The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

33 Sunday in the year “C”

Today’s gospel begins with the disciples marveling at the glory of the Temple. It must have been something to see. The Temple they looked at was one of the wonders of the world. It was brand, spanking new. It had taken fifty years for Herod to rebuild the Temple. The original Temple, the Temple that Solomon built, was destroyed by the Babylonians at the beginning of the captivity in 588 BC. When the Israelite returned to Jerusalem around 528, the people had all to do to build shelters for themselves. It took about fifteen years for them to begin to build a new Temple. This was modest undertaking, merely adequate, but the best the people at the time could do. As the centuries progressed, this temple was enlarged and refurbished, but it never approached the magnificence of the Temple of that Solomon built. In the year 26 B.C. Herod decided to restore the Temple to the Glory of Solomon’s Day. The work had just been completed when Jesus’ disciples looked on amazed at the precious stones and votive offerings.

Jesus heard them and said, “This really doesn’t matter.” It is all going to come to a ruin anyway.

What do you build in your life? Do you think it will last eternally? Be sure that “This really doesn’t matter. It is all going to come to a ruin anyway.” What is more important, it’s your readiness to enter eternity. Be sure this totally depends on your present life, and not on what do you have and how rich are you.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

10-11.11. 2007
32 Sunday in ordinary time - C
2 Maccabees 7:1-2,9-14; Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5; St.Luke 20:27-38

Introduction: What do I really believe? Do I accept the totality of the catholic faith or rather I try to adjust and correct my faith so that it becomes more "human" and better fitting my needs and the requirements of the contemporary, 21st century life?

Every year on November 11, the Remembrance Day, Canadians pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve the country during times of war, conflict and peace. We honor those who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as those who have served since then. More than 1,500,000 Canadians have served the country in this way, and more than 100,000 have died. They gave their lives and their futures so that we may live in peace. Let us pray also for them.

Penitential Rite: Jesus offers us hope in the face of despair, confidence in the face of doubt. Let us bring to Him our failures and our doubt, assured of His understanding and forgiveness.

Lord Jesus, You hear us when we call upon You, Lord, have mercy
Christ Jesus, You are the Lord of the living and the dead, Christ, have mercy
Lord Jesus, You raise us to new and everlasting life, Lord, have mercy

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


In today's readings we have two different attitudes towards the religious beliefs and values. The Sadducees were a group of very influential people, who belonged to the upper class of the society, and they wielded great power in Jewish society. However their theology was skeptical, minimalist and even rationalistic. They didn't accept the concept of life after death; they didn't believe the existence of angels and eternal life. They decided by themselves what is sound and what is not in the teaching of the Holy Scripture.

Their skepticism and even disbelief is supported by their (false) reasoning, by their (apparently) correct and accurate logic. We will be even tempted to sympathize with them and understand them as an example of a spirit of criticism and non fundamentalist approach of faith. They are the example of believers who are not fanatic and blind extremists.

On the other side in the first reading from the 2 Maccabees we have a strong religious family, an impressive example of putting God first. We hear about a woman arrested with her seven sons. The king wanted them to deny their Jewish religion by eating pork. Speaking to her sons in Hebrew, the mother encouraged them to endure torture rather than betray their faith. It must have torn her heart to see the tortures they inflicted on her children, but that woman put God first. She knew that this life is brief and - no matter what we do - none of us can avoid suffering, so she put her trust in God.

In the last issue of the "Western Catholic Reporter" cardinal Marc Ouellet the Archbishop of Quebec and primate of the Catholic Church in Canada says:

"The real problem in Quebec is not the presence of religious symbols or the appearance of new religious symbols in public spaces. The real problem in Quebec is the spiritual void (and religious emptiness) created by the religious and cultural rupture."

This has led the people to a substantial loss of memory, leading to a crisis in the family and in education. Citizens have been left "disoriented, unmotivated, subject to instability and leaning on transient, superficial values."

I see Saduccees from today's Gospel as an example of those who are living in the spiritual void and religious emptiness. They created for themselves a kind of secular religion, type of faith without supernatural, without sacrum. For this reason they are disoriented, instable and leaning on superficial values.

We do have too this choice or over-speculated and adjusted religion of our pleasing and choices, or acceptance that God is the God of impossible and unimaginable, the God of the living and the Lord of the resurrection against logic and reason.

General Intercessions: The God of the impossible, the Lord of the living will hear our prayers and grant our needs. And so we pray with hope and faith.

O God, You are the Lord of the living and the dead; guide us to live responsibly each day and to accept the wholeness of your teaching even if it seems to us impossible and unimaginable, because You are the God without boundaries and limitations, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen
November, 3-4 , 2007
31 Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday's Gospel presents an incident with a real life tax collector, a short man named Zacchaeus.Of all the people the Lord could have chosen to spend the night with, he chose this tax collector, this betrayer of the Jewish people, this thief, this sinner.people around Jesus could not believe that Jesus would want to stay with Zacchaeus."Certainly, if Jesus were a prophet he would know the sort of man that he was going to stay with."But Jesus did know Zacchaeus.He knew Zacchaeus was a sinner. But he also knew that Zacchaeus could change his ways.

Zacchaeus had an experience of the Lord's presence in his own house. For Zacchaeus everything had to change now.God had come under his roof."Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I shall repay it four times over."

Zacchaeus did change his life in a radical way because "God entered under the roof of his house". I invite Jesus Christ to enter my life at every Eucharist, but … do I also change radically my life at every Eucharist?


Letter of the Bishops of Alberta for Catholic Education Sunday