Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Word Made Flesh

Fear drowns out God's guiding voice

Brett Fawcett
September 6, 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
September 13, 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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Bread plays many roles in the biblical story

Maria Kozakiewicz
July 27, 2015
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 2, 2015

This Sunday's readings are all about bread. In our day, bread is maligned as a dangerous source of deadly carbs. But for at least 10,000 years, bread, as opposed to meat, was the food of civilized humans. Bread was the staple food of humanity and thus became a powerful symbol of goodness, plenty and also of home.

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Only Jesus' presence heals our brokenness

John Connelly
July 27, 2015
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 9, 2015

In this week's Gospel Jesus says, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." The simple truth is that all of us need this heavenly bread. We are hungry. We are broken. We are needy. Just think of all the ways we try to deny and hide this great hunger in our souls. Alcohol and drugs. Saturating our life in media. Distractions and entertainment of all kinds.

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Demands to serve come at awkward times

Kathleen Giffin
July 13, 2015
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 19, 2015

My life is busy, too busy perhaps. So it was a welcome rest to have the opportunity last month to go on a train trip with my husband to a quiet place for a few days. It was about as leisurely and relaxed as a holiday can be; extra time for prayer, for walks, for rest and reconnection. On our way home on the train, sitting in our seats reading, a young man approached and asked my husband if he was a pastor, as he saw that Gary was reading a small book that looked like a Bible.

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God blesses others through your little prayers

Brett Fawcett
July 13, 2015
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 26, 2015

One sometimes hears it said that in the Old Testament, God's laws were harsh and demanding, full of difficult works, in contrast to the New Testament, where things are much easier. Now, instead of bloody sacrifices and kosher food laws, all we have to do is love one another. As though that were easier.

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Listen to the still voice within

John Connelly
June 29, 2015
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 5, 2015

In this week's Gospel the Scripture says of Jesus, "He was amazed at their lack of faith" (Mark 6.6). The very people who should have received Jesus and listened to him did not. They were blind to the reality before them. God stood among them but they could not see. Even Jesus, the Son of God, was amazed by this phenomenon.

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Prophetic voices offer us new truths

Lydia Cristini
June 29, 2015
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 12, 2015

Today's First Reading is an example of God sending a prophet to communicate his will to his people. This prophet is an unlikely candidate and is rejected. Jesus told us no prophet is accepted in his hometown. Who are the prophets of our own age? Who are the people speaking God's truth? On a global scale, it is safe to say today's prophets include people who speak out for the voiceless, the poor, the rejected, the different, the displaced, the disenfranchised, the de-humanized.

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