Walking With The Father: September 2019

September 29, 2019

Sins of omission (Luke 16 19-31)

  • The sins of omission, and failing to act, are not so easy to recognize. The rich man could have helped Lazarus, but he didn't. It would have interrupted his comfortable and lazy life. Greed can also prevent us from helping others. Sins of omission happen all the time, especially in wealthy countries like Canada. Helping becomes an inconvenience and an interruption. Some even get angry at the victims, when actually they need our mercy. Are we doing enough? Jesus reminds us that we are called to give, and that we will be judged for the good we neglected to do. Loving our neighbour means taking action when we see someone in need.

September 22, 2019

Jesus frustrated with our indifference and criticism (Luke 15:1-10) Sept 15th homily

  • Jesus is frustrated and upset with the crowds. The people have spiritual indifference, and they have an endless list of excuses. It's good for us to hear this, and to be humbled by it. Jesus recognizes that the people do not dance and sing, and they are not uplifted by those performing. Jesus performs miracles and provides timeless wisdom, yet hearts are not moved to change, and little is improved in many people's hearts. Thinking of our own parish, which has grown so quickly in the last 13th months, many people's hearts still have not changed. Jesus spent a lot of time eating and drinking with tax collectors, and now the people are complaining about him. First the people criticized John the Baptist, and now they criticize Jesus. If we want to move forward and improve in holiness and virtue we need to be different and overcome the same barriers of human history. Wisdom is vindicated by her children. The fruit is what wins through the frustrations, and the fruit will flourish by the Holy Spirit despite the barriers. Through our Alpha program beautiful things will happen. The Holy Spirit is leading us and inviting us to grow and flourish. Let's pray for the success of the Alpha program.

September 15, 2019

You are precious in the eyes of God (Luke 15 1-10)

  • Today's readings are really heart warming and inspiring. The message is about the personal love that God has for us. Jesus is criticized for being associated with public sinners. Why would a good shepherd leave his 99 sheep to find one that is lost? It almost sounds like poor management to risk the 99! On human terms we would likely let the one lost sheep go, but God's personal love shows that He is willing to give up everything for one. God proves His love for us by giving up everything to save us. It's quite incredible and inspiring that God would do this for us. It doesn't make sense why God would care so much for each of us, and yet He gives up His life for us. Why does Jesus give up his life for people who don't even appreciate that He died on the cross for us? Even when we don't deserve His love, He still leaves the 99 to seek us out. For God the risk is worth it to save us from our grave sins. He even says, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Father Matthew encourages us to read St. Paul's letter to Timothy about how abundant and merciful God's love is. Let's hope that today's readings lead us to change.

September 8, 2019

Is God 1st in my life (Luke 14 25-33)

  • Today's Gospel uses some really strong language, and it would be disturbing if we took these words literally. We wonder why God would say that we need to hate our family, our posessions, and even ourselves in order to follow him. The Gospel is about what it takes to be a disciple of Christ. Jesus uses the word "hate" to show how much more we are to love God more than our own family. He knows that we love our family deeply, but He wants us to love Him even more. God is so much higher, and so the disciples are to put God first. The comparison of God to our families is meant to shock us, and to challenge us. We need to give up our attachments to people and things. God is not tangible to us the way our family members are, and so gradually we may start to love God less. We need to remember that it was God who gave us all things and our families. He gave us the love that we enjoy, and He is the source of all of the joy we have in the world. Disciples are people who are deeply in love with God, and they know who it is who gave them everything that they have. Let's remember to thank God for everything that we have received, and the love we have been given in this life. Amen.

September 1, 2019

To Whom Shall We Go? Lessons from the Apostle Peter

By Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan

This book was recommended to me by a good friend who told me that he has read this book several times and considers it one of his all-time favourites. With such high praise, I decided to pick it up and read through it this summer. And what a gem it is!

Dolan, now Cardinal of New York City, shares 10 reflections on different events or words of Saint Peter from sacred scripture. His level of depth in these reflections are profound to say the least, and very practical when applied to our spiritual life. I must admit that his charismatic personality and high energy comes through in his writing, which makes it fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed his life lessons that he gleaned from Saint Peter’s words and actions in the New Testament.

It seems to me that Dolan’s closeness to Saint Peter comes from his many years as the Rector of the North American College Seminary in Rome. His experience in the formation of priests and proximity to the Vatican make some of his stories and insights particularly interesting given his inside perspective of the Catholic Church.

In this book, Dolan suggests that many of Saint Peter’s words are powerful prayers we can use personally. Some examples include: “Lord, it’s good to be here.” “Save me Lord, I’m drowning!” “Lord if it is really you, tell me to come to you across the water.” “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” These are just some of the words of Saint Peter that Dolan reflects upon in this book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a new love for Saint Peter. Reading Dolan’s book gave me greater insight into why Jesus chose him as leader of the early Church, and how much God loves us in spite of our human frailty. I pray that you will find this book as enjoyable and helpful to your spiritual life as I have.