How are we "treating Jesus" these days? - Wednesday in Holy Week, March 31st, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal

  Gospel & Homily MP3 version                                 Homily PDF version        


   Sign of the +      Greeting    
 I’m Fr. Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Madonna House Associate. Here we are at last in Holy Week. On Palm Sunday as we listened once again to the proclamation of the Passion of Our Lord, we may have wondered how we are treating Jesus today. How am I treating Jesus today in my neighbour? During this Live Daily Mass, the Lord Jesus invites us with great love to walk with Him this Holy Week.             (Intention)            Thank you.

Penitential Rite         Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries. “I confess to Almighty God….”  

HOMILY

When I was young, I thought Judas Iscariot must have been a terrible man. After all, what he did was terrible, betraying Jesus was bad enough, but also getting money for it is shocking. Jesus was right to say it would have been better for him if he had not been born.

Still, as I grow older, I have come to realize that God allowed Judas to fall into darkness for a kind purpose, for all of us that is. It’s because the darkness that swallowed Judas is the very same darkness that oppresses all of us human beings during our time on this Planet Earth.

The darkness is that we no longer believe that God loves us. We think we believe it in our heads, but in our hearts, not so much. If I really believed that God loves me, I would go about my life differently, I think. Material things and all sorts of fears would have less of a hold on me, and my heart would be much more sensitive to what is happening to other people.

We want to believe God loves us… that is why we go to church when the churches are open and, when they’re closed, it is why we attend Mass on TV or on the Internet. We really want to know in our bones that God loves us, with no shadow of doubt. We want to put all our trust in God for our lives, but like Peter walking on the water, as soon as we feel the wind of trouble, we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on ourselves… and we begin to sink….

 God our Creator and Father knows; so, He had pity on us and sent his only begotten Son to Earth to become one of us by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, the Immaculate Conception. The Eternal Son knew He was in for it when He became human. He knew we let our fears dominate us, and that the risk was very high we would kill Him; as in the end we actually did.

I can’t imagine that I might betray Jesus as Judas did or deny Him as Peter did. However, when I think of how easily I let myself be upset with people close to me or how easily I forget to be kind or to show concern for others with real acts of caring and forgiveness; then I begin to understand how I do or fail to do these things to Jesus when I do or fail to do them to others.

God our Father doesn’t want us to become paralyzed with guilt – that’s the favorite trick of Satan the Accuser, the Devil, God’s Adversary. Jesus saves us by showing us God’s love in his passion; He did this for us so that we can truly believe that God loves us. The Holy Spirit offers to help us to love others as Jesus loves us, with everything we are and have, our whole self.

Jesus saves us every time we confess our sins to Him. “Father in Heaven, help us to humbly confess our sins and that You are God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Announcement

We thank you for your daily prayers and donations to the Cathedral and Salt + Light Media in support for this Live Daily Mass. Blessed Holy Triduum to you and your families.

Blessing and Dismissal

 

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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

Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday - LSM sponsored by CAM - March 28th, 2021 - OLF Parish

  Gospel & Homily MP3 version                                 Homily PDF version     


Dear brothers and sisters, what a story we are living today! We have been held captive for a year now by this worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic. Behold! Today we have been allowed – to a maximum of 250 people – to return to church. Naturally, we must still observe the public health protocols; so, our church doors have not yet been opened wide. Here, the maximum is closer to 65. Still, we can give thanks to God for inspiring those who govern us to allow us to worship God this Holy Week and for Easter.


Today, the Lord’s Day, is a day of contradictions – we call it Palm Sunday but also Passion Sunday. The palms are for praising Jesus and for welcoming Him as King… while the passion, well that is literally the execution of our God. On one side of our face, we make Jesus our King, but on the other side, we kill Him. We have really messed things up…. What a story!


God must love us a lot to send his only-begotten Son to Earth, and for the Son who became Jesus to accept to take the risk of living among us. We’re a sorry lot, and I include myself in this. Sooner or later, we hurt those we love, and we neglect or forget our loved ones when it doesn’t suit us anymore to please them. We believe in God, but we don’t really expect Him to make a difference in our daily lives. We constantly throw ourselves into taking charge of our situations just because we can’t stand to wait to give God time to act. What a story!


