Tuesday, July 24, 2012

where everybody knows your name

making your way in the world todaytakes everything you got
taking a break from all your worriessure would help a lotwouldn’t you like to get away ...
where everybody knows your name!
(Gary Portnoy - Where Everybody Knows Your Name, 1982)
the Gospel (Mc 12:46-50) today reminded me, and moved me to write this entry, of my conversion in 2002-2003 (and everyday)!  everything change for me then - (merci Famille Myriam Bethleem, conversion) - not only when i realized God loved me, personally, but when i realized i had a family in the Church.  in Her, i found my salvation.  today, i continue to pray - à la Dominicans - for the mercy of God, and yours.

but like all families, sometimes we grow apart.  we have difficulty in talking with those we love most.  some are angry.  some are awkward.  some are indifferent.  thankfully, many are still joyful.  welcome to family life.  welcome to the Church.  why should She be so different?  we are the Family of God, afterall, and we all play different parts.  as James Joyce once wrote of the Catholic Church, "here comes everybody"  indeed, everyone should feel welcome at home, in their home, all the time, and anytime!
"But he replied to the man who told him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.'" (Mc 12:48-50)
of course, Our Lord is not implying that our natural families are not important. but rather, the Family of God, built on listening to the will of the Father, being attentive to the Holy Spirit, is more important!  do you remember that six degress of separation thing?  me neither.  end of post.

yes i do, ... as well as the always fun game six degrees of Kevin Bacon.  when visiting anywhere, someone always asks, "hey do you know Joe, from downtown Canada?"  but of course!  anywho, the world is getting smaller and smaller and people really are getting to know everyone's names.  facebook, twitter, social media has put the focus on removing a few of those degrees of separation!

but in the Church, in my family, everybody knows your name!  that's why i love Her!  after a week+ in Dublin for the IEC2012, surrounded by tens of thousands of people, everyday i wound naturally bump into someone i know, or someone who actually knew Joe from downtown Canada!  it's a small world, afterall!  in the Church, in the family, everybody knows your name!

anywho, enough of reminiscing of my conversion.  i do have a few things to do this week, including contemplating the meaning of death while preparing three funeral liturgies!  let us pray for the Church that we continue to joyfully preach God in Jesus Christ!  She maybe old, but i love Her!  peace out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

la danse des canards

tournez c'est la fête
bras dessus-dessous
comm' des girouettes
c'est super chouette
c'est extra-fou ... (Werner Thomas - La Danse des Canards, 1950s)

hello.  my name is Fr. jonathan.  and, [awkward pause] i've danced to this song before.  i can still see Nathalie Simard singing (video) this diddy, and me bustin' a move.  good times?  i'm not sure, but everyone danced to this, right?

today, ce n'est pas la danse des canards, mais la danse des vacances!  everyone is away on vacation - the ABp, parishioners, the secretary, soon-to-be the pastor (tangent:  how does the expression go again?  something about away and a cat, and mice that play or pray?)  things slow down in the summer time - but our vacation is not from the Lord, but with Him.  indeed, the mission always continues!
"We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or the light be kept hidden (cf. Mt 5:13-16). The people of today can still experience the need to go to the well, like the Samaritan woman, in order to hear Jesus, who invites us to believe in him and to draw upon the source of living water welling up within him (cf. Jn 4:14). We must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his disciples (cf. Jn 6:51). Indeed, the teaching of Jesus still resounds in our day with the same power: “Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life” (Jn 6:27). The question posed by his listeners is the same that we ask today: “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (Jn 6:28). We know Jesus’ reply: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (Jn 6:29). Belief in Jesus Christ, then, is the way to arrive definitively at salvation."  (Year of Faith's Apostolic Letter, Portei Fidei, #3)
i've started reading this letter, while whistling this happy tune - you realize it made it into Sunday's homily - and continue to experience that truth is one.  we all need vacation time, indeed, that is today's, Sunday's, Gospel (Mc 6:30-34).  our Lord sent them out two by two last week, and now they are back for a much needed rest!  we all need to make time, to take time from the busyness of life, and to draw upon the source of living water:  God in Jesus Christ.

