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Maria Kozakiewicz

We play many roles in story of prodigal son

Maria Kozakiewicz
August 29, 2016
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 11, 2016

The story of the prodigal son is well known to us perpetual old sinners who walk away from God, starve and return to him with the regularity of the tide. No retreat, no major homecoming confession takes place without it. It contains the essence of Christ's message - the never-ending, patient love and forgiveness of God faced with human weakness and ingratitude. Seemingly, our civilization was built on this story. Robinson Crusoe meditated on it on his lonely island; little Heidi in a well-known children's book pondered its beauty and felt comforted. Great painters strained imagination to show the moment when father embraces the kneeling son.

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Are we lucky to live in prosperous times?

Maria Kozakiewicz
July 25, 2016
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 31, 2016

"You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?" We all need a certain predictability to avoid major pitfalls in life. Still it is wise not to overdo the planning. Several people I know spare no effort to ensure they are in complete control of their lives. They live with pen and notebook in hand (or a laptop), and carefully plan their savings, investments and expenses. Everything they own is insured.

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Jesus gives freedom to be a 'failure'

Maria Kozakiewicz
June 13, 2016
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 26, 2016

Most of us fear poverty, especially in old age. Western Civilization is rooted in comfort of possessions and we instinctively strive to achieve it. Success in life is measured by what we own, not by what we are, because few people know what it means simply "to be." The standard minimum is a house with nice backyard, a good car, decent food and a vacation once in a while, preferably abroad. Not much - yet these things create our comfort zone. We tend to believe that this is what life owes us.

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In death, Cecilia showed belief in Trinity

Maria Kozakiewicz
May 16, 2016
Trinity Sunday
May 22, 2016

In an ancient, fifth-century Roman church in Trastevere lies the body of a young woman named Cecilia. Cecilia, a well-born, wealthy woman died because she would not renounce Christ. Her Roman persecutors tried to kill her discreetly, by suffocating her in her bath at home. The young woman survived and, while bearing the torture, sang. Finally, a soldier used his sword to cut her neck, but failed to kill her instantly. Her body was initially buried in the catacombs of St. Calixtus. After a few centuries, she was to be moved to the church in Trastevere.

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Martyrs' robes washed in blood of the Lamb

Maria Kozakiewicz
April 4, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Easter
April 17, 2016

"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Who are those "who have survived the time of great distress?" My first thoughts run towards persecuted Christians, especially those of our times. We read about them in the Christian press, rarely in the mass media. Their numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. Some names we know; others are known to God alone.

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Feeling of being sinless can surge up within

Maria Kozakiewicz
March 7, 2016
Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 13, 2016

Today's Gospel enriches us with one of the best known - and most misused - messages of Christianity: "Do not judge others. You are not sinless yourself." I have had it thrown in my face in countless discussions on hot moral topics. I must not speak against euthanasia or those who promote it because I am throwing stones at them. I must not speak against abortion and abortion providers because that means I judge them and "Christianity forbids judging." Jesus' words "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" are used as a gag, even by well-meaning people and devout churchgoers.

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God's call comes when least expected

Maria Kozakiewicz
January 25, 2016
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 7, 2016

Today's Gospel recounts Simon hearing the words "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." The message is cryptic and unexpected. Simon was not even part of the crowd listening to Jesus. Jesus entered his boat uninvited when Simon was preparing to go home, frustrated after a night of futile fishing. His life changed forever the moment Jesus stepped into his boat. He became a disciple, a priest and, eventually, the first pope.

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Ancestral traditions shallow without foundation of faith

Maria Kozakiewicz
December 21, 2015
Christmas Midnight Mass
December 24, 2015

You will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." I need Christmas - as most of us do - and I need it in winter. We, dwellers of the Northern Hemisphere who have been slipping into darkness for weeks, crave light and joy.

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Christ the King will come to judge the earth

Maria Kozakiewicz
November 9, 2015
Christ the King
November 9, 2015

Where will I be when Christ the King will come in glory? Shall I be alive or long dead, come from the bottom of purgatory? Shall I be fair and full of joy – or weeping and “gnashing my teeth?” Will our misguided humanity be utterly lost and confused by that time or will it have regained its moral compass and faith? Will my small cross that hangs above my desk be a hidden and forbidden object, the Church hidden underground and words of Mass whispered in the light of one candle? All these questions have no answers.

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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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