Nevertheless, Jesus knows us very well; so, the big shock is that He loves us anyway! So, this is the great drama of Holy Week. What shall we make of Jesus? This year, how will we react to the proclamation of his passion, his death, and his resurrection? What shall we do about our life, our family, our situations and our concerns? What a story!

In addition, it is as clear as mountain stream water that God invites us to enter into intimate family relations with the Most Holy Trinity. Jesus presents us to his Father and the Father invites us to accept his love, his forgiveness, and his great mercy. The Holy Spirit invites us to enter more deeply into our spirit, and there to welcome friendship with the living God. These three Divine Persons invite us to show our love and gratitude by loving our family and our neighbour as ourselves. How shall we respond? What a story!

And here is the clincher. God asks us to forgive each other all our sins and all our faults, without limit! He even wants us to love our enemies, without necessarily making them friends; at least there’s that. What a story!

This Holy Week let us walk together with the Apostles, Mary Magdalene, Veronica, Simon of Cyrene, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and accompany Jesus on his Way of the Cross; as we pray to God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us take a few moments in silence to reflect on Jesus’ awesome Passion.

https://frgilleshomilies.blogspot.com  

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3/28/21 | Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion - The main event upon which our faith is based... Had it not been for what happened between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, we would never have heard of Jesus. - Homily by Archbishop Seán Patrick O'Malley OFM Cap of Boston Archdiocese, MA

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Presiding over the liturgy of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Pope Francis underscored the sense of interior amazement that marks this celebration and remains with us throughout Holy Week. For the second year in a row, Pope Francis led the celebration of Palm Sunday inside Saint Peter’s Basilica with a limited congregation participating due to the Coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, millions joined the celebration with the customary global television and radio broadcasts and live streaming. In his homily for the occasion, the Holy Father focused his thoughts around the sense of amazement evoked in today’s liturgy and all of Holy Week, since we go from the joy of welcoming Jesus as he enters Jerusalem to the sorrow of seeing him condemned to death and crucified. We hear of the crowds shouting “Hosanna” and a few days later crying out “Crucify him”. The Pope said this contrast reflected a reality where people admired Jesus, but did not let themselves be amazed by him. He said both terms are fundamentally different: admiration “can be wordly” since it follows its own likes and expectations, whereas, amazement remains open to the wonder of others and the newness they bring, allowing our attitudes and lives to change as a result. We have to go be beyond admiring Jesus, the Pope said, and “follow in his footsteps, to let ourselves be challenged by him; to pass from admiration to amazement.”


Every year this liturgy leaves us amazed: we pass from the joy of welcoming Jesus as he enters Jerusalem to the sorrow of watching him condemned to death and then crucified. That sense of interior amazement will remain with us throughout Holy Week. Let us reflect more deeply on it. From the start, Jesus leaves us amazed. His people give him a solemn welcome, yet he enters Jerusalem on a lowly colt. His people expect a powerful liberator at Passover, yet he comes to bring the Passover to fulfilment by sacrificing himself. His people are hoping to triumph over the Romans by the sword, but Jesus comes to celebrate God’s triumph through the cross. What happened to those people who in a few days’ time went from shouting “Hosanna” to crying out “Crucify him”? What happened?

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© 2006-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Poustinik

We find it difficult to trust in God's tender love due to the "dark things" within us - we need to confess - Wednesday, 4th Week of Lent & St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal

 Gospel & Homily MP3 version                                 Homily PDF version        


Saint Patrick, Bishop

Sign of the +                   Greeting 

Hello. I’m Fr. Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Madonna House Associate. In this 4th week of Lent and we are past the mid-point to Easter. St. Patrick is the apostle who brought Jesus to Ireland. Like St. Joseph whom we honor this year, St. Patrick knew Jesus personally; as did all the saints. During this Live Daily Mass, the Lord once again invites each of us to trust in Him and open ourselves completely to be renewed by Him. (Intention) Thank you.

Penitential Rite         Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.  

 Announcement 

We thank you for your daily prayers and donations to the Cathedral and Salt + Light Media in support for this Live Daily Mass.

Blessing and Dismissal


HAPPY SAINT  PATRICK'S DAY !!!


