Jay's Articles

Philip shares his faith in dramatic manner

Ralph Himsl

May 12, 2014
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 25, 2014

Almost always I accept the selection of the readings for the Mass without question. The liturgists have a good reason for their choice, I tell myself. But today, while reflecting on the readings for May 25, a question arose: just what guides the choice for the selections for a Sunday, anyway? Not expecting an answer, the mere posing of the question can soothe the restless mind. But should any stirring of curiosity linger, an impertinent response can pop up, "Maybe the Holy Spirit chose them."

Fair Elections Act is still unfair

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May 12, 2014

The federal Conservative government has made some headway in improving the so-called Fair Elections Act with its recent spate of amendments. However, it still has a long road to travel before it arrives at its intended destination of providing the basis for fair elections in Canada. In carrying out investigations of election fraud, the chief electoral officer still lacks the power to compel witness testimony. Without that power, the electoral officer may frequently have his or her hands tied in fully investigating matters that come forward.

Faith communities must challenge threats to democracy

Joe Gunn

May 12, 2014

It is a real conundrum. When should faith community leaders speak out on social issues of concern? Surely, nobody wants religious leaders to opine on every issue. And, honestly, don't we bristle if faith leaders express an opinion somewhat opposed to our own? So how does Church leadership decide which issues are most crucial, and then when and how to speak? In their 2008 Federal Election Guide, the Canadian bishops wrote, "As Canadian citizens, Catholics have an obligation to be interested in politics. They should exercise this civic responsibility by becoming involved in the electoral process and especially by voting."

Archbishop MacNeil still helping us grow together into Christ

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April 28, 2014

Archbishop Joseph MacNeil is 90. Good grief! Like many people in this diocese, I can say that I knew him when he was in his 50s. Time passes, and we're all much older now than we were then. There are many memories, but one that stands out might seem mundane. I knew almost from the day I walked in the door what his episcopal motto was – Let us grow together into Christ, which he took from Ephesians 4.15. More than a personal motto, it was something engraved on the heart of the local Church during MacNeil's 26 years as archbishop of Edmonton.

Voices of the tortured must be remembered as an Easter song

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

April 28, 2014

Easter is about many things. We celebrate God's power to overcome death, sin, and injustice, but we also celebrate the voices and wounds of the ones who died on Good Friday. To illustrate this, I would like to recount one such voice, that of an anonymous young woman who was brutally raped and murdered by the Salvadoran military in 1981, at a place fittingly called La Cruz. The story was reported by Mark Danner, a journalist.

Hope found in the Word, breaking of Bread

Maria Kozakiewicz

April 28, 2014
Third Sunday of Easter
May 4, 2014

Two disciples of Jesus walk away from Jerusalem, sad and disappointed. Their hopes of rebirth of the great kingdom of Israel have been dashed. The great prophet, "mighty in deed and word before God and all the people," has been killed. Jesus walks beside the disciples unrecognized and, at first, just listens to their words, their selfish complaints. They do not pity the Crucified, they pity themselves. "But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel." They are egocentric, like all of us.

Christ's resurrection was a bodily one

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April 28, 2014

Despite our faith, we still have a hard time making sense of Easter. What has happened to Christ's body that he can pass through walls, but still eat food? He is not a ghost, but neither is he a material being in the way that we understand matter. Over the course of history, some heavy thinkers have been tempted to give up on Easter. The resurrection, some say, was not bodily; there was no empty tomb. The resurrection was more like a brilliant inspiration given from on high that helped Jesus' disciples make sense of the time they spent with him. It was a spiritual empowerment that spurred them to go forth and spread the Gospel.

Bishops eager to celebrate with pope, but got a lesson in prayer

Bishop Fred Henry

April 28, 2014

As auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of London, I made my first ad limina visit in 1987. An ad limina visit is made every five years by diocesan bishops. It entails venerating the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, officially visiting the four major basilicas, meeting with various officials of the Secretary of State, the curia and their respective congregations, pontifical councils and tribunals. The unquestionable highlight is, of course, meeting the successor of Peter, the bishop of Rome who, in this case, was Pope John Paul II.

Jesus 'herds' us with his gentle voice

Kathleen Giffin

April 28, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 11, 2014

One of the things I have long appreciated in Roman Catholicism is our valuing of human life in all its dimensions. I'm not referencing "respect for life" but rather the stance that looks out upon all that it is to be human, accepting and embracing and declaring it to be good. We value culture, art, music. We value our bodies, we enjoy the feast with good wine, and we value the simple loaf of bread, fresh baked. Our natural human lives, lived in nature, connected with the seasons and patterns of growth and decay is the context in which we live, and it is a way that God powerfully speaks to us.

Thank God for the gift of evildoers

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April 28, 2014

One of the greatest spiritual challenges Christians face is the evildoer, especially the one who is doing evil to me. It's hard to turn a blind eye to these vipers, hard to ignore their provocations. Yet, if we are to have any peace ourselves and if the world itself is to achieve peace, we at the very least have to pick our battles judiciously. Better still, if we see them within the perspective of eternity, we will realize they are no more than irksome flies, annoying little gnats whose day will soon pass.