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Our Lady of Victory / St. Malachy
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Our Lady of Victory
490 Charles Street
Gatineau, Québec
J8L 2K5

Mass:     Sunday   9:00 AM
            Thursday 10:00 AM

St. Malachy
3889 Route 315
Mayo, Québec
J8L 3Z8

Mass: Saturday 7:00 PM





Fr. Albanus’ Reflections on the Sunday Liturgy

Listen and Act!
Today’s Liturgy reflects on the importance of hospitality in Christian life and the necessity of listening to God before acting. The key to the Christian life is setting priorities: Jesus Christ first, then everything else. The first reading describes how Abraham and Sarah showed hospitality to angels in the guise of strangers. The story of a God who comes among his people and is disguised as a traveler is common in many traditional religious traditions. Abraham does more than entertain three strangers; in welcoming them he is really welcoming the Lord. He displays the warmth of Bedouin hospitality as he rushes to meet the travelers, bows profoundly, washes their feet, invites them to rest, while he attends to the menu, and then waits on them at table. By depicting God in human forms (He walks talks and eats with His chosen ones) the writer of Genesis shows us in a simple way a truth about almighty God: He is involved in the life and struggle of His people. Abraham and Sarah are rewarded by God who blessed them with a son in their old age. In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that in spite of all his sufferings he feels quite happy because he knows that he has dedicated all his life to the cause of the Gospel. Paul is a model of service to others. He challenges us also to cultivate the quality of hospitality and welcome all others in Christ. Few people were capable of loving like him, because few are those who have been so close to the word of God.

The Gospel tells the story of Jesus’ visit to His friends Martha and Mary. Martha, the elder sister, a true child of Abraham wants to extend the traditional generous hospitality of her people to Jesus, the true Messiah. She prepares an elaborate meal for Him. Mary, the younger sister, instead of taking her place in the kitchen, sits peacefully at the feet of Jesus to listen to his conversation. Martha thinks that her sister should be doing something more important than listening to Jesus and asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her with the serving. Jesus, however, is not allowing Martha to write His script, for He regards Martha as a woman who “worries and frets about so many things’’ and so cannot focus on the real priority of the moment. In all her fret and fuss Martha is missing the one thing that is needed now: to welcome the Lord by listening to the word that He speaks. Jesus rather praises Mary for ‘’choosing the better part.’’ It is Mary who exemplifies the true disciple who greats the Lord with hospitality. Speaking about the word, Jesus has described the good soil as those who ‘hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.” That is Mary. Martha exemplifies another response to the word, those who are “choked by worries’ so much that the word cannot bear fruit.

St. Luke in the Gospel is not telling us this thing to satisfy our curiosity. He wishes to teach his communities and us an important lesson. Among the members of all the communities, many are very good-willed and generous in the service of Christ and of their brothers and sisters, and give all the time and energy they can to this. But in this intense activity hides a danger: there is the risk that if this activity goes on without the ‘listening to the word’, it may turn into a feverish activity, causing anxiety, confusion and nervousness, just like the work of Martha. All our activities and projects, if not led and nourished by the word, are but empty sounds like a clattering of pans and pots.

Presenting Martha as a dynamo of action and Mary as a true listener to the word of God, Luke in the Gospel invites us to serve others with Martha’s diligence after recharging our spiritual batteries every day by prayer (listening to God and talking to God) as Mary did. We are, therefore, all invited to welcome the word of God and give it full attention. The way we continue to have God as our guest is when we welcome His word and attend to it. When we do that it means we can act on it ourselves. We are able to minister truly to the needs of others only after welcoming God’s word into our hearts and minds. At this Eucharistic celebration, we welcome God’s word; then we can sit at the Lord’s Table and be guests at his Banquet. In that way we are Lord’s hosts and His guests.

Happy Sunday!


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490 Charles Street • Gatineau • Québec • J8L 2K5
Telephone: (819) 986-3763
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