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HOMILY

The words we just heard from the Lord through the prophet Isaiah are an unforgettable expression of tenderness. There are many such proofs of God’s tender love for us, his children, throughout the Sacred Scriptures. When we consider Jesus, how He lived his life, his mission and then how He surrendered Himself into our hands, the hands of his persecutors; we should not be astonished at God’s declarations of tender love for us.

Perhaps what is truly astonishing is how difficult it is to understand why we find it so hard, so difficult to believe in God’s tender love for us. We have a hard time actually believing that God loves us; that He loves me. Why is that, do you think?

In John’s Gospel we see what great efforts Jesus made to give understanding to the Jewish leaders about who He was and about what He was doing. Could it be that these Jewish leaders were resisting Jesus for the same reasons we do?

Jesus did not fit into the ways they understood their religion and their God. I believe that we have a similar problem. We all have ideas about who God is and about what we expect of Him. It is just as shocking to us as it was to those Jewish leaders that God does not fit into our ideas.

God has his own ideas, because his understanding of Himself and of all that He has created is far higher, broader, and deeper than any understanding we could ever have.

God understands Himself to be a community, a Holy Trinity of divine Persons – the Eternal Father, the only-begotten Son who became human in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life. God the Holy Trinity is the most wonderful love story in the universe, and we have been created to participate in this awesome love story, this divine Family.

What is holding us back from plunging with delight into this wondrous community of love which is in God? I suppose that for each of us there could be many things holding us back. If I have been hurt, I may be unwilling to forgive the one who hurt me; I may even desire revenge.

Lent is a gift from God: a time to stop and let the Holy Spirit illumine my conscience, my mind, my heart, and my soul to see the dark things that keep me from accepting God’s love and from loving everyone – even those I don’t like. It is time to surrender my darkness to the Lord.

It is hard at any time, even more so during this Pandemic, to confess our sins to a priest. We don’t like to admit we messed up; yet this is how Jesus wants us to reconcile with God, because Confession makes it real. “Father in Heaven, help us put away our pride and humbly declare by confessing our sins that You are God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

https://frgilleshomilies.blogspot.com


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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

Is God real for me? Am I attentive to God or am I living in denial like the Apostles were? - Wednesday, 2nd Week of Lent, March 3rd, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal


  The Gospel and Homily MP3 file                    The Homily PDF file   

                       Sign of the +                            Greeting                        

Hello. I’m Father Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Madonna House Associate. Here we are already in the second week of Lent. How is your Lenten observance coming along? During this Live Daily Mass the Lord continues to encourage us to come closer to Him; so we can apply our Lenten disciplines towards this goal. (Intention) Thank you.

Penitential Rite         Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.  

HOMILY

How real is God for me? How real is God for you? God was obviously real for Jeremiah the prophet, because in his prayer Jeremiah was addressing his complaint to someone real and capable of granting his request. His enemies didn’t like Jeremiah’s declarations in the Name of the Lord; so they plotted to get rid of the prophet. For these people, it’s obvious that God was not real; they had no fear of repercussions from God, because they didn’t believe God is real.

With the Apostles, the situation is not quite the same. They all believe that God is real, and by this time, they believe – more or less – that Jesus is the Son of God. So why do they fail to feel anything as Jesus tells them about what is soon going to happen to Him in Jerusalem? Why do they fail to have any sympathy for Him? Why are they not supportive of Him? Well, it’s not too difficult to understand, I think. They are in denial. The coming passion and death of Jesus is so horrible that they can’t face it, they can’t admit it to themselves; they can’t deal with it.

We are probably all familiar with this kind of reaction in the face of terrible realities. This may be the greatest cause of trouble for married couples. When something awful happens or is about to happen, we may fail to show each other sympathy and instead retreat into denial, a mechanism that conveniently makes the intense emotion go away temporarily. Relationships can endure denial briefly, but it is necessary to recover soon and be there for the other.

It is beautiful to see how Jesus reacts to the denial of his Apostles. At first, they are silent, and then the mother of James and John tries to assure that her sons will have a future when Jesus is gone. Jesus does not reproach her in her maternal concerns, nor her sons in their denial. On the contrary, Jesus softens the harsh reality of the persecution to come by using a pleasant image: the sharing and drinking of a cup. He knows they really love Him and want to be with Him; so He puts it this way. Jesus knows that they are not quite ready now to face his passion and death, but later they will be ready to face their own persecution.