of course, this is not just two weeks a year thing-a-ma-gig, but how about a weekend a month, one day a week, or an hour a day!  make time, to take time.  i like this letter so far, and look forward in implementing a few ideas for the fall.  what strikes me today, from the Gospel, is that even though the apostles have been called back to rest, there is no time.  there is still more to be done.  others continue to thirst for the life giving waters!  during la danse des vacances, let us continue to seek the source, in order to feed the crowds!  happy vacationing to all.  peace.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

hot hot hot

Hot Hot Hot in Dublin, Ireland!
me + "hat" @ closing mass, June 17, 2012
"see people rocking, hear people chanting: feeling hot hot hotkeep up this spirit, come on let's do it: feeling hot hot hot
it's in the air - celebration time
music sweet - captivate your mind
we have this party song, this fundamental jam
so we go rum-bum-bum-bum yeah we rum-bum-bum-bum feeling hot hot hot, feeling hot hot hot"
(Buster Poindexter, Hot Hot Hot, 1987)
i missed what seemd to be the hottest week in Ottawa, while away on vacation in the beautiful Maritimes, visiting family and friends!  however, the heat continues, and i had to skip running a few times this week 'cause it was hot, hot, hot!  this reality is not only true of the summer, but more importantly, of the stirrings and promptings of the Holy Spirit is at work within us!!!

God, in the Holy Spirit, is always at work, and i've seen Him in action all over the place - Hawkesbury, Ottawa, Maritimes, Dublin, and especially in our hearts!  i can't list them all, but here, for example through yesterday's annual blessing of the motorcycles; in Ottawa, through Annunciation of the Lord's VBS week, in Halifax, where CCO Impact has been preaching the joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Dublin, where i still have very good memories, and just last week on arriving from the Maritimes - God's country, and of course daily, through the ABp's blog!  it has been hot, hot, hot!

that's the Gospel this Sunday (Mark 6:7-13)!  go out, two by two, preaching the Word of God, annointing + curing the sick!  as Our Lord reminds us though, we won't always be welcomed!  why do people, why do we, have a hard time listening to the Word of God:  shyness, fatigue, anger, indifference?

now that i'm back home, ministry has begun!  this week i received a called for the Sacrament of the Sick.  since only priests can do this, we try to leave everything in order to answer these calls!  i said i would be there before lunch, and so i went.

i arrived at the street, and realized i had forgotten the address!  merde!  i started looking around for a door to knock on, and the the Holy Spirit prompted me to start with that one!  what happened when i knocked?
"no thanks!  i'm not interested!"
i was shocked!  the person answering the door - visibly upset with my presence - had no time for a simple hello, or can i help you.  why is that?  was he shy, tired, angry, or maybe indifferent to God's prophet?  i didn't have a silly hat on my head, and i thought i looked fairly presentable ... anywho, i asked him if he knew the family in question.  nope.  i went down the street, and found the family, and as the Gospel mentions today:  "and they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them."

this is a great joy in the ministry of a priest - to be with families, bringing hope and healing through God in Our Lord Jesus Christ!  however, not everyone is ready for the Good News!  why is that?  again, are we shy, tired, angry, or indifferent?  Our Lord reminds us today (Mark 6:11):  do not let yourself be discouraged by the negative weclome encountered.  be faithful to the mission, continue to preach the Gospel, the Good News of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ!  there will be bumps on the road, ups and downs, but let us be faithful to our promises, to our mission!

hot, hot, hot!  indeed, the Gospel is being proclaimed all the time!  and as BXVI once said: 
"there is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.  (Inauguration homily, 2005)
i feel great joy in participating in this fire of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming, sharing the joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ!  as the Gospel mentions though, two by two ... i need your help!  thanks for your encouragement, support, and prayers!!!  happy Sunday!  peace.