Christmas Message from Father Bob – December 25, 2016

”  Jesus has entered our history; he has shared our journey.  He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light.  In him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate.  He is not simply a teacher of wisdom, he is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing that we are hopelessly distant from it.  He is the meaning of life and history, who has pitched his tent in our midst…

On this night, let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness.  To us the Lord repeats: ”  Do not be afraid! (Luke 2:10).   As the angels said to the Shepherds: ”  Do not be afraid!”    And I also repeat to all of you: Do not be afraid!”     Our Father is patient: he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land.  Jesus is the light who brightens our darkness.  He is mercy: our Father always forgives us.  He is our peace …

Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to God, for he is good, he is faithful, he is merciful.  Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us Jesus.  My hope is that everyone will feel God’s closeness, live in his presence, love him and adore him.”

A Merry Christmas to all our parishioners! 

from Fr Bob, Deacon Louis, Deacon Mark and Lynn 

 

Christmas Message from Archbishop Prendergast – December 18, 2016

Christmas Message from Archbishop Prendergast:

 

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

The angel reassured the shepherds that the birth of Jesus, our Saviour, means, “great joy for all the people” (Luke 2.10).

Canadians will celebrate with joy the Sesquicentennial of Confederation next year.

Catholics have other reasons to rejoice. Founded on June 25, 1847, the Archdiocese of Ottawa in 2017 will mark its 170th anniversary and the 70th, anniversary of the Marian Congress held in our centennial year 1947.

We rejoice at the foundations laid by our forebears—our clergy, religious, and lay people—who have built our wonderful Catholic legacy of churches, institutions, and service.

We rejoice that, from earliest days, the Church of Ottawa has cared for the orphan, the widow, and the stranger.

In joy, Christians see Christ in the marginalized, the captive, and the elderly.

Pope Francis advocates joy, notably in his encyclical “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii gaudium) and his exhortation “The Gladness of Love” (Arnoris laetitia).

Following his lead this Pastoral Year, we are continuing our theme “the family: home of love, mercy and joy” basing ourselves on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace.,.” (5.22).

The pope calls us to renew our encounter with Jesus. Joy will then flow into our encounters with others at home, at work, and in society generally. We will be “missionary disciples” to the lost, suffering, and broken people in our diocese.

Spontaneously, we rejoice at the sight of a newborn child. Each baby demonstrates God’s creativity and goodness.

How much more joyful is it to contemplate the birth of Jesus Christ! Through it, God shines the light of his love into the darkness of the world.

The true joy of Christmas is the gift of eternal life Jesus has given us through his Cross and Resurrection. We celebrate this miraculous event begun on a dark winter’s night two thousand years ago.

Mary and Joseph experienced the joy and the challenges of family life with the birth of Jesus in humble circumstances. Love and wonderment met in this tiny child. Today, we also meet Christ in our family. In times joyful or difficult, he is brought to birth in our homes and hearts.

This Christmas, may the example and intercession of the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—enrich your family with the gifts of peace, mercy, and joy!

+Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa

 

Father Bob Writes – December 11, 2016

The word “patience” appears three times in the brief passage from the letter of James, which forms our second reading this weekend. Patience is called for in view of the delay in the Lord’s return, but also because of the trials incurred by members of the community James is writing to at the hands of the rich. Furthermore, there are trials from the interpersonal relations of daily life, something which I am sure every one of us can relate to!

In all of this, James’ audience is assured that the Lord is at hand, that his coming is imminent. And he comes as a judge who will set the record straight in any matter of injustice. James’ illustrative comparisons appear frequently in his letter. In our passage this weekend, he urges his listeners to be as patient as the Palestinian farmers for whom the fall and spring rains provide essential and much anticipated moisture. They should look to the biblical prophets for examples of patient endurance.

Persecuted Christians form part of a long and illustrious tradition. Suffering is transitory; it will fade into insignificance with the full manifestation of the Lord’s justice at his coming at the end of time. What situations of injustice and frustration do you face where your patience is regularly tested?  How might thinking of the return of the Lord, and trusting in his final vindication, help you to patiently put up with these situations right now?