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
 

God's love shines radiantly upon us in Jesus but worldly lights try to turn us away from God's love - Wed. Jan. 6, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal



 Homily MP3 version          Homily PDF version     

Day 13 of Christmas

Greeting                                 Hello. I’m Father Gilles Surprenant. Today is the 13th day of Christmas until the Baptism of the Lord. We thank God for bringing us together in the radiant Christmas light still shining on the Face of Jesus. Television air time for this Live Daily Mass is so very expensive to produce; so we at Salt + Light & Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in downtown Montreal very much appreciate your support by way of your prayers and donations. Thank you.

Sign of the +                      

Penitential Rite        The world is already throwing Christmas away with appeals to shop and lure us to spend a lot of money for things we do not really need. The world tries to get us to spend by promising savings. In contrast, the Kingdom of God continues all year long to invite us to cultivate relationships with others and with God our Maker. Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.

 

HOMILY

There is no denying the divine glow coming from the love of God and shining brightly upon our souls during these radiant days of the Christmas Season. The exterior lights shining their Christmas beauty are sadly already being put out by our culture and society that is much more impressed by the light shining exteriorly into our lives from cinema, TV, computer, and smart phone screens. The light shining within us at Christmas and every day of the year is actually God Himself – for Jesus is the Light of the world. Christmas lights, as beautiful as they may be, only have lasting value in drawing our attention to Jesus Himself, personally, and to the Father.


God’s Light is gentle and peaceful; He respects our freedom and makes lots of room for us to freely choose to enter more personally into relationship with Jesus, and through Him with the Father as we allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, carry us, console us, and forgive us.

By contrast, the light shining into our lives on all of those HD screens is very invasive. It employs an infinite variety of means to capture our attention, seduce our spirits, and lead us to any number of places to which we would normally never choose to go in our right minds.  

Far more dangerous than the current worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic is the worldwide plague of pornography which is aggressively invading even the eyes, imaginations, hearts, minds, and spirits of children; thereby violating them and robbing them of their innocence. A child exposed or worse, addicted, to pornography is violated and robbed of its innocent ability to see other people as persons; as they now look upon others for their sexual body attributes.

Adults who are exposed or worse, addicted, to pornography, have surrendered their God-given power to live as children of God and to look upon their neighbor as a sister and brother in Jesus. Other people, even in the family, are increasingly seen as possessing sexual attributes. This is far worse than the adverse wind against which the apostles struggled in their boat.

We women and men who allow ourselves to be trapped by the spirit of the world, by the demons who dominate the air waves, have shut down our God-given power to give life and to nurture life. We have shut down our God-given power to stand at the gate and defend all life and protect the innocence and dignity of the children of God entrusted to our care. We are allowing our children, family, and neighbors to be violated and robbed of their innocence and their God-given capacity to love and be loved and to be able to welcome happiness in love.

Our current captivity in the plague of pornography is a willing submission to the tricks and powers of demons who act under the direction of the prince of this world a.k.a. Lucifer, Satan the Accuser, and the Devil, the Adversary of God. The Good News and the beauty and radiance of Christmas is that a Son has been given to us who is called Emmanuel, Wonder Counselor, Son of God, and Prince of Peace. This Child grew up in Galilee and became our Redeemer, the One Savior of the world. He has defeated his adversary by his death on the Cross and offers us to share in his victory; providing we believe in Him and follow in his way.


At every moment and in every place the Holy Spirit is at hand within us to empower us to lift up our eyes and turn to Jesus and worship Him who is the Son of God our Savior, Jesus who says to all that we are personally loved by God: the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

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Announcement:

Salt + Light Media and Mary Queen of the World Cathedral are partnering to produce and air this Live Daily Mass. To fully recover their expenses over $1,000.00 would be needed for each and every Live Daily Mass. You are currently being offered a rebate to air your Mass intentions at the current rate. As we continue to develop this new project which began in October we are happy to receive your contributions and Mass intentions to support this Live Daily Mass. Please continue to send your donations and Mass intentions to Salt + Light Media or to the Cathedral. Thank you. To contact me simply 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

God our Father makes us his children and says to us... "Do not be afraid!" - N.Y. Day, 2021 - MQP - JLW Parish


 Gospel & Homily MP3 version        Gospel & Homily PDF version 
   

Happy New Year dear brothers and sisters! Happy Feast Day of Mary, Mother of God!

To some people it sounds strange to call Mary the Mother of God. They understand that she is the Mother of Jesus, but why call her the Mother of God? In the first few centuries of the life and history of the Church there were many arguments about the mystery of Mary’s motherhood.

It was because some believed that Jesus was God but only pretending to be human. Others believed that Jesus was truly a man but only blessed by God and not actually God Himself. It took quite some time for the Holy Spirit to help people understand that Jesus is truly God, the only-begotten Son of God the Father, and at the same time, Jesus is truly human, the son of Mary by the mysterious overshadowing of the Holy Spirit who conceived Jesus in her womb.

 Can we try to imagine what it must have been like for 13 or 14-year-old Mary to receive the visitation of the Archangel Gabriel and his astounding message? We have trouble trusting in God for our health or daily bread or job or marriage or harmony in our family or peace in the world. I don’t think we would react very well to the visitation of an angel from heaven.

