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Please Welcome Fr. Seamus

From July 25 to August 9, Fr. Michael will be away on vacation. During that time, Fr. Seamus Hogan, professor of history at St. Augustine’s Seminary will be looking after the parish. Please welcome him. Fr. Seamus will be celebrating all of the parish Masses, funerals and available for emergencies. For any other enquirers related to baptism and marriage, please wait to speak with Fr. Michael after August 10.

“Our Father”—the Summary of God’s Mercy

our-fatherThe Our Father, the prayer that Jesus Himself has taught us, in order that we might pray to His Father and our Father, has been called by many “a summary of the entire Gospel.” This year, as we read this Sunday’s Gospel within the context of the Year of Mercy, it seems appropriate that we might even call the Our Father a summary of God’s mercy towards all of us.

All of this Sunday’s readings speak to us of the kind of intimate prayer life that God invites all of us to have with Him. In the first reading from the book of Genesis, we hear how Abraham speaks to God as a friend, discussing with God how He should conduct Himself in order to be just. Abraham does not even have a name by which He should address God, and yet we see how openly God shares His plans with Him and allows Him to offer his opinion. God desires that all of us speak to Him honestly and sincerely about our difficulties and concerns. The first reading shows us that we do not need to speak to God in formal and set ways. We can bring to Him whatever is on our hearts. The Psalm also makes this clear by the simple statement: “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.” We can turn to the Lord whenever we wish, He will always be there. Continue reading

“You Are Anxious and Worried About Many Things.”

Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev

Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev

One of the world’s most famous pieces of religious art is the fifteenth century Russian icon of the Holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev. This icon is intended to capture the scene that we hear about in today’s first reading from the book of Genesis. In this Sunday’s reading from Genesis, we hear how the Lord God appeared unexpectedly to Abraham as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. Even though the passage makes it clear that it is God speaking to Abraham in one voice and Abraham answers God in the singular, the text makes it clear that Abraham saw three men standing there. This text, in which God is referred to in the singular, but spoken of as appearing in the form of three persons, has been seen by many as one of the first references in scripture to the Holy Trinity. This, however, is not the important point that this passage is trying to make. This reading is speaking more about the importance of being ready to greet God and welcome Him into one’s life at anytime that He might appear. Continue reading

“Go and Do Likewise.”

Good-Samaritan-242x300During this Year of Mercy, I have begun many homilies by quoting my favourite line from Pope Francis’ letter introducing the Year of Mercy. In case you do not remember that sentence, it states: “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” The Pope goes on to state: “These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith.” St. Paul says basically the same thing in today’s second reading from the Letter to the Colossians, as he states: “Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God.” In his letter, Paul goes on to state the God created the world with Christ and in the fullness of time sent Jesus into the world that He might redeem each of us “through the Blood of His cross.” Continue reading