Then Jesus gives them Himself as their example to follow. They are to serve one another and not look for positions or honors. What about us? What about me? What about you? There are no doubt many life situations that we don’t want to face, that we don’t feel we are able to face, but we must sooner or later face them. Today the Lord Jesus assures us once again that we are not alone. With Him, in the Father’s love, and with the Holy Spirit, we can do all things.

It is hard for us to go to a priest and confess our sins. We don’t like to admit we messed up. Yet this is how Jesus wants us to reconcile with God, because Confession humbles us and makes us real. “Father in Heaven, help us put away our pride and humbly declare by confessing our sins that You are God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Announcement 

This Live Daily Mass costs more for Salt + Light Media and Mary Queen of the World Cathedral than the amount set for you to air your Mass intentions. As we continue to develop this Live Daily Mass under Pandemic conditions; we count on your daily prayers and support. 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 fathergilles@gmail.com

Blessing and Dismissal

 

https://frgilleshomilies.blogspot.com

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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

Are we really "good enough Catholics"? Or does Jesus expect more from each and every one of us? Tuesday in the 2nd Week of Lent


  Sign of the +                            Greeting                        

 Penitential Rite         Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.  

HOMILY

Do you know that people generally tell me they are Good Catholics? They believe that they are “doing enough” to satisfy God’s expectations. “We go to Church often enough. We give enough to the poor and to the Church. With regards to sexuality and other moral questions, we are good enough. Although this attitude seems to be almost universal, there is a question that bothers me and just won’t go away. Is being “good enough” really pleasing God our Father?

Come to think of it, I find distasteful people who seem content to be “just long enough” with me in person, on the phone, or by email. By contrast, I believe we all much prefer the person who enjoys our company so much that they lose track of time and almost miss an appointment. Our human heart, mind, soul, and body are made for relationship, and only authentic personal relationships are deeply satisfying and meaningful to us. This is real life. This is really living.

Why should eternal life be different? We have been designed for relationships with other human beings and also with God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. John the Beloved Disciple, Apostle, and Evangelist in his Gospel in chapter 17 verse 3 recalls Jesus saying: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” That means that by the gift of God, by his grace, we can already taste here and now on Earth how good it is to know and to love the Father and the Son Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

The sad reality is that we don’t do the good we want to do, and we don’t always avoid the evil that deep down we don’t want to do, but we do it anyway. God is not pleased because He knows this is not how we can give meaning and purpose to our lives; this is not the way to love God, others, and ourselves with our whole mind, heart, soul, and strength. Because He truly loves us and wants our lives to become truly meaningful, good, and beautiful, God is eager to forgive us if only we are willing to confess to Him our sinfulness and seek his forgiveness.

Jesus hated the scribes and Pharisees because they were hypocrites who preferred pleasure and comfort rather than make room for others in their hearts. Jesus taught people to do what the religious leaders taught, because they were teaching the Word of God, but Jesus warned people not to imitate what they did, because they did not live in accord with the Word of God. The religious leaders did not care about people or about God. God wants us to care for Him as well as for others, because only then will we live truly of love and taste the goodness of our life.

It is hard for us to go to a priest and confess our sins. We don’t like to admit we messed up. Yet this is how Jesus wants us to reconcile with God, because Confession humbles us and makes us real. “Father in Heaven, help us put away our pride and humbly declare by confessing our sins that You are God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessing and Dismissal

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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God offers us friendship and calls us to accept that we need to believe and trust in Him - 2nd Sunday of Lent, Feb. 28, 2021 - MQP - JLW Parish


 The Gospel and Homily MP3 file                    The Homily PDF file   

Today, the Lord’s Day, Almighty God speaks to us, the divine Eternal Word of our Father in Heaven and Eternal Son speaks to us about human sacrifice, trials and tribulations, the scary reality that God lets us be tempted and tested, and the transfiguration of Jesus in the presence of his chosen Apostles Peter, James, and John.

When we hear or read about human sacrifices, we spontaneously think of primitive societies and of people practicing primitive religions in which idols – strange gods who are not the true God but in fact are probably demons – demand human sacrifice. It seems shocking to us that God, who called Abram to leave ancestral religion behind, to leave his country for an unknown land He promised to give him; that God now demanded that Abram sacrifice his only son.

