Walking With The Father: 2018

December 16, 2018

What should we do to prepare for Christmas?

  • What should we do? Everyone thought John the Baptist was the saviour, but he wasn't. He said that while he was a prophet, he was nothing more than a messenger for the Messiah who was to come. So what should we do. John tells us to repent, and to make room for the Messiah. Repent means to ask God for forgiveness for our sins, which comes to us through the sacrament of reconciliation. Father Matthew calls on people to go to confession before Christmas.
  • Decorations in the home can help us to stir up preparation for Christmas, but we are to "make a straight path" for Jesus from our head to our heart. Starting a relationship begins with the head and leads to our heart. Knowing Jesus is totally different from loving Him. Reading the Gospel daily is one way to to help make straight the path from our head to our heart.
  • So the answer to the question, what should we do, is to make room in our heart for Jesus. Jesus is the reason for Christmas, and we should share this understanding with others by inviting someone to Mass. Repent and prepare a way for the Lord, our Saviour, Jesus Christ!

December 9, 2018

Advent and Confirmation enrollment

  • Are we ready and willing to enter into this time of preparation leading up to Christmas? Entering into the season of Advent, requires a maturity in our faith. God became one of us so that we may become one with God at the end of our lives. We require preparation and a concerted effort to make this Christmas more than just a family gathering and opening of gifts. The sacrament of Confirmation is also about maturing. Saying that I am old enough to agree and confirm that I want to be a disciple, and to live a life modeled after Jesus Christ. Your parents and godparents wanted this for you, and they brought you here today so that you can be the best Catholic that you can possibly be.
  • During these times of preparation, we are asked and tested to choose to make time for Jesus. Just as Mary and Joseph could have given up, they didn't, and they remained faithful. They passed all the tests, and we too are called to persevere and to grow in our faith, ultimately through our whole lifetime. How will we deal with the business over Christmas? We can decide to make room for Jesus, and to make Him the focus. You are the innkeeper of your heart, and to say we don't have time for Jesus would be similar to the inn keepers who closed their doors to Mary and Joseph. Let's help and support each other to mature and grow in our faith during this Advent. Jesus is the reason for Christmas. Jesus is the reason we celebrate Confirmation. Jesus is the reason we are here today. Amen.

December 2, 2018

Advent and 1st Communion enrollment

  • Advent is a time of waiting and of preparation. Everything worth while in life is worth waiting and preparing for. Athletes go through this when they train hard during a long season, and when they prepare for the final competition. For us, we are here today to support the children as they prepare for their 1st Communion. We are also preparing for the birth of Jesus at Christmas. We are ready and willing to enter this season of Advent, and of waiting. Even today at Mass, we are preparing and waiting to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Father Matthew asks us to spend some time during Advent preparing by reading scripture. He recommends reading Advent reflections, and he invites parishoners to make a gift to Jesus.

November 25, 2018

Whose voice do you listen to (Christ the King)

  • Whose voice do you listen to? Whose guidance or advice do you follow? Is it the voice of the world, or is it the voice of God? We are bombarded with marketing advertisements...think of  Black Friday, where people camp outside just to get the sales. Notice how people listen to the voice of consumerism, that pollutes society. If we listen to these voices for too long, we can become slaves to their wishes. However, when God speaks to us, it is not to manipulate us, but to invite us to a relationship with Him, which leads to true joy. If we can do this then we are overcome with a lasting peace, which we were made for. The one true Black Friday occured 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. For us, every Friday is a special day. Every time we look upon Jesus on the cross, we can say that He is the one I listen to. Jesus is our King, and it is His voice we should want to listen to. Let's invite Jesus to be the King of our lives and our hearts. We are called to surrender ourselves to Him, which will bring us the peace we are searching for. Father Matthew concludes this homily with a beautiful prayer.

November 18, 2018

The most precious thing in life (Philippians 3 3-8)

  • (November 8th homily) St. Paul describes how valuable a relationship with Jesus Christ really is. We should not put our faith into our achievements, but rather in Jesus, because only He will truly satisfy us. A Jew at that time would have thought of themselves as blameless under the Law, as if they were members of the Royal Family, or something like that; and Paul lists all such things, only to say that are all rubbish and nothing compared to having faith in Jesus Christ. The immeasurable gift of faith is what gives St. Paul true joy, and it transformed his life. St. Thomas Aquinas also said that all else was like straw compared to the greatness of knowing God. St. Paul also explained that even if everything was taken away from him, it would be just fine because his faith in Jesus Christ was all that he needed. Fr. Matthew then describes his own experience, about how people he knew questioned and resisted his decision to let go of his worldly successes in order to become a priest.