Zechariah, the father of the child who later grew up to become John the Baptist, was a priest. He was a good and holy man of God; yet even he had trouble believing the Archangel Gabriel who appeared to him with a heavenly message. As a result of his unwillingness to believe, Zechariah was struck dumb by God. God’s plans for humanity are not trivial because they are about life and death, but more importantly, they are about our eternal salvation.

The heritage that God our Creator has in store for every human being is eternal life. To live forever, without any ending at all, is a very big deal. Eternal life is so precious that its value is impossible to calculate. In any event, eternal life cannot be bought or sold, and no human being will ever be able to produce eternal life. Living forever is a gift that only God can give.

The quality and the kind of eternal life into which we will enter at the moment of our death, when we leave behind our mortal earthly home, depends on the quality of life we will have put together all along the way leading up to our final moments and our final breath on this Earth.

When Jesus had become a man and entered into his public mission entrusted to Him by the Father, He made it crystal clear that our eternal life will be either happy or miserable based on whether or not we become willing to live our life out of confidence in God and love for others; as opposed to living our life out of fear and obsession with our own selfish impulses.

That is why today’s Solemn Feast of Mary Mother of God is also the World Day of Peace. It is God’s design that human women have been created with an innate capacity and willingness to give life and to nurture life. There is no equivalent feast of fatherhood because all men are called to give life by lovingly and generously putting themselves at the service of all women.

 We could well ask ourselves one simple question: “Am I living my life out of love, or out of fear?” Many men are called by God to follow Jesus and serve humanity as priests, but so many don’t answer the call; it is probably out of fear. Many of us priests could be more generous or dedicated as we are called to be; but we might be afraid. Many infants in the womb never see the light of day, but instead are torn to shreds and ripped out of their mother’s womb; again, it is probably out of fear and probably more the fear of the man than the fear of the woman.

You see, God loves us so much that He has designed our human life in such a way that we never have to live in isolation, but rather, in the warmth and harmony of family life and human community. If we live in isolation it is all too often because we make choices based on fear and not on love. Love pulls us away from the objects of our fear in order to draw our attention to the God who loves us and wants to fill us with his love. God wants every woman to be cherished and surrounded by those who love and support her, and similarly, God wants every man to be respected and surrounded by those who love and support him.

When the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and Mary, his first words to them were “Do not be afraid.” Gabriel observed that both the old man and the young virgin were startled by his appearing and he immediately addressed their fear and invited them to replace their fear with confidence and trust in God. Opening our heart to others also opens our heart to God.

Through Baptism God has given us the power to become children of God by freely choosing to believe in Him and put our trust in Him. This is faith: choosing freely to put our trust in God even when we don’t understand. It is this faith, this willingness to trust in God no matter what that enables us to receive the relationship God is offering us every moment of every day. As we turn to God with joyful anticipation and hope, we turn our back on fear and open ourselves to be touched and given life by the love of God. We get to know God more personally by reading the inspired Word of God in the Bible, by opening up our mind and heart to God in prayer at all hours of the day and night, and by opening our heart and our hands to our neighbor.

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 pray for one another that we might accept the encouragement and grace of the Holy Spirit to open wide our heart, our mind, our spirit and even our body to the presence and the love of 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

Funeral Mass - Alice Winifred Marolly - Dec. 30th, 2020 - Sainte Suzanne Parish Church


Homily in MP3 mode file
        These Christmas Days we wonder at the marvelous light shining on the face of the Infant Jesus - and we get the message that all God wants of us is to share friendship and the love of family bonds. If we accept to receive what God offers; then He is free to give us all that He wants to give. However, if we don't accept to receive his offer; then He can do very little for us. In such a case, we isolate ourselves and are "on our own". This choice is ours not only in a potential relationship with God, but in all our relations.

Brief Communion Reflection - Closing Rites - in MP3 mode file            Alice Winifred Marolly obviously enjoyed a close relationship with her God, and this was reflected in how she related to everyone else, beginning with her family. How can we delve more deeply into fully engaging and rich relationships with others and also with God? It begins at every moment with "desire". We are so designed that there emerge within us many desires, but the key desire is to have a relationship with someone... with other human beings... and also with God. As long as we nurture this desire and do something about it; then the other can respond and reciprocate. If I stop desiring; then I shut the gate. 

At the cemetery - Bede Jarrett's poem prayer 


We Give Them Back to You, O Lord

We give them back to You, O Lord who first gave them to us;

yet as You did not lose them in the giving, 

so we do not lose them by their return…..

For what is yours is ours also, if we belong to You.

Love is undying, and life is unending, 

        and the boundary of this mortal life is but a horizon, 

        and the horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further. 

Cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly….

And while You prepare the place for us, 

        prepare us also for that happy place; that we may be with You, 

        and with those we love forevermore.

 

Prayer used by Fr Bede Jarrett, O.P. (22 August 1881 – 17 March 1934)

Written by William Penn (1644 – 1718)



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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Like John the Baptist, God is with us to prepare the way for Jesus to touch other people's lives through us. - Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, June 24th, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal

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