Living in the Light of God, untroubled by the darkness - Wednesday in the 2nd Week of Easter, April 14th, 2021 - S + L Mass at MQW Cathedral downtown Montreal

    Gospel & Homily MP3 version                                 Homily PDF version        


Sign of the + Cross - Christ is risen! Alleluia! 
(traditional response is)
 He is truly risen! Alleluia!            Hello. I’m Fr. Gilles Surprenant, priest of Montreal and Madonna House Associate. In this 2nd week of Easter, the Lord invites us to consider how much more respectful He is of us than the big shots of this world. Once we decide to trust in the Lord; we can walk fully in the light. During this Live Daily Mass, the Lord once again affirms his love, strengthens our faith, and revives our hope. (Intention) Thank you.

Penitential Rite         Brothers and sisters let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.  (Formula 1) 

HOMILY

The Jewish “high priest and all who were with him” were “filled with jealousy” at the way the Apostles were drawing large crowds and because the beggar who had been lame from birth was healed at their words. It was the trouble that Jesus had all over again. These religious leaders in Jerusalem arranged to have Jesus executed, and now they were after his Apostles.

Have you ever been harassed or persecuted by people or organizations that just wouldn’t stop coming after you? Perhaps in your case it was what you called a long string of bad luck. Maybe it was your employer or a nasty client or relative. Whatever it was, the trouble just wouldn’t stop, and you may have become exasperated, if not outright angry or discouraged.

It’s pretty clear that there are many situations in life that escape our control. There isn’t anything we can do to stop the trouble or fix it, and it wears down our spirit. Perhaps what really bothers us is the trouble itself… we keep trying to fix or solve it and we just can’t seem to find the right formula. This is especially true in the case of chronic physical or mental illness.

The trouble or the trouble makers seem to come out of an evil darkness, like the religious leaders in Jerusalem. They couldn’t stand the light radiating from Jesus; so, they did all they could to try to put out that bright light that made their guilty consciences so uncomfortable.

Despite all our trouble and suffering, as long as we are trying to love God and obey Him and to love our neighbor, even forgiving all those who harm or trouble us in any way; then we are actually living in the light, just like the Apostles and all the saints did. However, although we may be living in the light of God’s kingdom, we might still at times be in the dark”.

If we can’t distinguish between the darkness and the light, between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God; then when trouble hits, we are at risk to be thrown off balance and discouraged. Jesus is the light of God, and all who believe in Him and make efforts to love God and their neighbor as themselves, all those who do this are also living in the light of God.

Those who don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God or who put all their desires and hopes on the things of this world, well, they are living in darkness; whether they know it or not. Those who live in darkness don’t like those who live in the light and may even persecute them. They hate or are afraid of the light when their deeds or desires are evil. Once we realize that this is the situation; then when trouble comes, we are not so surprised. We remember to trust in God.

We may never actually see our guardian angel, but our angels watch and protect our faith in God. Divine peace enters our soul when we thank the Father for his priceless gifts. “Father in Heaven, forgive us our sins. We thank and praise You for Jesus’ life-giving sacrifice and for our guardian angel; for You are God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Announcement

We thank you for supporting this Live Daily Mass through your daily prayers, Mass intentions, and donations to the Cathedral and Salt + Light Media.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.                  Blessing and Dismissal

 

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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

Easter Sunday / - Dimanche de Pâques - 4 avril / April 4th, 2021 - Paroisse Sainte-Suzanne Parish


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

Christ est ressuscité! Alléluia! (Il est vraiment ressuscité! Alléluia!) (Expliquer)

Christ is risen! Alleluia! (He is truly risen! Alleluia!) (Explain)

Frères et sœurs, la résurrection de Jésus n’est pas un événement de l’ordre de la politique, de l’économie, ou de la culture populaire; ni alors, ni aujourd’hui. La preuve est que Pierre devait tout annoncer et expliquer au centurion romain et sa maisonnée. Le matin de Pâques, Pierre est allé avec Jean au tombeau et ils l’ont trouvé vide comme Marie Madeleine. Ensuite Jésus leur est apparu, mais au début ils étaient lents à croire ce que Jésus leur avait déclaré : qu’Il devait mourir et ensuite ressusciter le troisième jour. Pour nous non plus, la résurrection de Jésus n’est pas évidente. Nous avons tous à croire en Jésus et Lui faire confiance.

So, the resurrection of Jesus was not a fact belonging to the political or economic world of those days; nor was it part of popular culture, no more than it is today. Peter and John and the other apostles and disciples were slow to believe what Jesus had told them: that He would die and rise again on the third day. Jesus’ resurrection is not obvious for us either. We need to put our faith in Jesus and trust Him. God waits for our faith in order to give us new life.