When Abram left his homeland, he also put behind him the local religion with its common practice of making human sacrifices. Abram followed God’s voice for 25 years and God blessed Abram and lengthened his name to Abraham as a pledge of his promise that he would have so many descendants that he would expand and become a people, God’s Chosen People.

As it happened, God gave Abraham and Sarah in their old age only one son, Isaac. So, it is all the more difficult to understand why God would demand that Abraham make of Isaac, his only son, a human sacrifice: killing him and burning him up as a holocaust. At the last moment God stopped Abraham and provided a substitute victim, a ram caught in a bush; saving Isaac from death. Then God revealed to Abraham that he had passed the test.

This is very disturbing, because it confirms our experience that God does at times put us to the test. We don’t like being tested, but God is sovereign, and He alone knows his holy will for us, for our eternal destiny, for the good of our families, and for the salvation of humanity. It is also true that our human potential for good does not become activated until we face adversity and are obliged by troubles to make an effort to put into practice our ideals and values. If we never had any trouble in life; then we would remain weak and undeveloped.

God also needed to prepare a people who would one day be ready to welcome his divine and only-begotten Son when in his incarnation He would take flesh of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the action of the Holy Spirit. We just finished celebrating Jesus’ Nativity at Christmas.

Today we see Jesus transfigured in radiant light and talking with Moses and Elijah about his suffering and death about to take place in Jerusalem. When Isaac, the true son of Abraham and Sarah was substituted for sacrifice by a ram, God taught humanity that his divine Son was substituted for sacrifice by Jesus’ humanity. The Divine Son of God could not die, but Jesus in his humanity could die. Death is the just punishment for all of humanity’s crimes and violent exploitation of others, and for all our sins against God’s love. Jesus died so we might live.

Illness, trials and tribulations, suffering and death – we find all of these revolting – and we often pray to God, asking Him to deliver us from all of them. We know from experience that at times God does deliver and protect us; while at other times, He allows us to suffer instead. We find it almost impossible to understand the ways of the Lord; still, we need to be more grateful.

Part of God’s plan for our life and eternal salvation, is that we learn to put our faith in God, to trust in Him. God has revealed to humanity through his Son Jesus that our Creator loves the human beings He has created. We cannot give our Creator a genuine return of love; not unless we choose and decide to believe in Him, to put our trust in Him. We cannot love what we fear, but we can love what we hold in awe and amazement with respect.

This is the meaning and purpose of the Season of Lent, and of our whole life on Earth: to learn to freely choose and decide to hold God in awe and amazement with respect and to give our Creator a genuine return of authentic love. This is why Jesus gave his apostles the “Last Supper” and commanded them to “do this in memory of Me”. This is the primary purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Jesus invites us to share in his own attitude of obedience to the Father’s will, even when we don’t fully understand his will, and especially when we find his will revolting, scary, and completely undesirable. This is how Jesus himself felt on Holy Thursday.

This is also why Jesus declared that we cannot be his disciples unless we accept to carry our cross and follow Him. No doubt the heaviest part of our cross is the daily burden of not knowing or not understanding why God allows us to suffer trials and tribulations, to be sick, suffer, and die, and why God gives humanity such extreme freedom that we actually do terrible things to one another. At no time in human history have there been as many human sacrifices as in our own day. Each year 40 million innocents are ripped from their mothers’ wombs and killed. They are slaughtered primarily because we men don’t support our women, and because both men and women have lost any sense of the sacredness of life and of our fertility. We have made pleasure our idol and have made it more important than life itself. We need to be saved.

If you haven’t been to confession in a long time, maybe now would be a good time to do it while we are still alive on this Earth. Jesus is there through the priest to give us his mercy.

So let us continue to fast, do penance, give alms to the poor, and pray for one another that we might accept this Lent to allow God to purify the intentions of our heart, our mind, our spirit and even our body, and renew our ability and willingness to trust in God our Creator with our lives, and to love God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us take a few moments in silence to reflect on this Good News given to us by the Lord.

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

With trust in God we can, like Jesus, embrace our suffering and let God expand our ability to love - Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal

👇 See below LINKS to past Ash Wednesday Liturgy homilies, blessings of ashes, & exhortations 👇

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Ash Wednesday
                          Sign of the +                            Greeting                        

Hello. I’m Father Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Madonna House Associate. Today is Ash Wednesday and for most of us it is a virtual Liturgy. Living in this Pandemic is one of our Lenten penances and sacrifices. (Intention) Thank you for your support.