November 11, 2018

How generous are you?

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how generous are you? Today's readings are all about generosity. It can be uncomfortable to think about this sensitive subject, but we should try to navigate through it, especially as we approach the most expensive months of the year. Father Matthew reflects on how everything we have is from God's generosity to us. We are tested to see if we are willing to share our gifts with others. Are we fearful to preserve our comfortable life, or are we generous to others? Today's reading teaches us how faith is needed during acts of generosity. God rewards us when we are generous in our giving. Perhaps we can learn something from the protestants who tithe. We are not so concerned so much about the amount, but rather the sacrifice. Society has changed so much that God is no longer trusted. Father Matthew asks us to pray and discern about our generosity, and to ask God to increase our trust in Him. He can help us to guide our decisions on how we spend our time and money.

November 4, 2018

Prayer Partners Introduced

  • Father Matthew's unique homily is a challenge to everyone to find a prayer partner. He explains how a warm greeting can build a lasting friendship. We often pray in the generic sense; however, he questions how often we pray for each other by name? General intentions are impersonal. Prayer will have a stronger impact when we say the person's name. It's a sign of love for one another. Parents and grandparents pray for their children and grandchildren all the time. By our actions we can show each other that we care for one another. If we love God first above all and love our neighbour as our self, then we will not be far from the kingdom of heaven. When we love someone dearly, especially when a crisis strikes, the first act of love is to pray for the person affected by name. We plead to God that He will heal and protect the person. Let's begin to introduce ourselves to each other, and find a prayer partner. This will allow us to pray for each other by name. Some may find this uncomfortable at first, but it is good for us to help us grow. Prayer is powerful and can change lives.

October 28, 2018

The power of warm hospitality-Bartimaeus (Mark 10 46-52)

  • The health care industry indcates that the new epidemic is social isolation and loneliness. People are in need of human contact and real relationships. There is a darkness and isolation, much like Bartimaeus in the Gospel today. People would ignore him and tried to silence him. He lived in physical darkness as he was blind, and he was a social outcast being rejected by the people around him. Once Jesus learns that Jesus is walking by, he shouts out hoping to get his attention. Father Matthew explains what Jesus does in response to Bartimaeus, transforming the quality of his life and his direction. You and I can have this same impact on each other. We can help to transform someone's life by how we greet and listen to one another. Father Matthew then reflects on our own behaviour before and after Mass. He asks if we are afraid or isolated as well. He invites us to mingle, and to get to know one another. His dream is that we all know each other by name. This is how Bartimaeus was able to be healed.

October 25, 2018

Jesus brings division (Luke 12 49-53)

  • Father Matthew discusses what can happen in a family when not all members practice the faith. It causes great pain, often to those who are practicing the faith. There is division - arguments and silence, and we wish that our loved ones could experience the same relationship with Jesus that we do. However, Jesus told us that he came, not to bring peace, but division. We are faced with these two questions: who do you say that I am, and will you come and follow me? We are free to choose.

October 18, 2018

Saint Luke the Evangelist

  • Luke was one of the four gospel writers, a gentile, a medical doctor, and very educated for that time. He was also disciple of St. Paul and the author of the Acts of the Apostles (the Gospel of the Holy Spirit). Luke's gospel is where where we get the Hail Mary prayer, and most of what we know about Mary. Only in Luke do we hear about Jesus' childhood. The Gloria at Mass also comes from Luke's Gospel, along with parables such as The Good Samaritan and The Prodigal Son. Luke also recognizes women many times, and was the first to give women a central role, which would have been different at that time in history. We are encouraged to read Luke's gospel and the Acts, so that we can discover the treasures contained within.

