Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Word Made Flesh

Tiny crucifix restores faith, soul

Maria Kozakiewicz
October 12, 2015
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 18, 2015

I have a little crucifix on the wall above my desk. Nothing much, some 15 cm high and made of plastic. I found it on a top shelf at a Goodwill store, where odd figurines, strangely shaped cups and plaster Christmas trees await an interested eye. The crucifix was almost invisible, as it lay flat between a large, colourful merry-go-round and a statuette of a wizard holding a glass bowl.

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Cry out for mercy, Jesus will answer

John Connelly
October 12, 2015
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 25, 2015

We all have a profound need for the mercy of Jesus in our lives. The human heart can never be fully awakened unless we encounter his mercy in a personal way. In this week's Gospel we read: "As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizeable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.

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Marriage demands a mother release her son

Kathleen Giffin
September 28, 2015
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 4, 2015

Thirty years ago when I married, I don't think I considered that I was not only taking on a new role as a wife, I was also taking on the role of being a daughter-in-law. In our culture, jokes about mother-in-laws abound: They are caricatured as being interfering, snoopy, critical and demanding.

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Entry to heaven takes a miracle

Brett Fawcett
September 28, 2015
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 11, 2015

Today's Gospel reading is one of the most important in the history of the Church's spiritual life. The rich young man who claims to have led a morally perfect life, yet leaves dejected after Jesus tells him that to gain the kingdom of God, he must sell everything he has, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow him. Does it mean that every follower of Jesus must literally sell all that they have in order to get into heaven?

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Be a lighthouse of hope in turbulent times

John Connelly
September 14, 2015
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 20, 2015

How would you and I respond if our financial system suddenly collapsed? I think all of us are aware there is always a possibility the greed and corruption in our world could eventually wreak havoc on our civilization. I am not writing this as a prediction but as an exercise for us to put things in biblical perspective. Jesus was clear: We cannot serve both God and money.

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Commandments make for a better world

Lydia Cristini
September 14, 2015
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 27, 2015

Most of the time, the precepts of the Lord don't give joy to my heart. I realize this is because I'm not holy enough. I suspect someone whose heart and will are truly united to Christ's really does experience joy when thinking about God's law. I am not one of those people.

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Fear drowns out God's guiding voice

Brett Fawcett
August 30, 2015
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 6, 2015

C.S. Lewis was a great writer who wrote powerful defences of Christianity. Yet when his wife died, he struggled to continue writing positively about God. "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear," said Lewis. To turn his observation around: No one ever told me fear felt so much like grief. In my experience, to be truly afraid - afraid for the future, afraid for a loved one, afraid of loving something or someone dear to you - is a lot like grief. You become numb to the world around you, and to the world within you.

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Walking the Gospel's talk takes deep faith

Maria Kozakiewicz
August 30, 2015
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 13, 2015

One advantage of prolonged foreign travel is that you meet many new people. They sit by you as you wait for your plane. They ask to share your table in a crowded restaurant. They share the same bench in the park. And they talk. They tell you their life's stories, share with you their joys and sufferings. Should you, God forbid, end up in a hospital, you hear stories so personal that you might even be a bit shocked. In southern Europe, Italy included, people are far less reticent than in Canada. The same applies to my native Poland.

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Many 'gods' tempt us in today's world

Lydia Cristini
August 17, 2015
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 23, 2015

"Decide today whom you will serve." Joshua sure doesn't mince words. So, whom do I serve? In one of my classes at St. Joe's College, I remember learning a useful Martin Luther quotation: "That to which your heart clings is your god." It is just another way of saying what Jesus said when he told us we cannot serve both God and money.

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Keep the poor ever in your heart and actions

Kathleen Giffin
August 17, 2015
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 30, 2015

I recently heard of a practice that has purportedly risen in Naples in response to the poor in their midst. People will buy a coffee or sandwich in the shops and pay for an extra one "pending." The people on the street know they can go to certain shops and ask if there are any coffees or lunches pending. If someone has paid ahead for one, they get what they need. It is a lovely idea.

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