St. Blaise Sign of the + Greeting
Hello. I’m Father Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Madonna House Associate. Today we remember St. Blaise, Armenian bishop and martyr of the 4th century. This Live Daily Mass in English is in its 5th month. Television time is very expensive to produce and air; so, we Salt + Light Media & Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal appreciate your support by way of your prayers and donations. (No Intention) Thank you.
Penitential Rite Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
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Blessing and Dismissal
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So, Brothers and Sisters, today the Lord addresses us a word that we are not too eager to receive; it is not easy to receive it: namely, that the Lord disciplines us as a good parent disciplines their children. We know that good parents do not enjoy giving discipline and boundaries to their children, but parents who do not do so are considered guilty of abuse, of neglecting their children. That's why it is that God disciplines us. Why? To keep us on the path that leads to eternal life.
And what is eternal life? In his Gospel chapter 17, John the Beloved Disciple, Apostle and Evangelist in verse 3 quotes Jesus as having said: "And this is eternal life: to know You, the one true God, the Father, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." So that means, then, brothers and sisters, that we already taste the eternal life of heaven here on Earth to the degree that we know God the Father, personally, and his Son Jesus, personally. And we know them personally through the presence and action of the Holy Spirit but it's not self-evident. We see that from the Gospel.
When Jesus came to his hometown in Nazareth, well, some of them were glad to listen to Him and others were not. What is it about our human nature that makes it so difficult for us to be glad when someone else is happy, to be glad to participate in their success? It's the original sin. We have been damaged and wounded, we are afraid and insecure, and so we have all of these negative and drastic reactions. We put up walls, we judge other people; we look at them harshly, and on and on it goes.
But it is not without hope. Yes, we could say, especially during this time of worldwide pandemic that the world is a mess. If we consider some of our personal lives and family situations, in our town, in our province, in our country, we could say that sometimes things are a mess. And yet, God's creation continues to be awesomely beautiful and inspiring. The truth, the goodness, the beauty of God are reflected in his handiwork throughout creation, and that includes us. So there is God's truth, God's goodness, and God's beauty invested in each and every one of us, and it is that infinite value that our heavenly Father wants to jealously protect, even from ourselves and from our lesser or more evil inclinations.
So, it comes down to this: "Lord, am I willing to trust You? Lord Jesus, do I believe in You?" As Father Francis McKee preached on Saturday: "Am I willing to lay my whole life in your hands: all that I am, all that I have, all that I have done, and all that I will do?"
So, on this memorial day of Saint Blaise, the Armenian bishop and martyr of the 4th century, where it is traditional to ask his intercession with God to bless our throats and protect us from ailments of the throat particularly in winter. So, if there are two or more of you at home, I invite you to touch one another's throat as I invoke God's blessing. If you're alone, then you could touch your own throat and we'll invoke God's blessing.
So, through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may Almighty God protect you from ailments of the throat and grant you healing in illness, in the Name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today the Lord speaks to us a word we don’t like to hear, educated, sophisticated, and modern as we are. Our Heavenly Father behaves toward us as a truly good parent does. He disciplines us in order to guide us on the right path toward the eternal life He desires to share with us. What is eternal life? John the Beloved Disciple, Apostle, and Evangelist recalled Jesus declaring, in chapter 17 verse 3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” That means we already begin to taste how good is eternal life here and now on Earth as the Holy Spirit gives us to know the Father and the Son He sent to Earth as Jesus Christ.
How does our Father discipline us? The author of the Letter to the Hebrews explains that it is through the ordinary movements, currents, trials, troubles, temptations, challenges, and tribulations of ordinary life that we are tested and the intentions of our heart are purified. We can see how that works from what happened to Jesus on his return to Nazareth his home town.
The people familiar with Jesus thought they knew everything there was to know about Him; so “they took offence at him”. Their pride was hurt. Some may have been jealous. Others may have been put off by his knowledge and wisdom, or by his reputation and deeds of power. Still others may have rejected the will of God as Jesus presented his Father and obeyed Him.
Why is it that we find it so difficult at times to be glad with those who rejoice or to take pleasure in other people’s success? Why are we so inclined to look upon others harshly, to judge them, dismiss them, exclude them, or look down upon them? It is because of the original sin… we are all of us infected, wounded, damaged, and it is too often out of fear and insecurity that we speak, act, and behave. We cause much of our own troubles and we cause each other to suffer as well. Ah, but it is not without hope.
Yes, we can certainly say that our world is a mess, especially during the ongoing worldwide Pandemic. Humanity is a mess in so many places: at home, at work, in our towns, provinces, and nations. However, God’s Creation continues to be awesomely beautiful, and it reflects all the truth, goodness, and beauty of our Creator. God’s truth, goodness, and beauty are also in each and every one of us, and God jealously guards his divine reflection within us, to protect it and to make it grow. God offers to instill his own divine life within us, if only we will accept.
On this memorial of St. Blaise, Armenian bishop and martyr, it is traditional to invoke the saint’s intercession for ailments of the throat. If you are two or more at home now, I invite you to touch each other’s throat while I pray. If you are alone, then I invite you to touch your own throat. “Father in Heaven, through the intercession of St. Blaise, we ask that You protect us and cure us from ailments of the throat: 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