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Maria Kozakiewicz

Peter overcame revulsion to pagan Rome

Maria Kozakiewicz

June 23, 2014
Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
June 29, 2014

When you walk the Via Appia, hoping not to twist an ankle on the large, flat stones of this ancient road, it is hard not to think about St. Peter. His sandals must have trod the same stones, his eyes seen the same or similar sights. Both sides of this ancient road were lined with tombs at that time, the more ancient ones closer to the city gates. The huge cylindrical mausoleum of the wealthy aristocratic woman Caecilla Metella must have still gleamed with marble decorations, reliefs of once-sacrificed bulls' heads, and heavy swags of fruit and leaves.

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Rome offers reminders of deepest truths

Maria Kozakiewicz

May 26, 2014
Ascension of the Lord
June 1, 2014

Rome in May smells of roses, flowering vines and jasmine. Roof and balcony gardens overflow with greenery. Oranges shine through thick, dark leaves of trees. Streets of this huge, ancient city resound with noise that dies gradually well past midnight and for two hours only. Rome of the 21st century is constantly on the go, very much like New York, Toronto or any other leading metropolis. What differentiates it, however, from the secular, fast-paced world elsewhere is the visible and tangible presence of Christian faith. Even an atheist cannot avoid this experience. Faith is present in the tolling of 600 church bells every Sunday morning, the habits of nuns and brothers on streets, small shrines of Mary on walls of buildings.

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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.

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In time of suffering, trust in the Lord

Maria Kozakiewicz

March 31, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Lent
April 6, 2014

What were Mary's and Martha's thoughts during Lazarus' illness and dying? Those who have nursed a loved one during such time may know. On one side, there is the growing realization that the dreaded moment creeps closer and closer. On the other side, nursed by shreds of prayer and stories of miracles, there is childlike hope. Maybe, maybe, God will hear our pleas and those eyes that are closing will open, healthy and joyful. All will be well again. Maybe.

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Love of Confession must be developed early

Maria Kozakiewicz

March 3, 2014
First Sunday of Lent
March 9, 2014

I love Lent. All liturgical periods in the Church are full of wisdom, love and the beauty of God, but Lent, followed by Easter, is the summit of them all. It is the supreme homecoming for us, with the door thrown open to all by the Father. As migrant birds return to safety of familiar lakes and forests, we return to Jesus through the sacrament of Reconciliation. We become whole again.

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Salt of the earth should never lose its taste

Maria Kozakiewicz

February 3, 2014
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 9, 2014

Salt is a peculiar type of seasoning. It is invisible when dissolved yet essential for taste. We miss it even if we cannot see it.

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Christmas is season for public display of Christian faith

Maria Kozakiewicz

December 2, 2013
Second Sunday in Advent
December 9, 2013

It is freezing today. Thick snow covers our backyard, and in the hazy darkness of the morning I can see sparrows flock to the birdfeeder. I have to get up an hour earlier because of the icy roads.

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Jesus offers a heaven of never-ending love

Maria Kozakiewicz

November 4, 2013
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 10, 2013

Cold wind is stripping trees of their gold and green clothing, and my small garden looks more sad and bare with each day passing. Naked branches no longer hide the flock of sparrows at the feeder. Sometimes at night I can hear the distant farewell cry of Canada geese flying south.

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Our grave duty to save the lost sheep

Maria Kozakiewicz

September 9, 2013
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 15, 2013

The parable of a lost sheep shows vividly how God's logic is different from ours. Who would leave a large flock of healthy animals, on which one's annual income or ruin depend, to look for a stray sheep that may be already lost?

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Prayer represents 'the better part'

Maria Kozakiewicz

July 15, 2013
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 21, 2013

When my prayer life comes to a standstill and dryness overcomes my soul, I turn to an old prayerbook I brought to Canada over 20 years ago. The book is old and small, leather-bound with yellowed, thin pages, some of them falling out, others already missing and several sticking together so much that I have to separate them with pincers.

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