“What a Friend We Have in Jesus” – Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, September 24, 2024

What a friend we have in Jesus, brothers and sisters. As our psalm tells us today, he is good to all and has compassion over all his creatures, he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, he is near to all who call on him.”  Listen, brothers and sisters, if we  have a different picture of God, then we will have to make a choice, either go with our own picture of God, or go with the one given to us by God’s own word. I have heard it said so often “the God of the Old Testament is an angry God, the God of the New Testament is a loving God.” But that is to make God schizophrenic or to suggest that between the Old and the New Testament, he somehow had a personality transplant. No, it is the same God in both Testaments, one who is both just and kind. 

This comes across in our gospel parable today. 

You know, a great spiritual teacher and author, once wrote that the parables of Jesus often contrast the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, the one on top, and the one who is the underdog. If we want to step into God’s shoes and see the world as God does, then we have to put ourselves in the position of the underdog and see it through their eyes. And so, in today’s parable, we must put ourselves in the place of the workers who have been standing around all day, waiting for someone to come along and give them some work, so they can feed themselves and their families. In one town to the north of London, England, which had a very Irish population, I have seen men lined up in the town square, waiting for some construction manager to come along and hire them for a day’s work on some building site.… Read more...

“Who Do You Say I Am?” – Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, August 27, 2023

Our gospel today represents a huge moment in the life and ministry of Jesus on the earth. 

It is huge for Peter and the other apostles also – and also for you and me, brothers and sisters. It is a game-changing moment for everyone, a line drawn in the sand, a now-or –never event.

To understand why this is so, we have to understand what is going on here. Jesus has brought his disciples here to ask him the 64,000-dollar question: “Who do you say I am?” It is crucial for Jesus’ understanding of his mission on earth that they get the answer right. To begin with, this place where they are, on the northern most part of Israel, Caesarea Philippi, was a place where, in ages past, pagan gods were worshipped, especially the god Pan, half-goat, half-man. Besides that, it is named after the Roman emperor, Caesar, who regarded himself as a god and insisted on being so worshipped. So here in this place with its association with pagan idols, false gods, Jesus is asking his disciples: “Where do I fit in here? Do you see me as just another false god, or a wanna-be deity?”

 This puts the apostles on the spot. They have travelled around with Jesus for the better part of two years by now and have witnessed him doing many incredible things that only God could do: calming storms with just a word, walking on water, feeding multitudes with a few loaves of bread and some fish, healing the sick, raising the dead. But to declare that Jesus is God goes clean against what the Jews have been taught for centuries, and what their own Ten Commandments declare: There is only one true God, Yahweh, and you shall not put any other gods before him.  So,… Read more...

No Livestream from St Philips the Weekend of September 2-3

We regret that there will be no livestream from St Philips on Labour Day weekend (September 2-3). We invite you to watch the livestream from Holy Redeemer Parish: Click here to watch livestream through FACEBOOK  or watch livestream through YOUTUBE. You can also watch the ‘Sunday TV Mass’ at: dailytvmass.com

St. Philip Parish’s Livestream Ministry will continue to livestream the Saturday evening Masses. These Masses will remain up for viewing until the end of the day Sunday. Click the link above to view.

“Open the Eyes of My Heart” – Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, April 30, 2023

Reading through our first reading, I stopped at the words that said the people listening to Peter’s Pentecost sermon were “cut to the heart”. Because this coming Wednesday, that will happen to me as well. I will be literally, physically, “cut to the heart”. The sternum bone in my chest will be cut open and my whole heart muscle will be exposed to view so that the surgeon can carry out the necessary repairs to my aorta and aortic valve, as well as fix a hole in my heart. 

It is so often the case that what God does in the supernatural, he first does in the natural. Which is why we are told by Jesus in the gospels to pay attention to the “signs of the times” in nature, which give a clue to what God is wanting to do in us supernaturally. The Book of Hebrews, chapter 4:12 -13 vividly describes the process of God “cutting us to the heart” spiritually. It tells us that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account”.

Just as my heart surgeon will be able to lay bare my heart physically to his examination, to see where there has been damage and deterioration, and go to work to fix all that, so God, our spiritual heart surgeon, is able to do the same. God tells the prophet Samuel in 1 Kings 16; 7 that “Human beings look on the outward appearance of someone, but God looks on the heart”.… Read more...

Knights of Columbus Announce Charity Raffle Winners!

St. Philip and St. Clare Knights of Columbus Council 11825 held its 6th annual charity raffle draw on Sunday, February 26, 2023 at St. Philip Parish Hall. The council sincerely thanks everybody who purchased raffle tickets. 

The winners of the charity raffle draw were:

1st prize $1,000 – J. Lemyre

2nd Prize $500 – J. Villeneuve

3rd Prize $250 – L. St. Jean

4th Prize $125 – J. McDougald

5th Prize $100 – T. Streng

As a result of this year’s Charity Raffle the Knights will be donating $2,000 to the Richmond Food Bank, $1,500 to St. Philip Church and $500 to St. Clare Mission. 

Once again, the Knights of Columbus of St. Philip and St. Clare thank everybody for their generous support!

Parish to Live-stream Only Sunday Masses during Summer Months

As stated in this weekend’s bulletin (June 25-26, 2022), due to a shortage of live-stream ministry volunteers and to allow our remaining volunteers some time off during the summer, St. Philip Parish will not be live-streaming Saturday evening Masses, effective immediately and through to Labour Day weekend. We plan to return to live-streaming Saturday evening Masses beginning on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Additionally, we will not be live-streaming the Sunday Mass on Sunday, July 31, 2022.

Anybody interested in joining the livestream ministry is encouraged to contact the Parish Office.

We thank all of the live-stream ministry volunteers, both past and currently, for their dedication to this ministry, and for their service to the parish community. We wish them all a relaxing and healthy summer season.