Christmas Day / - Jour de Noël 25 décembre / December 25th, 2020 - Sainte-Suzanne


Gospel & Homily / Évangile et Homélie - version MP3        - 
version PDF   

It has been a full nine months since the beginning of the worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic in Québec and Canada last March. That is the duration of a human pregnancy, and it has not been a joyful one, but a difficult, painful, and sad time of dreaded expectancy. Under these circumstances, how can we go around wishing one another “Merry Christmas?”

 La Pandémie mondiale Covid-19 nous a frappés ici au Québec et au Canada il y a neuf mois, le temps d’une grossesse. Ce temps d’attente n’a pas été joyeux mais difficile, douloureux, et trop souvent triste. Comment allons-nous faire pour nous souhaiter : « Joyeux Noël? »

La joie de Noël que Dieu le Père nous offre en donnant à toute l’humanité son Fils n’est pas la jovialité du « party ». C’est plutôt la joie de se savoir aimé, et que cet amour est permanent. Dieu n’arrête jamais de nous aimer. The joy which God the Father offers all of humanity at Christmas is not the merriment of “party time”; rather, it is the joy that erupts from knowing that we are loved, and that this love is permanent. God never stops loving us.

We who are disciples of Jesus and known as Christians and Catholics are not naïve. We know well enough that life is an uninterrupted procession of troubles ending in physical death. Human beings have always known this. Today, and for the next 16 days until the Baptism of the Lord, God envelops us in the warm blanket of peace and love, joy and hope at the sight of the Infant Jesus in Mary’s or Joseph’s arms or in the manger. The beauty and peace of the Infant Jesus is a balm applying God’s healing and merciful love on the wounds of our heart and soul.

Cependant, nous Chrétiens et Catholiques, nous ne sommes pas naïfs. Nous savons comme toute l’humanité que la vie est une procession ininterrompue de troubles nous menant jusqu’à la mort. En ce Noël, et pour les prochains 16 jours jusqu’au Baptême de Jésus, le Bon Dieu nous enveloppe dans une couverture douce et chaude de sa paix, de son amour, de la joie et de l’espérance à la vue de l’Enfant Jésus dans les bras de Marie ou de Joseph ou dans la crèche. La beauté et la paix de l’Enfant Jésus est un baume appliquant l’amour miséricordieux et guérisseur de Dieu sur les plaies de notre cœur, de notre âme, et de notre esprit.

This Pandemic has confirmed what humanity has always known, namely, that God does not come to rescue us from trouble as if by magic. On the contrary, God leaves wide open the full range of our freedom of thought, word, emotion, attitude, gesture, and action. We all suffer the consequences of our errors and sins; as well as of the errors and sins others. We know that we will die; yet in the face of all this darkness, Jesus has come to offer us the hope of sharing with Him in the resurrection and joining Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit in Heaven.  

Après neuf mois de Pandémie mondiale il est tout à fait évident que le Bon Dieu ne vient pas nous secourir comme par magie; au contraire, Dieu nous laisse grand ouvert le champ de notre liberté de pensée, de parole, d’émotion, d’attitude, de geste, et d’action. Nous souffrons tous et toutes les conséquences de nos gaffes et de nos péchés, et de ceux des autres. Nous savons que nous mourrons; mais face à tous ces ténèbres, Jésus est venu nous offrir l’espérance de partager avec Lui la résurrection et le Ciel en communion avec le Père et le Saint Esprit.


The Infant Jesus is small, humanly weak, and innocent, but we already know that as Son of God He will be great, a master of divine wisdom, and a true champion. He will courageously face our faults and all our troubles. He will not make what hurts or frightens us disappear as by enchantment. No, He will show us that we have nothing to fear regarding our eternal destiny, and because He is always with us in the Holy Spirit, we can face the present with complete confidence in God and endure everything without complaining. Jesus is our joy.

L’enfant Jésus est tout petit, humain, faible et innocent, mais nous savons déjà que, Fils de Dieu, Il sera grand, un maître de sagesse, et un vrai champion. Il fera face courageusement à nos défauts et à tous nos troubles. Il ne fera pas disparaître comme par enchantement ce qui nous fait peur ou mal. Non, Il nous montrera que nous n’avons rien à craindre concernant notre destinée éternelle. Il est toujours avec nous dans le Saint Esprit. Nous pouvons affronter le présent avec toute confiance en Dieu et tout endurer sans nous plaindre. Jésus est notre joie.  

Alors laissons-nous emporter dans la joie de contempler l’innocente beauté de l’Enfant Jésus et laissons notre cœur se dilater par amour pour Lui et pour Notre Père du Ciel; car l’Esprit Saint vient à tout moment nous remplir de la vitalité et de l’amour de Dieu. Faisons plaisir au Bon Dieu à tout moment et en toute circonstance; car Emanuel vient trouver sa demeure au-dedans de nous. Il vient nous rendre capables d’aimer tout le monde, même ceux qui veulent se faire nos ennemies. Jésus vient faire toute chose neuve; alors en Jésus nous pouvons dire à tout le monde sincèrement et avec abandon : Joyeux Noël!

