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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

True Greatness is found in Littleness
On this 25th Sunday of the Year B, scriptural readings invite us to be great in the sight of God by doing God’s will as Jesus did. Jesus surrendered His life in loving service of others and so we are expected to do. The first reading from the book of Wisdom tells us how the world often ill-treats those who strive to live justly and to do God’s will. It urges us to choose the path of righteousness in spite of painful consequences. In tune with the dispute among the apostles in the Gospel, St. James reminds us that, instead of serving one another, we fight and kill one another. He warns us that selfish ambitions destroy peace and cause conflicts in our families and communities. He therefore advises us to choose the path of righteousness and humble, loving service, which leads to lasting peace. The Gospel tells us that true greatness lies in our ability to see and respond to the needs of others and presupposes compassion and sympathy.

The central part of Mark’s Gospel presents Jesus attempting to correct the wrong idea which the apostle had of Him. Despite the fact that Peter (last Sunday’s Gospel) expressed correctly that “He is the Christ”, the Messiah, there was still lurked in the minds a dangerous misunderstanding. Their idea of the Messiah was totally different from the plan of God. There are forces, the subtle influences and pressures exerted by the social environment conditioning His disciples’ perception of Him and His mission. There are pernicious influences of the anti-kingdom values of glory, honour, status and power diluting and corrupting their expressions of faith. Thus, Jesus is faced with the task of instructing His disciples and correcting their wrong notions. He therefore repeats three times the announcement of His death and resurrection and adds that His disciples are to follow Him in self-giving if they want to achieve true life. Today’s passage reports the second of these auspicious announcements. The disciples could not understand this and curiously “were afraid to ask Him”.

The Christianity we profess is also not free from the corrupting influence of our social environment. Like the disciples, we seem to be afraid when Jesus reveals to us His state of ‘’servant” who gives up his life. Jesus’ demand frightens us. We prefer to continue with our comfortable Christianity, with just our prayers and attendance at religious rites, rather than stop and reflect on a passage of the Gospel that forces us to change so many of our ideas and habits. We do not like to admit that we have gone wrong and perhaps induced others to wander away from the authentic image of Christ. We seem to be comfortable in the illusion that we are in the right. The Jesus we worship and the faith we profess leave much to be desired. We need to be re-evangelized as we strive to be true to the Gospel of Jesus and the Jesus of the Gospel. It requires courage to put ourselves honestly face to face with Jesus, to listen to Him and to ask Him questions. It seems much more convenient for us to keep our convictions and traditional ideas and perhaps even to attack whoever makes us unease with a different interpretation of the word of God. Like the disciples, we seem to be “afraid” to ask, to search for the truth. And this has serious consequence.

Lack of courage to face the truth of the Word of God leads to unhealthy competition as we see among the apostles: “who among us is the greatest?” We sometimes are also occupied with the question of who will take the “first places” in our families and communities. Jesus deals repeatedly with the problem of first places very clearly: whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all (cf MK 9:35; 10:31, 10:44). Within the Christian community we must try to avoid the justification of the existence of classes and right to honorific title and special places. That is why Jesus explicitly condemns it (Lk 22:26). In order to help His disciples understand, he places a child in their midst and says to them “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me...” Those who occupy first places in the communities must abandon all dreams of being great. The Christian community is not a place to gain prestige and subdue others and impose one’s will. It is a place where all brings their God-given gifts, to celebrate and live their greatness by serving their brothers and sisters. The presentation of the child by Jesus is meant to tell us that the Christian community must place those who do not count, the poorest, at the center of their interests and preoccupations. Happy Sunday!


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