St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

“Whoever loves me will keep my word

“Whoever loves me will keep my word.”                                 -Homily May 1, 2016

The Christian and the Church

 

The love of someone superior, like our parents or teachers, implies confidence. It is true, at the beginning love may be mixed with fear of punishment; but mature love is no longer afraid, because it does nothing that deserves punishment. If our love is sincere and true, and if the beloved is good, the only thing we can expect from him or her is kindness and mercy. Nothing wrong can come to us from that person. The love of someone superior, particularly the love of God, implies, it should imply, confidence, total trust in his goodness and mercy. “Peace I leave with you… do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

 

It is true, sometimes God seems to send us something that is not good. Jesus today says clearly: “My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” My peace is not like the peace the world promises. The world does not fulfill promises. The world tells you that money and pleasure make happiness, but those who take that path are empty, live in anxiety and cannot be happy for ever: because pleasure does not produce love, and money does not buy life. I, says Jesus, promise you a peace that the world cannot give: my peace. It is a perfect peace, and a peace that endures for ever, even after life. I wish today that peace to all those who suffer. Those who suffer should not feel accursed but chosen, chosen to enjoy that peace that the world cannot give: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be consoled.” Sometimes it is the moment of suffering that allows us to discover what life really is about.

 

We were saying that the love of someone superior implies confidence. Otherwise it is not love, it is fear. The love of someone superior implies confidence and trust. If we love them, we do what they say because we know that they love us, and whatever they tell us to do is good for us. If we love them, we also listen, or try to listen, to what they have to say. Because we love them, what they say is important to us, and so we listen.

 

For some people it is difficult to see the connection between being a Christian and going to Church. Of course, an easy way to put it would be to think what we would do if our parents lived in our own town. You love your parents. They did so much for you. You cannot make do just with phone calls or letters, you have to go and visit them. It is not only your duty, it is also what your parents want. They want to be with you, they want to have supper with you. They want you to listen to them. When I go home my mother likes to talk… And even if I am busy with studies or things like that, she enjoys that I am there… Laszlo De Roth used to tell us that story of the man who was asked: “What do you do in church, why do you go there?” He simply answered: “I am happy that He is there, and He is happy that I came.”

 

Another way to put it is what we said at the beginning: when you love someone, you want to listen to what that person has to say. God talks to our hearts, but he also speaks to us in his Church, and through his ministers. He said in the Scriptures, talking to his disciples: “Whoever listens to you, listens to me” (Luke 10:16) and in another place: “if they were faithful to my word, they will be faithful to your word” (John 15:20). No Scripture is a matter of private interpretation, says St. Peter in his letter (2 Peter 1:20-21), and we can understand very well why: because by interpreting the Scripture in our own way, we may risk listening to ourselves, and not to what God wants to say. That is another good thing about coming to church: you can listen to the word of God in the community where the word of God was born. The Church is the mother of the Scriptures, because the Bible was written by members of the Church and according to the preaching of that same Church. Then, the Bible was approved and welcomed by the Church as the word of God, because the Church recognized in those writings her own faith (this is also why certain so-called “gospels” have never been included in the Bible). In a word, the priest may make mistakes, that is true, but when we come to Church we listen to the word of God in its proper environment, in its own house, in its own family.

 

Finally, when you love your father you do what he tells you to do, because you trust him. Jesus said: “Take this, all of you, and eat of it. This is my body.” Why does he command us to eat his flesh? “I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” The reason he wants us to receive communion is that he wants to give us life. That is why since the beginning the Apostles and the disciples gathered together in the breaking of the bread (cf. Acts 2:41; 20:7). Because Jesus had said: “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” His disciples wanted to have life, and that is why they obeyed the Lord. The Lord commands only what is good for us. Because he is Good.

 

If we obey Jesus, we will never be disappointed. When there was no wine, which means no joy, Mary told the servants: “Do whatever he tells you to do.” Jesus told them to fill six huge jars with just water. A hard job, and apparently a senseless one. But they did it, and there was more joy with the wine the Lord had made than with the other wine, the wine they knew. Let us trust in the mercy of God. Let us obey him always: nothing bad comes from him, there is a reason for everything. Let us follow the counsel of Mary: “Do whatever he tells you to do.” May the Lord fill our hearts with his joy and his peace. –Fr. Andrew

 

 

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The Diocese of Peterborough currently has two full time position openings:

 

§  Full time Finance Clerk/Reception.  This position is responsible for providing financial (A/P, A/R, & payroll), administrative and clerical services. The ideal candidate will have completed a college business administration program majoring in accounting/payroll or equivalent experience.  Interested candidates should fax (705) 745-2555 or e-mail their resume by Friday MAY 6th, 2016 to finance.admin@peterboroughdiocese.org.  A detailed job description may be viewed on the Diocese’s home page at www.peterboroughdiocese.org.

 

§  Full time Financial Administrative Assistant.  This position is responsible for processing and monitoring all aspects of the day to day accounting, electronic banking transactions and reconciliations, complete compilations, general ledger entry and reconciliation of balance sheet and profit and loss accounts, working papers for Diocesan consolidated financial statements, and assist parishes directly in dealing with daily bookkeeping and year-end issues.  The ideal candidate will have a university degree in Accounting, or 3 year college business administration program majoring in accounting and equivalent experience. Interested candidates should fax their resume to (705) 745-2555 or e-mail their resume by Friday MAY 6th, 2016 to finance.admin@peterboroughdiocese.org.  A detailed job description may be viewed on the Diocese’s home page at www.peterboroughdiocese.org.