Hello. I’m Father Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Madonna House Associate. We are in the Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. God loves all humanity and takes passionate interest in how we live our lives in time. Our Father offers us unlimited time in heaven, but our Earth time is limited and every moment is precious. Television air time for this Live Daily Mass is of value in itself, as well as being very expensive to produce; so, we at Salt + Light & Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal greatly appreciate your support by way of your prayers and donations. (Intention) Thank you.
Penitential Rite God called Abraham as Patriarch of his chosen people. Melchizedek was King of Salem, later called Jerusalem, God’s chosen city. The inheritance of Abraham and the peace of Jerusalem both have their origin in God. Jesus is God’s peace for humanity. Today God offers us forgiveness and reconciliation to restore his peace in us. Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
So, today the Lord is speaking to us about peace. Melchizedek was called the king of peace, and Abraham was a man of peace. The pagan kings of Canaan rose up against one another and made war, and some of them carried off Abraham's nephew Lot into captivity. Abraham found out about it and raised up his own men and went out and defeated those kings and rescued his nephew Lot.
On his return the mysterious King Melchizedek, of whom nothing was known about his parents or ancestors, came out with bread and wine to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God Most High on behalf of Abraham and declared that God Most High had blessed Abraham.
The peace we long for is often disturbed - certainly during this time of pandemic after ten months or so - it is sometimes difficult to find our peace. We can also lose our peace in the way that the Pharisees did, through hardness of heart. In spite of ourselves at times our heart could be hardened, when we are in the presence perhaps of homeless people, because of their distressing appearance or smell even. Or at times it may be others in whose presence we find ourselves frustrated, and there may be times when others embarrass us in front of others.
So many situations in which we would much prefer to be a better version of ourselves, but unfortunately we find ourselves succumbing to our human weakness. The Lord is distressed whenever we experience this hardness of heart; as He was with the Pharisees. And God isn't angry at us, God is sorry, God regrets our suffering, our captivity, and desires our freedom; so that we may live a life more abundantly as his children, and be able to realize how abundantly we have been blessed by God, and to allow this abundance of his love and his life to flow out to others.
So this is the reason Jesus gives us the opportunity to be reconciled with Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, of Penance, of the Holy Confession. It is also why Jesus pours Himself out to us in the Holy Eucharist. Although right now you are unable to physically receive Holy Communion; this is not an obstacle for the Creator of the Universe, for the Eternal Word, the Son of God, Jesus. And so, the only obstacle, if obstacle there be, would be with us: our fear, our inability to trust, our unwillingness to open ourselves. But there is no point in putting up obstacles, because as far as God is concerned, we are completely transparent, and God sees and knows everything that we are.
And so, as we go to the Altar now, let us do that; let us cooperate with the Holy Spirit and open wide the gates of our spirit; in order to accommodate, to welcome the King of Peace.
Salt + Light Media and Mary Queen of the World Cathedral together produce and air this Live Daily Mass. It would take over $1,000.00 to cover their costs fully for each Live Daily Mass; so, the startup amount currently set to air your Mass intentions is a discount. As we develop this Live Daily Mass which began in October we are glad to receive your daily prayers to support this worthy project. You may send your donations and Mass intentions for the Cathedral to Salt + Light Media. Thank you. To contact me simply send an email to email@example.com
Blessing and Dismissal
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Whenever we listen to the Word of God or read the Word of God in the Bible; the God who spoke thousands of years ago speaks again today, and He speaks to you, He speaks to me, and He speaks to all who are willing to listen to Him. When God speaks a word, that word is always the eternal Word, his only begotten Son, who has been with the Father from all eternity. Every single word spoken by God is full of life just waiting to burst forth within those who believe.
Today, God speaks to us of peace. Abraham’s peace was disturbed by the pagan kings of Canaan, forcing him to defend his people and go out to rescue his nephew Lot. Abraham was on a journey of faith to do the will of God; so, God defended him against his enemies. King Melchizedek of Salem came out with bread and wine to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise to God Most High in Abraham’s name and to say that God Most High blessed Abraham.
Melchizedek is king of peace, and he helped Abraham, the man of peace, to give thanks and praise to God. He did this in a land where all the peoples worshipped pagan gods. Melchizedek stood out, being a priest of God Most High, and at the same time king of peace in a troubled and violent land. He was also a mysterious figure with no apparent genealogy. It was as if God sent him from heaven or as if the Son of God came to Earth 1,800 years before his incarnation in Mary’s womb. The Letter to the Hebrews quotes God’s prophetic word to Jesus: “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” So, Melchizedek was sent by God.
Jesus is the true Melchizedek, the true King of Peace, but He has trouble finding peace in the synagogue. We could be tempted to judge and condemn the Pharisees for their hardness of heart towards the man with the withered hand. It might be helpful for us to stop and consider for a moment the situations in which we have been uncomfortable with someone in trouble. It may have been homeless people who bothered us because of how they looked or smelled, or it may have been someone close to us who is bothering us in some way, or it may be someone who asks us for help at a very inconvenient time, or someone who embarrasses us in front of others.
On our own, it is very difficult if not impossible for us to avoid hardening our hearts against others. Only God can renew our heart from moment to moment in order to keep our heart soft, tender, loving, forgiving, caring and compassionate. This is why Jesus offers us opportunities to go to Confession and be Reconciled to Him and to our Father in heaven. This is also why every day Jesus offers us his own life, his Body and Blood, in order to divinize us with a transfusion of the divine life of love that He has with his Father and the Holy Spirit.
At every moment and in every place the Holy Spirit is right here within us to prompt us to open our hearts to other Christians all over the world and worship Jesus with united hearts as our Savior; Jesus who says to all who believe in Him that we are unconditionally and personally loved by God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
© 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