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Thirty third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Dear parishioners As we come upon the season of Advent the readings speak of the end times where God will bring his “judgment” on the world.  Should we be afraid of God’s judgment upon the world?  Should we be afraid of his judgment on our lives?  Yes and no.  The biblical imagery of God’s judgment is filled with hope, but at the same time it is full of terrifying imagery.   What is “God’s judgment” after all?  When someone judges well, they judge in truth.  God who is truth itself knows everything and judges perfectly.  The truth of our lives is laid bare before God.  All our lack of love will need to be addressed!  No-one is perfect, how then will we be judged!? A good examination of conscience done with prayer and honesty will help us here:   Do we trust in Jesus?  Do we believe that He came for sinners, that he forgives all our sins? Are we seeking God’s will first in our lives? Do we desire to be true in all areas of our life?  Are we earnestly trying to love our brothers and sisters? Do we seek God daily in prayer? The more that we can answer these questions with a resounding YES, the more confidence we can have in God’s   judgment upon us and even to look forward to it. “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with healing in its rays” (Malachi).  As we open up to the sun of righteousness, His judgment will be our healing.  How is this so?  Because we know that “God is love”.  We know that Jesus came for sinners like ourselves.  We know that He is good and that He loves us just as we are.  And so we confess, we turn to Him, we transform our lives by doing God’s will and loving our brothers and sisters.   This confidence in God will allow us to love God and will melt away the ‘fear’ that keeps us from a deep friendship and intimacy with Him.  “Perfect love casts out fear” (Saint John).  This love and confidence in turn will make us desire the coming of Christ… in our lives and into the world.  Let us pray for one another that we will grow in this desire for His coming when all sin, evil, and death will be conquered.  Father Philip

32nd Sunday Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Dear parishioners The power of the resurrection is more than we could ever hope for or imagine.  The resurrection comes from the very life of God and we are all meant to live this life – yes, already on earth.  In Christ we share the very life of God.  This life is a continual source, a continual ‘generating’ of life.  Christ, by His resurrection showed us that this life conquers every evil, all sin, and even death itself.  Everything is swallowed up in life!  At the end of time when there is the bodily resurrection, then everything will be “all in all” in God.   The resurrection will come at the end of time, but we can already live by the power of the resurrection in this life! By our baptism we have already entered in the death and life of Jesus.  We have been buried with Him and raised with Him.  If we begin to actually believe this and live by it we will be transformed day by day.  Jesus himself promised us: “Truly I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death” (Jn 8:51). To keep the word of Jesus we can come back to the God-given virtues bestowed upon us at our baptism: faith, hope, and love. Faith: At the heart of our faith is a trust in Christ and a surrender of our lives.  Have we understood that Jesus is knocking on the door of our lives and He is inviting us to a friendship with Him?  On our part: we believe, we trust, we turn to Christ and ask Him to the Lord of our lives. Hope: We hold on to the promises of God even when the events of this world, of our lives, and even our very feelings seem to go against them.  God who cannot lie gives us promises that are sure – we must persevere, hang on, hold tight and trust. Love: This is already the very life of God which is put into action day by day.  By our prayers, by our generosity, patience, kindness, and little sacrifices we can do each day. Faith, hope and love bring us into the very life of God. By these virtues, which we can exercise every day keeping God’s word and live by the resurrection.   Father Philip