Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Word Made Flesh

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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God's storm is the pangs of a new birth

Brett Fawcett
June 15, 2015
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 14, 2015

Today's Gospel reading tells the familiar story of Jesus, asleep in the boat in the midst of a storm, awakened by his agitated apostles to calm the wind and the waves. Mark presumably recorded this story as a consolation to the persecuted Church, but what consolation are believers supposed to derive from it? Are we supposed to assume that Jesus will calm all the turbulent problems of our lives?

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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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Eucharistic presence transforms hearts

Lydia Cristini
June 1, 2015
Corpus Christi
June 7, 2015

Theoretically, the Eucharist is one of my favourite topics. Ever since I attended a Youth 2000 retreat the summer before my Grade 12 year, the Eucharist has been a central, if not the central, focus of my faith life. Until then, no one had told me the meaning of the wafer and wine I took at Mass, at least not in a way I really understood. At 17, when the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal told us about the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it changed my life.

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We plant seeds and God makes them grow

Kathleen Giffin
June 1, 2015
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 14, 2015

We planted some seeds in the garden a few days ago, my granddaughter and I. She carefully laid the pea seeds one after another in a row all by herself. Together we scattered the tiny carrot and lettuce seeds. She has been over to the vegetable patch a few times since then to check on their progress; the spinach peeked through yesterday but still no sign of the peas, which of course she is most interested in.

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