GOSPEL, HOMILY, & BLESSING OF ASHES

MP3 version                                                                PDF version

It is wonderful to see how much Jesus cares for us. He accompanies us in life and watches over us like an anxious father, like a nurturing mother. Today, on Ash Wednesday, we enter into the Season of Lent. Jesus cautions us to avoid attitudes of hypocrisy. It would be a tragic loss if we were to glue our attention to what other people think of us or how they feel about us.

Jesus, the Father, and Holy Spirit want to expand our ability to enjoy the wedding banquet of Heaven. Eternal life begins here, where we are today, in whatever circumstances, situations, or conditions we find ourselves. Eternal life is knowing we are loved by Jesus and the Father in the Holy Spirit and loving them back as well as we can in our neighbor.

Sadly, whenever we are preoccupied with ourselves, our pleasures, avoiding suffering, or getting more of everything; then God speaks to us the words of Joel. If we disregard the true meaning and purpose of our lives; we find God’s will difficult to accept. What happens to us in life may then feel like punishment, because parents that truly love their children give them proper discipline until the day they become mature enough to give discipline to themselves. 

Discipline is the steering wheel that looks to our true destiny. As we try to love God back by loving our neighbor; like St. Paul we live as missionary disciples of Jesus and ambassadors of Christ. Jesus lets us love people who don’t know the love of God; then the Holy Spirit uses us to show others that God loves them and, in this way, teaches them to love their neighbor as well.

Why is it so difficult to love others? Why does God allow us to suffer? The paradox is that God created us with an incredible desire and capacity for pleasure. God made creation good for us to enjoy it and know that we are also good; our life is a gift from God. However, pleasure alone is insufficient. If I try to live only in the palace of pleasure and try to avoid suffering; then it is impossible to love others because I only want to love myself.

During Lent God our Father calls us to contemplate his Son, Jesus, and with Mary ponder how Jesus lived his life not for himself, but for others. Jesus enjoyed life as we do, but He didn’t accept suffering grudgingly; He embraced it and chose it as what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus teaches us that suffering expands our mind and soul; it purifies our body and our heart. Our joy is locked in to our loving, and our loving is expanded by embracing our suffering.

O my Jesus, I trust in You; as You trusted in the Father. Open my eyes and heart to love my neighbor and even enemies by simply accepting to suffer them, endure them, and lovingly put up with them. Let this be my Lenten discipline in You: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


Blessing and Distribution of Ashes  


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MP3 audio files of Fr. Gilles' Homilies from past Ash Wednesday Liturgies

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Ash Wednesday at Saint Luke Parish / Paroisse Saint-Luc 

- 2007 Homily - 2008 Homily - 2009 Homily - Blessing of Ashes - 2010 Homily -

- 2011 Homily - 2012 Homily - 2013 Homily - Blessing of Ashes

Ash Wednesday at Saint Gabriel Parish 

- 2017 Homily - Final Exhortation - 2018 Homily

Ash Wednesday at Saint Anne Hospital  

- 2019 HomilyBlessing of Ashes - 


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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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God our Father is a true and perfect parent, disciplining us to safeguard us to our eternal destiny - Wed. Feb. 3, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal


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.  

 Announcement 

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 amount currently set to air your Mass intentions is actually a discount. As we continue to develop this Live Daily Mass under Pandemic conditions; we are glad to receive your daily prayers and support. 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 fathergilles@gmail.com

Blessing and Dismissal

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HOMILY

 The live Homily MP3 version  

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. 

The prepared written Homily PDF file    

 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.

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
  

Jesus, the true King of Peace, offers us lasting peace in the Father's love, in the Holy Spirit - Wed. Jan. 20, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal


Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Sign of the +                      Greeting                                  

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.  

  The homily given without the notes - MP3 file       

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. 

Announcement 

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 fathergilles@gmail.com 

Blessing and Dismissal  


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Prepared homily PDF file 

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.

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
 

There is only one God. We worship Him in Jesus and use all our faculties to discern the TRUTH - Wednesday in the 6th Week of Easter, May 12th, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal

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