people have been so moved by this story, that they can never only “tell” the story: they act it out, they paint it, they carve it, and most of all … they sing it, in a thousand different songs. Though the story is old, in every generation, we find new ways of singing the ancient mystery, new stories to give expression to “the greatest story ever told”.
“Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, Gaudete” “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near.” These words from our opening prayer , taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians , is why we name this Sunday in Advent as ‘Gaudete Sunday’.
Waiting. Trusting. Hoping. On this second Sunday of Advent, our liturgy invites us to cultivate hope. Hope, described by French poet Charles Peguy as the “little sister” of faith and charity, is a tremendously important virtue to name and claim.
Stay awake! Be alert! Get ready! Repent! The readings of these first weeks of Advent press upon us with an urgency which frankly, I find disturbing. As I read these texts, I found myself thinking: Enough already! There’s already enough bad stuff happening in the world – te
It is a gift to be able to share a few reflections on today’s readings on this the last Sunday of our liturgical year. Today’s Sunday used to be called the ‘Feast of Christ the King” but has been renamed, ‘The Feast of Our lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe’, emphasizing that Jesus is s
This weekend and Monday, the Church celebrates the twin feasts of “All Saints” and “All Souls”. As early as the 4th century, the Church celebrated a solemn memorial of all martyrs. By the 9th century, this was extended to the whole Church as a way of honouringall the saints. Martyrs and confessors, monks and mystics, clergy and laity, men and women, famous or obscure, named or anonymous – all those whose lives and deeds inspire us, whose fidelity and holiness shine forth as examples of Christian life: all these are saints.
November is the month in which the Church commemorates our loved ones who have died. Secular culture, drawing on Celtic pagan rituals, has given us Hallowe’en: the night that the spirits run wild, that ghosts and goblins are on the loose.
“What is it you wish me to do for you?” Jesus asks each of us in today’s Gospel. What would we ask for? The culture we live in influences us as it did Jesus’ disciples. Would we ask for celebrity? More ‘likes’ on Facebook? More friends on social media? Would we ask to win the loto?