October 14, 2018

I have come to fulfill the law (Matthew 5 17-19)

  • Jesus comes to fulfill the law (not to abolish or replace it, but to fulfill it), and he starts to give the people his message. He wants us to go deeper than to just follow the rules. We need to let the rules soak into our hearts, so that they become natural to us. Our mind, heart, and soul needs to live the law to fulfill it. It shouldn't just be on the surface. We need to let God lead us along the path we are intended to go. Keeping and doing the law (and teaching others) will make one great in the kingdom of heaven. We must teach others to follow the law, through our words, and how we live our lives. Let's do our best to let the law come alive in our lives.

October 7, 2018

Marriage and divorce - Thanksgiving homily (Mark 10 2-16)

  • There are challenging issues that we have to face, such as marriage and divorce. Fr. Matthew is not afraid to discuss these kinds of topics head on. He says that the Church is where we go to learn about and to apply our faith. In the book of Genesis we learn about the ideal model and conditions for married life: (1) man and woman are equal, (2) they are to help each other in everything, and (3) they are to love one another.

    In the gospel, Jesus clearly says that marriage is permanent. God knows that we are not perfect, but we are to be generous with forgiveness and mercy. However, there are some instances when the Church applies exceptions to the permanence of marriage, such as when one of the three criteria just mentioned are violated. If that happens, then the two parties should part ways, such as when there is violence, abuse, and if the relationship becomes a master and slave relationship rather than one of equal partners. Also, if one of the parties does not agree to be a helper, or if there are faithfulness issues, then the Church can legitimately dissolve a marriage.

    There are many legitimate reasons why a marraige could be dissovled, and not all can be covered in a short homily. We must not be too quick to judge others who have separated or divorced. It is not as black and white as we may think, and it is not fair to judge because we really don't know the whole story in any relationship. This message comes at the right time this Thanksgiving. For some it is a joyful time, and for others it could be a time of relief when the abuse and suffering are over.

September 30, 2018

90th Anniversary of Immaculata High School

  • Father Matthew delivers his homily from Immaculata High School's auditorium. He speaks of the legacy St. Marguerite d'Youville, who founded the the Grey Sisters of Montreal. They played a central role in the education and faith formation of the young people at Immaculata. Jesus inspired the Grey Sisters to set the foundation for Immaculata High School where the students are inspired to use their God-given gifts in the world.

September 24, 2018

Escaping the trap (Luke 14 1-6) and Saint Martin de Porres

  • The Leader of the Pharisees invites Jesus to his home, and they decide to set a trap for him to see if he will break the law of the Sabbath. Their interpretation of the Sabbath that The Lord's Day should be kept holy, was so extreme that nothing could be done on that day. It was a strict law with punishment for those who disobeyed it. Even 2000 years later, the same strictness exists in Jerusalum (interesting elevator example). After Jesus heals the man, he easily escapes the trap by saying something that completely paralyzes the Phrasisees.

September 16, 2018

Who do you say that I am (Mark 8 27-35)

  • This is the most important question to ask in our lifetime. If we did a massive survey, you would get lots of answers...Jesus was a Jewish man, a moral teacher, a prophet, a miracle worker, etc. All of these answers are close, but not the right answer. They are missing the point. Jesus is God, the Messiah, and the saviour of the world. Jesus also realizes that the crowd misses the point about who he is. He then turns to his followers, hoping one of them will get it right. Peter gets it right, he knows that Jesus is God. This changes Peter's life so much so, that he dies telling everyone that Jesus is God. If you know Jesus is God, how does it change your life?

September 9, 2018

Ephphatha - be opened (Mark 7 31-37)

  • After last week's homily about the sexual abuse crisis, today's homily is about the healing that Jesus brings. People begged Jesus to heal them. He listened, heard their prayers, and acted. Similarly, the Church is following the same steps in the need for healing of the abused victims. Jesus is responding to begin the healing process, and it will be in an unpredictable manner, just as Jesus healed the deaf man in the gospel. God does work in mysterious ways, and He will act for those we have prayed for. We prayer for the healing of our Church so that we too can have a fresh start, just like the deaf person. Let's recall our baptism, and be open to the Holy Spirit acting in us.

September 2, 2018

Abuse crisis response

Father Matthew Keshwah responds to the abuse crisis in the Church.

August 30, 2018

Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist

  • Saint John had the courage and perseverance to speak the truth at all times. He was honoured as one of the first to encounter Jesus. His whole life pointed to Jesus, even while he was in Elizabeth's womb. Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Behold, the Lamb of God is here to take away the sins of the world! John is imprisoned and killed for defending the truth. We are reminded to have the same courage, boldness and perseverance.

