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A Confrontation with Demons

Pastor’s Column 4th Sunday Ordinary Time January 28, 2018 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” from Mark 1:21-28 This Sunday a most interesting exchange takes place. Jesus is confronted with a man who has "an unclean spirit”. But this is no ordinary conversation that Jesus is having with this unfortunate man, for the man speaks in the plural. He does this because he is filled with many demons. Jesus takes both angels and demons very seriously, and we would do well to do so too. Although the possessed man had never seen Jesus, the demons inside him had met Jesus on another occasion. The Bible tells us that t

The World is Passing Away

Pastor’s Column 3rd Sunday Ordinary Time January 21, 2018 Brothers and sisters, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as if they didn’t have them, those weeping as if not weeping, those rejoicing as if not rejoicing, those buying as if not owning... for the world as we know it is passing away. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 Saint Paul wrote these haunting words almost 2000 years ago, to people very much like you and me. Corinth was a big and very important port city on the Aegean Sea. Some years ago, we embarked on a pilgrimage that included the city of Corinth, the wealthy and important city where Saint Paul wrote his letter and in which he resided, and I can tell you t

Encountering the Lamb of God

Pastor’s Column 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time January 14, 2018 If you have ever watched the old Cecile B DeMille film King of Kings, you might notice that this silent movie, which was created in black and white, always has Jesus wearing a garment that is whiter than what everyone else has on; in fact, Jesus even seems to have a kind of “glow” around him. Of course, in reality, Jesus usually looked like anyone else (no glow). If he looked like “God”, he would never have been crucified! In this Sunday's gospel (John 1:35-42), Jesus, having been baptized, is mingling among the crowd of people who have come to hear and be baptized by John. John happens to catch sight of Jesus, stops what he is doin

Seeking Him with the Wise Men

Pastor’s Column Epiphany January 7, 2018 “The Magi were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary, his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:1-12 The story of the Magi which we hear at Epiphany each year is not just a history lesson. Many wonder where the Magi came from, how many or who they really were. But the Magi are not the only seekers of Christ. We are all called to be seekers of Christ, to be in fact Magi! We Christians are on a journey to Bethlehem; we are all called to seek the Lord. Indeed, ultimately he is to be found a

Mary and Joseph Encounter Anna and Simeon

Pastor’s Column Feast of the Holy family December 31, 2017 Mary and Joseph arrived at the temple, not unlike any typical Jewish couple of the time. They are following the law of the Lord. Notice that the offering they are bringing is a pigeon or a turtledove, the offering of the poor who could not afford the much more expensive customary lamb. Yet here is the irony: while not being able to secure a lamb, Mary and Joseph bring the true Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Anna recognizes Jesus for who he really is when she encounters him. How does she do this? That she was in the temple at just the right moment was no accident. Scripture says that, as a widow of many years, she was always to be

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