From the category archives: Columns

Word Made Flesh

Toss out preconceptions and hear God's word

Kathleen Giffin

January 23, 2012
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 29, 2012

One characteristic of this era is the overemphasis and reliance on our own perspective and ability to understand as the means by which we determine what is right and good. It comes, I think, from the natural tendency of the brain to order data, reach conclusions and make judgments based on those conclusions.

Yet if that normal means of understanding reality is not tempered by a humility which acknowledges the limitations in our ability to grasp the fullness of truth, we can end up seriously disoriented.

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People of Nineveh repented with flair

Maria Kozakiewicz

January 16, 2012
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 22, 2012

I love the readings of this Sunday. They are like three wholesome dishes that need to be tasted separately, yet they form one wonderful meal.

First, Jonah, my favourite prophet, warns the people of Nineveh of impending doom and the need for penance. He has little love for the people to whom he brings this message, but he obeys God's command.

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The roots of the feast of Mary, Mother of God

Ralph Himsl

December 26, 2011
Mary, the Mother of God
November 1, 2011

I have a lament of sorts: with the investment that society has made in the formal education given me, supplemented by decades of experience, travel, mistakes, reading, study and dare I say it, thinking (?), it grieves me that I should know so little.

I see for example, the note in my Sunday Missal that on Jan. 1, we observe the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on this World Day of Prayer for Peace.

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Use your time, talent, treasure for Jesus

John Connelly

December 19, 2011
December 25, 2011

Imagine if Jesus were born anew in this world today. Imagine God being a baby in our midst. Imagine the Word Made Flesh here and now. Imagine the greatest light of human history shining in the darkness of our times.

Our world today has many similarities to the time when Jesus was born. Oppression. Fear. Spiritual darkness.

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God will answer prayers in his own way

Kathleen Giffin

December 12, 2011
Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 18, 2011

There is a pink pencil in the pen holder on my husband's desk. It is 23 years old now, and holds special significance to us because it is the last of those handed out to our friends on the occasion of the birth of our second child.

The days and weeks after her birth were a difficult time for us, for she was diagnosed with a heart defect and Down Syndrome the day she was born. Airlifted to the city, medical interventions, developmental supports, more hospitalizations all followed in the succeeding months.

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Mary's spirit rejoices in God her Saviour

Maria Kozakiewicz

December 5, 2011
Third Sunday in Advent
December 11, 2011

There are few words of Mary, mother of God, preserved in Scripture. She is the quietest of biblical women and although she is Jesus' first and the longest-serving disciple and also the one who stood by him under the cross, we hardly hear her voice.

There is the simple question she asks the angel Gabriel: "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" and then comes her consent: "Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word."

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Celebrate the virtue of each Advent week

Ralph Himsl

November 28, 2011
Second Sunday in Advent
December 4,2011

Some traditions assign particular, how shall I say – virtues to each Sunday in Advent: hope, peace, joy, love for each of the first to the fourth respectively.

Memory tells me that we mark the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, quite in line with the tradition. As Catholics, we have a leaning toward historical roots that prefer Latin for an idea when we wish to assign it a special elegance. So we refer to the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, always with the explanation, "Gaudete means rejoice".

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Advent: we wait for Jesus to put things right

John Connelly


November 21, 2011
1st Sunday in Advent
November 27, 2011

Advent is a season of waiting. So we wait. We wait for the day when Jesus will set all things right. We wait for the day when love, mercy and justice will prevail. We wait for the day when the fruits of our faith will be manifest for all to see.

It is hard to wait. It is hard to see and feel the pain in this passing world. But it is precisely in this state of imperfect existence that we learn the most important lesson.

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Christ is King, on earth, as in heaven

 Lasha Morningstar

November 14, 2011
Christ the King
November 20, 2011

Mention monarchy and most folk's ears perk up. The most recent bit of chatter came out of Perth, Australia, when Commonwealth leaders gathered to discuss items of common interest.

England's Prime Minister David Gordon proposed changes to allow a royal's daughter to be queen, changing a centuries' old rule that said sons took precedence over older sisters.

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Wounded warrior still fought injustice

Kathleen Giffin

November 7, 2011
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 13, 2011

Father Dajczer, in his book The Gift of Faith, writes about the parable of the talents, the Gospel for this Sunday. He states that the talents God gives us are not just gift and material, but opportunity. Opportunity is found especially in the absence of things and in suffering.

He says that God is continually bestowing his gifts upon us, and that how we use those gifts, especially the gift of difficult experiences, is the way that we are transformed. It is easy to see the possession of certain "talents" or abilities as gift; but what about sickness as a talent, or the pain of loss as the gift with which to transform our world and us?

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