August 19, 2018

Tell everyone about Jesus Christ The Bread Of Life (John 6:51-58)

  • In the 6th chapter of John's gospel, Fr. Matthew tells us about "the golden nugget" of our faith, the essential Eucharist. We need to be fed and transformed by God Himself each week or even every day if we want. Do we really want God? Do we want eternal life? If so, then we must act. We have a responsibility to share (lovingly and without guilt) the Good News about the divine life with others. Let's take the risk to invite others to celebrate Mass with us. Yes, it's hard, but but it's worth it, and we can do it.

August 16, 2018

How often should I forgive (Matthew 18 21-19)

  • How often to forgive is a relevant question that comes up in our lives. What are we to do, should we cut off the offending person? Jesus' answer is "no". We are to always forgive, and to be merciful. "Forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspass against us." We need to have more compassion and patience with others.

August 14, 2018

It is enough now O Lord (1 Kgs 19, John 6:41-51)

  • Throwing in the towel and calling it quits can be tempting when things go wrong. Father Matthew describes how the same thing happened to Elijah, who then begged God to end his life. God provides Elijah with a tangible miracle that gives him hope and new strength. We too can receive this miracle whenever we want to, and it should "leave us in a state of awe".

August 11, 2018

Saint Dominic (August 8th homily)

  • Born to Spanish nobility in the 12th century, St. Dominic was a priest, and best known for founding the Dominicans (religious order) and for fighting heresies within the Church. He is the patron saint of astronomy. He had a vision of meeting a beggar on the street, who later became St. Francis of Assisi.

August 6, 2018

Asking God for a sign to prove his love (John 6 24-35)

  • Father Matthew's reflection on the signs that Jesus provided to the crowds, and how it should have "knocked their socks off". God is indeed alive and active in everyone's lives. The signs are all around if we just look for them. He then gives a homework assignment to think about a time when God provided you with a sign or answered your prayers, and then to share that story with others. Father Matthew walks the talk and provides the congregation with his own touching testimony.

June 18, 2018

Thanks be to God, and thank you Saint Benedict Parish

Fr. Matthew's homily starts at 19:15.
(Hover your mouse over the time bar and click to change the start position)

May 28, 2018

Trinity Sunday (Matthew 28:16-20)

Fr. Matthew's homily starts at 24:40.
(Hover your mouse over the time bar and click to change the start position)

February 1, 2018

Prayer for Beginners

By: Dr. Peter Kreeft

The best $5 I ever spent!

I found this book in the lobby of a church I was at. They were asking $5 for it and I thought to myself, “I’m not a beginner in prayer – could this book be of any use to me? Meh! It’s only 5-bucks I’ll check it out.” Well, after reading this book and having my socks blown off every time I read a page, it’s worth its weight in GOLD! This book would be a bargain at $50 in my opinion. And it is certainly not only for beginners. I could read this book ten times over my lifetime and still learn something every time. It’s not too often you find a book this good that is short, compact, and not expensive. It’s easy to read and something that you could easily read with a friend or two and talk about it together.

Dr. Kreeft is a giant in the faith – having written over 25 books, and a well-respected philosophy professor. People pay big money to listen to him speak at conferences. This book is well put together and shares his thoughts on prayer that any reader, of any age, or any level of faith could appreciate. Dr. Ralph Martin has a quote on the cover of this book which calls it, “The best short introduction to prayer I have ever read. Read it and pray.” I could not agree more. The first time I mentioned this book at the parish they sold out their case of books that morning! Everyone who has read this book at my recommendation has loved it just as much as I have.

My copy of this book glows in the dark because of all the highlighting I’ve done! Why not pick your copy up and read it yourself? I hope that afterwards, your heart will “glow” with joy at your growing relationship with God and renewed prayer life.

*Amazon sells the original book for $15 – and has a different cover. But if you want it for $5 with a blue cover, go to this Catholic website to get your copy!


January 15, 2018

Speak Lord, for your servant is listening (Samuel 3:10) January 14th homily

Fr. Matthew's homily starts at 20:40.
(hover your mouse over the time bar and click to change the start position)