When we were baptized, we were introduced to God and the Father adopted us as his very own children. God loves every human being, but through Baptism we are brought into a more personal and intimate relationship with our Creator in Jesus. Now it’s up to us every day to make room for God in the course of living our days and nights.

Par le baptême nous avons été introduits au Bon Dieu et le Père nous a adoptés pour ses propres enfants en Jésus. Dieu aime tous les êtres humains, mais par le Baptême nous entrons dans une relation plus personnelle et intime avec notre Créateur. Maintenant c’est à nous de faire de la place pour Dieu dans le courant de nos jours et de nos nuits.

Pourquoi souffrons-nous tant de découragements, d’anxiétés, de craintes, ou de désespoir au milieu de nos défis, de nos troubles, de nos déceptions, de nos craintes, et de tout ce qui vient assombrir nos existences? Au fond de nous il existe toujours un doute que Dieu est vraiment bon. Toutes les misères du monde semblent crier à pleine voix que Dieu est méchant. Mais cette voix ténébreuse et malfaisante est la voix du diable – l’adversaire de Dieu qui divise et cherche à nous séparer de Dieu. Son nom est aussi Satan, l’Accusateur.

C’est un non-sens que nous pourrions être séparés de Dieu… Jésus a accepté d’être exécuté pour nous démontrer à quel point Dieu est pour nous et qu’Il nous aime. Dieu fait déjà tout ce qu’il Lui est possible de faire; maintenant c’est à nous de donner une réponse à ses avances d’amour et de réconciliation. Allons-nous humblement admettre notre péché et nos fautes? Allons-nous accepter son pardon? Allons-nous croire qu’Il nous aime? Allons-nous chercher à L’aimer à notre tour? Mais comment nous est-il possible d’aimer Dieu?

Why is it that in the course of our challenges, troubles, disappointments, fears, and all that darkens our human existence we suffer so much discouragement, anxiety, fear, and despair? Deep down we doubt that God is really good. The world is full of troubles which seem to cry out loudly that God is evil. To tell the truth, this dark and evil voice is that of the devil – God’s enemy who divides and tries to separate us from God. His name is also Satan, the Accuser.

It doesn’t make sense that we could be separated from God… Jesus accepted to be executed to show us how much God is for us and loves us. God is already doing all He could possibly do; now it’s up to us to give a response to his overtures of love and reconciliation. Will we humbly admit our sin and our faults? Will we accept his forgiveness? Will we believe that He loves us? Will we try to love Him back? But how exactly can we possibly love God back?

How can we love God or give Him anything when He is already complete? God is a Holy Trinity of divine Persons full of life and of love for each other; we cannot add anything to God. However, since God loves us, He hates to see us suffer and be miserable; so, we can stop causing misery and stop hurting ourselves and each other. We can accept to be loved by God and show gratitude by loving our neighbor; even when the neighbor is difficult to love.

Comment est-il possible d’aimer Dieu, Lui qui est une Sainte Trinité de Personnes divines pleines de vie et d’amour mutuel? Dieu est déjà complet et on ne peut rien ajouter à Dieu. Mais puisque Dieu nous aime, Il n’aime pas nous voir souffrir. Nous pouvons cesser de nous faire du mal à nous-mêmes et aux autres. Nous pouvons permettre à Dieu de nous aimer et montrer notre gratitude en aimant notre prochain; surtout quand notre prochain est difficile à aimer.

Nous laissons Dieu nous aimer quand nous Lui ouvrons notre pensée, notre cœur, et notre esprit par la prière souvent durant la journée et même la nuit. Dieu nous invite à être intime avec Lui; alors pourquoi pas le faire? Nous aimons Dieu quand nous acceptons l’invitation de Jésus de participer à la Sainte Eucharistie le dimanche pour ensuite faire de toute la journée du dimanche le Jour du Seigneur pour nous reposer et prendre joie dans notre famille et nos amis.

We let God love us when we open to Him our thoughts, our heart, and our spirit through prayer often during the day and even at night. God invites us into intimate friendship with Him; so, why not do it? We love God back when we accept Jesus’ invitation to participate in his Holy Eucharist on Sunday and rest all day long on the Lord’s Day and take our delight in our family and in our friends. C’est l’Esprit Saint qui vient à notre aide pour nous ouvrir à Dieu. The Holy Spirit is with us to help us 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. (bil) 

https://frgilleshomilies.blogspot.com        https://homeliesabbegilles.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

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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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

  Gospel & Homily MP3  version                      Homily PDF  version         Sign of the + Cross               The Nativity of Saint ...

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