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From the category archives: Kathleen Giffin

Kathleen Giffin

Clear criteria divide sheep from goats

Kathleen Giffin

November 17, 2014
Christ the King
November 23, 2014

With the feast of Christ the King, we come to the end of the liturgical year and our last consideration of end things before returning to the expectation of Advent. The separation of the sheep from the goats, the Gospel passage chosen for this year, is the most sobering and challenging of Scriptures. It is Matthew's account of the final judgment and the criteria that will divide all people between those who will enter God's kingdom and those who will go to endless suffering. It is a simple criterion; either we respond to those in need, to those who suffer, or we don't. We either have compassion that is put into action to the extent we are able or we don't.

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Love lets you live outside the law

Kathleen Giffin

October 20, 2014
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 26, 2014

Several years ago I attended a presentation by Christopher West on the theology of the body. At one point he asked an audience member if he wanted to murder his wife. Everyone laughed and the man said no, he didn't want to murder his wife. Whereupon West said, "Then you don't need the law to prevent you from murdering your wife." The point, of course, is that the "law" is there to keep us conformed to God's ways when our heart is not yet in conformity with God's ways. When our heart and mind is in union with God, we no longer need the law to tell us what to do.

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A bad memory hangs in my closet

Kathleen Giffin

September 22, 2014
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 28, 2014

Somewhere in the back of my closet is a small cream coloured sweater, the kind of thing you would wear over a summer dress to cover your shoulders if it is cool out. I've never worn it; yet there are certain memories attached to it that are uncomfortable to recall. I purchased it in a consignment store in Calgary a few years ago. I was there on one of my periodic "have to buy new clothes for work" shopping trips. I had gathered up quite a number of items, all with good prices, and was in the last consideration of what I was going to take and what I would leave behind when a new customer came into the small shop.

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Protect us from false words of reassurance

Kathleen Giffin

August 25, 2014
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 31, 2014

This Sunday's Gospel contains Matthew's account of one of Peter's famous stumbles. Jesus had revealed the great events that lay before him, that it was soon time for him to go up to Jerusalem and undergo his suffering, death and resurrection. Peter is scandalized by those words and says to Jesus, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you."

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Be like a child and listen to God's word

Kathleen Giffin

July 21, 2014
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 3, 2014

Lately my three-year-old granddaughter and I have been having a conversation. It goes something like this: "Madi, you have to listen to your Mom, and do what she says. "If you want to have a happy day, then you need to listen. Your day will go better and you will get more of the things you want when you listen to your Mom."

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Root out every source of life in the flesh

Kathleen Giffin

June 23, 2014
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 6, 2014

The last few years I have had a "growing" problem in my garden. I have a larger than usual lot in town, with more flowerbeds than I actually have time to look after properly. There are several beds of perennials further away from the house, on the edge of the property, that don't get the same level of attention as the ones next to the house. The result is that whatever weed issue those beds have tend to get more entrenched every year.

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Suffering is a sign that God is still at work

Kathleen Giffin

May 26, 2014
Pentecost
June 8, 2014

The feast of Pentecost used to carry different significance for me than it does now. Pentecost was the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that expressed the excitement and hope I experienced in my life of faith. The Holy Spirit was the one who came in power, who transformed from uncertainty and bondage to freedom and mission. Life was easy, evidence of God's love abounded as the Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the ways of the Father. Pentecost reminds me of that time in my life, a time which I know many others have also experienced.

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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.

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Everyone walks their own Way of the Cross

Kathleen Giffin

March 31, 2014
Palm Sunday
April 13, 2014

My preparations for Easter this year have a unique dimension; I am planning the route for a visit to my father's wartime past in Holland, a route that I will begin Easter weekend. I have been looking through old papers and photographs, reading books, talking to people in Holland who are the children of men he knew there, researching the museums and memorials for the ones that hold the most significance.

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Faith is leaving the known for the unknown

Kathleen Giffin

March 16, 2014
Second Sunday of Lent
March 3, 2014

All of my children, when they were young, enjoyed the game of jumping off a high place so they could be caught by their father. My granddaughter has refined the game a little. She, at two and a half, doesn't jump, she falls. She will stand on the counter while her father lies on the floor nearby and simply fall into that space above him, absolutely certain that he will catch her.

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