So let the innocent beauty of the Child Jesus sweep us away, and let our hearts swell with love for Him and for our Father in Heaven; for the Holy Spirit comes at every moment to fill us with the vitality and love of God. Let us seek to please the Good God at every moment and in every situation; for Emanuel comes to dwell within us. He comes to enable us to love everyone, even those who would make themselves our enemies. Jesus comes to make all things new; so we can truly say to everyone with great abandon: Merry Christmas!

Let us now wish one another “Merry Christmas!” in the love of God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Tournons-nous les uns vers les autres maintenant pour nous souhaiter un « Joyeux Noël! » dans l’amour de Dieu : le Père, le + Fils, et le Saint Esprit. Amen. « Joyeux Noël! » “Merry Christmas!” 

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© 2006-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2006-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC


God's love shines radiantly upon us in the Nativity of his Son Jesus birthed by Mary his Mother - Wed. Dec. 23, 2020 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal

 Homily MP3 version          Homily PDF version    


Day 8 of Mary & Joseph’s Pilgrimage from Nazareth to Bethlehem

Hello. I’m Father Gilles Surprenant. It is the day before Christmas Eve. Christmas is so close now. We thank God for bringing us together via Salt + Light for this live Mass in Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal. Television air time is so very expensive to produce; so we appreciate your support by way of your prayers and donations. Thank you.

Sign of the +                      Greeting                                  Penitential Rite


Listen attentively to the sounds of silence…. Can you hear the little bells on the donkey’s harness? It is day 8 of the 9-day pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Mary was very heavy with the Child Jesus still in her womb. How difficult and uncomfortable it must have been for her to ride on the donkey; yet she did not complain. Sadly, we may at times be inclined to complain, making life more difficult for those around us, and we may forget to be grateful and may neglect showing others our appreciation. Let us ask the Lord to forgive us….

 

HOMILY

There is a divine glow coming from the love of God and shining brightly upon our souls as we approach the radiant days of the Christmas Season. Of course we see more and more lights shining their Christmas beauty – whether you prefer waiting for Christmas Eve to turn on your exterior lights or began lighting up the front of your home as early as the beginning of Advent.

More dramatic is the radiant light shining on us from the loving face of Jesus, warming the cold and damp of our minds and hearts. As children see their parents expending great effort to prepare for Christmas, they might be inclined to take greater care to please their parents and to avoid having conflicts with their siblings; they may even volunteer to help more spontaneously.

Employers may be more inclined to show patience and gratitude to their employees; while workers may be inclined to work harder and give their employers a better effort and result for their labors. Siblings may have already begun to show each other deeper understanding and compassion through better words and more gestures of kindness, gratitude, and generosity. We may even begin to notice the poor and homeless, who suffer so much from feeling invisible, and we may stop to chat with them and ask them how they are managing and offer them a gift.

All year long, but especially during these holy days of Advent followed by the radiant days of Christmas, the Holy Spirit is constantly at work: attracting our minds, hearts, and spirits to adopt better attitudes of understanding, patience, kindness, and compassion. As the script writer of the classic movie “Miracle on 34th Street” had the character Kris Kringle put it: “This time of year inspires people to lay aside the more hateful and selfish tendencies that usually tend to dominate our lives, in favor of mutual understanding, kindness, and generosity….”

It is necessary and good for us to cooperate with this work of the Holy Spirit within us, because God – the Most Holy Trinity – is a blazing furnace of divine love. If we accept to be purified now, during our life on Earth, of every hateful and selfish tendency, and replace these with thoughts, words, and gestures of kindness, forgiveness, compassion, and generosity; then when we come face to face with God the meeting will be joyous and not painful.

On the other hand, if we insist on complaining, pouting, being miserable, making trouble for others, and thinking only of ourselves; then when we come face to face before God – who is an intense furnace of divine love – God’s blazing fire of love will be shockingly painful indeed.


We can see the clear difference between our ways and God’s ways in what happened around the birth and circumcision of John the Baptist. The whole family was taken up with the family traditions which would require the child to be given his father’s name. Elizabeth very courageously stood her ground when she insisted, with her husband Zechariah, on doing what God had asked them to do through the Angel Gabriel; that is, to name the child John.

These are privileged days of grace for us. As we continue our own journey of faith in God – personally and as a family – we have these wonderful witnesses present to us to encourage us: Elizabeth and Zechariah, Mary and Joseph, the Archangel Gabriel, and the two infants: John who would become the Baptist, and Jesus, who would become our Saviour.

It is an act of love at this time of year to remember before God all those who are unwanted, unremembered, and unloved; as well as those who are unable to make room for them; because all of us are personally loved by God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Announcement

Salt + Light Media and Mary Queen of the World Cathedral are happy to receive your contributions and Mass intentions in support of this Live Daily Mass. Please continue to send your donations and Mass intentions to Salt + Light Media or to the Cathedral. Thank you for your support. To contact me just send an email to fathergilles@gmail.com

 

https://frgilleshomilies.blogspot.com

 

© 2006-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2006-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC

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