Monday, November 07, 2011

on bended knee

Norman Rockwell, Marriage Counsellor, 1960
"can we go back to the days our love was strong
can you tell me how a perfect love goes wrong
can somebody tell me how to get things back
the way they use to be
oh God give me a reason
i'm down on bended knee" (Boyz II Men - On Bended Knee, 1994)
(part of my Movember series)

"this is the body of Christ. this is the blood of Christ." at the words of consecration, God through the priest transforms mere bread and wine, into the body and blood of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. at each moment, the priest kneels in adoration.

this action has caused me great pain for almost two years, when my knee gave out. i was forced to stop, and simply, and humbly incline in front of my Lord and Saviour. after a while, the pain retreated and i was once again able to genuflect, kneel in adoration. however, since my surgery (part un, part deux) in august, i'm on bended knee for many things - including celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

praying for health doesn't mean much when all things are healthy. boom, my knee was out, and all of a sudden, i have a new found respect for health - of the body, of the soul. lately i'm back on the squash court - it's like i never left, playing badminton, and running once again. in fact, i think this weekend i may run my first 5k in over a year. these days i'm on bended knee, kneeling in adoration for many things, and many people who continue to support, encourage and pray for me in my ministry. thank you!
"gonna swallow my pride
say i'm sorry
stop pointing fingers the blame is on me
i want a new life
and i want it with You
if you feel the same
don't ever let it go
you gotta believe in the spirit of love
it can heal all things"
does anyone love this song as much as i? this Movember kick is bringing out songs that i had totally forgotten about. i'm loving it! you should too. i've been reading a lot of about preaching lately, in the news of all places. people are calling out priests - give us better preaching, [or else]. ok, i added the last part, but the reality is there. the scandals (the word used in the French liturgy, today's Gospel Luke 17:1-6), have caused many people to say "that's it, i'm out". there have been many scandals - abuses within Scouts, hockey teams, families, and unfortunately the Church as well. other scandals continue, changes in liturgies, translations, ministries. how often do people call me out on wearing the roman collar - it's a scandal to many. again, the scandal of having this type of flower in front of the altar caused some to say, "enough is enough." there will always be scandals, and a million reasons why one could leave Holy Mother Church. but as St. Peter would say, "Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the words of everlasting life." (Jn 6:68)

there are two remaining scandals, always at work in the world. the first, always at war within us, is our own sin. it is a scandal to know that i still have this sin. at one point, the point of no return, the point where we encounter God's love, peace, and joy, we will encounter everlasting life, the moment when we stop pointing the finger at others.
"for i know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. against you, you only, have i sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge." (Ps 51)
this merciful psalm is the favourite of many, including me. i want a new life, and i want it with You. what do our brothers and sisters do when they do not know about the fountain of life that comes through the Sacrament of Reconciliation? God is truly merciful on all of us! finally, the last and perpetual scandal - the scandal of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, and his passion and death on a cross. it is a scandal to many, but to us who are being saved, it is our salvation. (1 Cor 1:18)

back to preaching + scandals. apparently it was on the front cover of the Ottawa Citizen. a parishioner told me about it after mass today, which confirmed me greatly, since that is what i preached about. i have been the baby priest of the diocese (see new website!) for two years. today, of course, that honour belongs to Fr. Hezuk. therefore, today, i'm the toddler priest. and after learning to walk, the next step, of course, are words. having more and more confidence in what God is doing through and with me, i'm now working on preaching better, using words when i have too (à la St. Francis). peace.

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