26th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This Weekend we’re doing something a little different - Cardinal Collins has asked that all parishes in the Archdiocese celebrate the Feast of St Michael (Patron Saint of Toronto).  We know from the Book of Revelation that the Archangel Michael drove Satan out of heaven and “hurled him to the earth.”  The passage also says that the Devil “had deceived all the world.”  I think that today’s celebration provides an opportunity to reflect on our understanding of our desires and struggles to live our Catholic Christian faith.

We often think that the big battle going on between good and evil is between God and the Devil.  This, however, is not the case.  It is not God who battles the Devil, rather it is humanity, it is each of us.  But we need not be afraid, we are not left alone, God sends us his grace.  God dreams that every human being enjoy the fullness of life, while the Devil wants life curtailed, he wants death.  Life and death are not only about whether or not one has a pulse.  They are also experienced within our souls and spiritual hearts.  One of the most humanly descriptive passages in the Bible is from Genesis, when Adam and Eve have committed the first sin and now hid from God.  In our own lives, we too often hide.  We may think that it is better to avoid the possibility of rejection rather than face the pain of rejection itself.  While this may seem reasonable, it expresses a deep sense of confusion as to who we are.  If we feel the need to hide or to pretend to be someone else, then we are saying that our life and faith is neither pleasing to God nor good enough.  When we treat ourselves in this way, we take steps away from life and move more towards death.  The fullness of life implies and embracing of both the Creator and what the Creator has created.  If the Creator is God, then the created is each of us.  I cannot love the Creator but, at the same time, be disappointed with what God has created.  To love God means that we are to love ourselves as well.  There is no need to hide from God or others.  Instead, let us know in our hearts that God’s hands mould us and that we are moulded by and for love. 

The struggle we most often encounter with the Devil is the denial of this truth.  He tempts our hearts with destructive words, saying that we’re not good enough, and that we’ll never be.   With such feelings, we can move farther away from life.  Yet, our God has given his very self to us.  And God has done this out of love for every single person.  Each of you is God’s gift.  Like any gift, it needs to be received and used, it isn’t meant to be hidden.  Our task is to accept that we are made by the loving hands of God, to accept that we are God’s gift and not a disappointment.  When these feelings and thoughts find a home within our hearts, we move close to life because we have grown in love. 

We are not alone in our struggle to be who we are.  God’s love is shared through grace.  St Michael and the saints intercede on our behalf.  And we, as a community of love, support, care, assist and hold each other.

God Bless, and Take Care,
Fr. John

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Parish Bulletin for the Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time269.42 KB

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