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From the category archives: Opinions

Maria Kozakiewicz

Devil's linking God to death destroys faith

Maria Kozakiewicz
June 15, 2015
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 28, 2015

God did not make death nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. The devil is a persuasive liar. One of his greatest victories takes place when he persuades us that God is the source of death, that he sends death upon us. If accepted as an article of faith, the belief that "God made death" becomes a huge wrecking ball. I know many people who, having lost a parent or a beloved sibling, especially at an early age, turned their backs upon God permanently.

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The Spirit's truth brings new life

Maria Kozakiewicz
May 18, 2015
Pentecost
May 24, 2015

Pentecost is one of the most powerful and mysterious feasts in the liturgical calendar. It is also the least understood. Unlike Christmas and Easter, Pentecost lacks visual symbols that would make it easier to comprehend. It does not appeal to non-Christians, and thus (thankfully) it does not yield to commercialism. Pentecost is about what is "within" us, not "without." Can the unbelieving world capture the wind of the Spirit rushing through the world? Can even we, the baptized, visualize what really happens in the coming of the Spirit?

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Serving as Christ's disciple can mean paying a heavy price

Maria Kozakiewicz
April 6, 2015
Third Sunday of Easter
April 19, 2015

Peter is talking to a crowd, among which no doubt are those who had demanded that Jesus die. He is a witness to the death and resurrection of Christ. The people he is addressing can kill him or believe him. As he faces his inability to stay silent about the Saviour, and overcomes the natural fear of those who had already murdered once, he himself grows in faith to become the rock.

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In the midst of darkness, God's love shines forth

Maria Kozakiewicz
March 9, 2015
Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 15, 2015

This Sunday's readings can be frightening. When I read about the many transgressions of Jerusalem and the punishment that had to come and did come, I could not help thinking about our own times. If the Chosen People who did not know Jesus, who were not given the Holy Spirit, were so severely treated by God, what about us? We have the Gospels, the sacraments, the Holy Spirit and the 2,000-year tradition of the Church.

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Innocent suffering helps save the world

Maria Kozakiewicz

January 26, 2015
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 8, 2015

I have just talked to my friend who works with severely handicapped children. One of them, a girl aged 13, died suddenly, after a life of cruel limitations and suffering. As my granddaughter is the same age, my heart trembled at the thought of what the girl's family must be going through. Suddenly this unknown child became very dear to me. The early teens is the most beautiful time of a child's growth, comparable with the budding of roses or gentle unfolding of leaves on trees in April. I thought about Job, the symbol of suffering, and also about another small girl, whose dresses, toys and other simple mementos I saw in a church in Rome.

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Pagan Magi retained a sense of wonder

Maria Kozakiewicz

December 29, 2014
Epiphany
January 4, 2014

The star of Bethlehem, which shines in the Gospel of Epiphany, has long puzzled me. The ancient pagans of both East and West believed in oracles, dreams and prophetic utterances. They believed that gods communicate with people through nature and that the stars are part of this mysterious language as they may predict events to come. Thousands of years before Jesus was born, sign interpretation became a specialized art. Most of it was obviously fraud. Popular forms of divination were rejected by the Jewish faith, although it admitted the existence of some God-inspired individuals and a few God-sent dreams.

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I am useless as a leveler of hills, filler of valleys

Maria Kozakiewicz

December 1, 2014
Second Sunday in Advent
December 7, 2014

When Advent comes with its message of "prepare the way for the Lord," I panic. Not because of the message of the final days. In my mind this vision is inseparable from expectation of rest, peace and joy – and the meeting with love incarnate. The levelling of hills and filling up of ditches is what worries me. In my life I see nothing but ditches and hills, not a bit of a smooth road built. How is Jesus to come to me through these thorny brambles? How will he cross the stagnant lake of my sloth? And, if I want him to come, where do I start? Is there a place where he will be able to set his foot in me?

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Roman basilica a sign of emperor's gratitude

Maria Kozakiewicz

November 3, 2014
Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
November 9, 2014

The huge Lateran Basilica whose anniversary of dedication we celebrate this Sunday has a long, interesting history. bA nice villa once stood there. Then, beginning in the second century, the land housed the barracks of the imper-ial cavalry bodyguard. The end of the third century and start of the fourth saw the most cruel and massive persecutions of Christians ever. Hundreds of thousands died in horrible ways because they refused to renounce Jesus. The Church seemed to be dying.

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Guests should accept the king's invitation

Maria Kozakiewicz

October 6, 2014
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 19, 2014

He (the king) dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come." The guests should come to the feast. The ancient world was not as well fed as we are, at least those who live in the West today. Every five years or so, people starved, due to drought, excessive rain or war. Even at the best of times, daily meals were simple. Often months would pass with little or no meat on the table. That is why a feast became the universal symbol of heavenly delights. The wedding feast, of all feasts, was supreme.

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The cross brings life amidst our turmoil

Maria Kozakiewicz

September 8, 2014
Triumph of the Cross
September 14, 2014

The story of the bronze serpent made by Moses and mounted on the pole has its own sequence of events. The tragedy begins, as always, in growing forgetfulness of God and lack of gratitude. As life in the desert gets tougher, the thoughts of the wanderers shift from God's past miracles and focus on present dissatisfaction, the meagre food and the absence of the lush greenery of Egypt's delta.

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