Stewards of Time, Talent, and Treasure: In Life and Death
Fr. Raymond LafontaineOctober 31, 2015
Hallowe’en. All Saints’ Day. All Souls’ Day. As November reveals the signs of death in nature, so too it invites us to reflect on our own mortality, finitude, and vulnerability. Our Catholic faith takes death seriously. But it also teaches us that death is not the final answer. For Christians, death is not the end, but the final transition: it is the movement from the realm of time into eternity, from the imperfect vision of this world to the encounter with God “face to face”.
Our Commitment - Stewards of Time, Talent, and Treasure
Fr. Raymond LafontaineOctober 21, 2015
Over the past few weeks, we have reflected on the spirituality of stewardship from many different angles. We have listened as Marcelle, Iain and Simon gave witness to the way in which they share their time, talent, and treasure with our faith community. This week, we are all invited to commit ourselves anew to the support of our parish, by reading and praying over the commitment card placed in this week’s bulletin, and by returning it next week.
Stewards of God’s Gifts (Part 5) – The Gift of Families
Fr. Raymond LafontaineOctober 14, 2015
This coming Wednesday (October 21) at 7:00 p.m., we will have a panel discussion entitled “Families Reaching Out to Families: A Conversation about Family Life.” I am grateful that my friends Cathie and Tony, Claire, Corey and Cathy, and Corey-Anne and Cal, who represent a diversity of family configurations, will enter into dialogue with us about where they meet God in their family, why belonging to the church is important to their family, and what we as church can do to reach out with greater sensitivity to people in their life situation
Stewards of God’s Gifts (Part 4) – An Attitude of Gratitude
Fr. Raymond LafontaineOctober 8, 2015
With the exception of Christmas, no other holiday conjures up the image of family life as does Thanksgiving. Mother, father, children – perhaps grandparents and a few uncles and aunts as well – gathered around a table, sharing the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie, thanking God for his bountiful generosity: for food on the table, for love around the table. If only it were such for all families!
Things are starting up in a big way at St. Monica’s! Two weeks ago, Brent Walker led an inspiring retreat day, inviting us to embrace our mission to live as “people of the Way.” Last weekend, we began a new year of Faith First, welcoming back the children, sharing with the whole community the many ways in which we as adults can grow and deepen our faith through the coming year.
Stewards of God’s Manifold Gifts – Part 2: Our Time
Fr. Raymond LafontaineSeptember 23, 2015
As I sit writing this reflection, Pope Francis is on the lawn of the White House in Washington D.C., addressing President Obama and the American people on some of the major challenges facing North American society. He invites us to be good stewards of the earth, “our common home”; to defend and promote authentic religious liberty; and to cultivate solidarity and integral human development, so that the freedom and dignity of all God’s children may be honoured and respected.
Stewards of God’s Manifold Gifts – Part 1: Our Talents
Fr. Raymond LafontaineSeptember 16, 2015
Things are happening at St. Monica’s! Two weeks ago, we unveiled our new banner and presented our theme for the upcoming pastoral year: OUR MISSION – SENT FORTH TO LIVE AND PROCLAIM GOD’S MERCY. Last weekend, as we celebrated our “Welcome Back” Sunday with coffee, muffins, hot dogs and lemonade after each Mass, Brent Walker preached an inspiring homily, calling us to ponder our response to Jesus’ question “Who do you say that I am?”, and inviting us to come away for a retreat day in which we “put ourselves in the Way of God’s love.” What a great way to begin our new pastoral year!
In today’s second reading, the apostle James challenges us to express our faith through works. He stresses the “corporal works of mercy”: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, welcoming the stranger. Without such concrete action, “faith by itself, without works, is dead.” Strong and uncompromising words, which echo Jesus’ invitation in the Gospel to take up our cross each day and follow him!
The readings this weekend share as their common theme God’s invitation: “Be opened!” The prophet Isaiah foretells a time in which God will open the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, the tongues of the mute, and the dry desert springs. The apostle James invites us to be open to the needs of the poor, and to open our eyes to the ways in which we show favoritism to the rich and powerful. Finally, in the Gospel, Jesus opens the ears and loosens the tongue of a man born deaf and mute, and invites those who witness this healing to a deeper faith in God’s power to save.