Jay's Articles

How could evil arise in a family-oriented community?

Mark Pickup

April 6, 2015

The town was shocked! A young man was arrested in my community of Beaumont on terrorism-related charges. The story has been widely reported. According to one news source, the 17-year-old youth was charged with "attempting to leave Canada with the intention of joining the terrorist group ISIS to commit murder." Townsfolk could not believe that something like this could possibly touch our quiet family-oriented community. What were we to make of it?

The cross remains a scandal for us today

WCR Logo

March 23, 2015

Even after 2,000 years of Christianity, the cross is a scandal. Good Friday annually confronts us with the message St. Paul says "is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1.18). In many nations today, violence is a lived reality. War, terrorism, marginalization in poverty or homelessness, or simple abandonment by loved ones are defining characteristics of the lives of tens of millions of people.

All are on trial when Jesus faces the authorities

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

March 23, 2015

The biblical accounts of Jesus' passion and death focus very much on his trial, describing it in length and in detail. There is a huge irony in how it is described. Jesus is on trial, but the story is written in such a way that, in effect, everyone is on trial, except Jesus. The Jewish authorities who orchestrated his arrest are on trial for their jealousy and dishonesty. The Roman authorities who wield the final power are on trial for their religious blindness.

Jesus triumphed through power of the cross

Lydia Cristini

March 23, 2015
Palm Sunday
March 29, 2015

We all know the story. We hear it every year during Holy Week, twice. Jesus eats supper with his disciples, is betrayed, captured, falsely accused, wrongfully sentenced, brutally tortured, cruelly mocked and then is murdered on the cross. As with all stories we hear over and over, we can become too familiar with it. We can forget the scandal it is. The utter and complete failure it demonstrates. Jesus' mission was to help people hear and understand the Good News while he was on earth. But no one "got it." Not the people who followed him to hear him speak, not the lepers he cured, nor the lame people who walked, not even the 12 apostles, who spent day and night with him.

Federal sentencing bill seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist

WCR Logo

March 23, 2015

Government's most fundamental responsibility is that of protecting the common good. Part of that responsibility – in the Canadian system, it is a federal responsibility – is that of protecting the public order, including punishing the perpetrators of major crimes. Punishment serves three purposes. First and most important, it attempts to redress the disorder caused by the offence. The traditional term for such redress is retribution, widely misinterpreted as meaning revenge.

Silence is one of God's greatest gifts

Lasha Morningstar

March 23, 2015

Silence. That is one powerful word. When there is not a vestige of a sound, brain cells dance the synapse of thoughts, whirling through one's mind, opening secret doors, letting answers and truth fly out. Sometimes it can be joyful. Sometimes one staggers with pain. Silence is hard to come by in this clattering world. But oh is it precious.

We see road to heaven; its beauty is hidden

Kathleen Giffin

March 23, 2014
Resurrection of the Lord
April 5, 2015

When our children were little, we continued an Easter morning tradition that was part of my childhood. Somewhere in the house the children would find the beginning of a trail of small Easter candies, and they would gather together and begin to follow the path. There were all kinds of rules: they couldn't run on ahead to see where the trail ended, they had to follow the trail, one candy at a time, picking them up one by one in turn, oldest to youngest, or youngest to oldest. The ones who were more capable would help those who needed direction, patiently helping them to gather their candy in turn, slowly moving along the path until all the candies were gathered.

Vanier found the path to true happiness

WCR Logo

March 23, 2015

It is fitting that Jean Vanier's doctoral dissertation focused on Happiness as the Principle and End of Aristotelian Ethics. (See story, Page 5.) One can only wonder what he thinks of that topic now that he has spent 50 years happily living with mentally handicapped people. Happiness is the goal of human living, but how does one find it? For Aristotle, it is through a life of virtue.

Taxation must support the common good

Bob McKeon

March 23, 2015

Today in Alberta we find ourselves often talking about government budgets. Because of low oil prices, government revenues are down. Alberta relies heavily on ever-changing revenues from the sale of fossil fuels to balance its budget, between 15 and 40 per cent of total government revenues depending on the year. Of course, world oil and gas prices over the years rise and fall dramatically. When gas and oil prices are high, Alberta has budget surpluses.

In which Bethlehem was Jesus born?

Sr. Louise Zdunich

March 23, 2015

I was surprised recently to read a brief article that indicated we celebrate the wrong place for Jesus' birth as we read it in the Gospels with angels announcing his birth to the shepherds.