Sunday, 25 November 2012

Life in the midst of suffering and pain

As we bring the Church’s liturgical year to a close (next Sunday is the First of Advent), we celebrate the feast of Christ the King.

Jesus’ Kingdom is no earthly kingdom. It is a Kingdom of the heart, the holy place within us where we know and experience Divine Life, eternal and unitive Life. 

In the Gospel for today, Jesus is before Pilate. Jesus the “King,” is to be scourged and crucified. Jesus is broken and wounded. 
To follow Jesus Christ and to live a “Kingdom” life IS NOT TO SUGGEST that we will avoid suffering and pain and loss in life.

To follow Jesus Christ and to live a “Kingdom” life IS TO SUGGEST that we can discover and live a satisfying life even in the midst of our suffering and pain.

Brokenness and suffering is very much a part of the human condition. Everyone of us are broken and suffer in various ways throughout our entire life. Our suffering and pain should not rob us of a satisfying and fulfilling life. Yet many people allow themselves to be consumed with that which is not right in their lives.
Jesus shows us the way to be open to a Love filled life even in the midst of suffering. During the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, the great evil and the pain did not become a barrier to Him Knowing the Father, and continuing to love those around him. He remained centered in the Father’s Love.
Because the power of the Cross of Christ the King, we are made free to also remain centered in the Father’s love. This is what it is to begin to experience the Kingdom of God – an openness to the Divine Love that neither sin, suffering, or death can separate us from.
Today we celebrate and give thanks to Christ our King, for the truth, life and love that He has opened up for us.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

NHL: Millionaire's fighting with Millionaire's over who gets more Millions

I love hockey.

I can remember trying out for the atom team at St.Bon's, in that old and small rink behind the school, in 1971 when I was in grade 2 (that's a long time ago!!). And I've played hockey right up through high school, when I joined the Military, and even now as an older man, I continue to play in a recreational league. I was never very good at it - I was always a "3rd" line player. But I've always enjoyed the fun of the sport and the fellowship of the team.

And I've always enjoyed watching NHL hockey. Growing up, Bobby Orr was my hero. And I loved the rivalry between teams like Boston and Montreal. I remember fondly the excitement in the voice of the CBC commentator as he would describe Guy Lafleur racing down the ice.

In 1975, at the height of hockey's legendary players, the average player salary was $25,000 a year.

These hockey legends played professionally because they loved the game. They weren't well paid, but they did what they loved. Having said that, I certainly think it right that as Hockey revenue's went up in time, salary's and security should also go up - but not to the point where it is today.

I actually find this latest NHL lockout disgusting. It is the heights of greed. Millionaire players fighting with Millionaire owners over who gets more millions for playing a game.

50% of the world population lives on less than $2.50 a day. 80% of people live on less than $10 day. There are numerous justice and equality issues that are urgent and very real - not a game.

Just this week we commemorated Remembrance Day, remembering Canadian Service men and women who have offered their lives for those who could not and cannot help themselves - for an average salary!

I love the game of hockey. It is Canada's game.
But it seems to me that the NHL has become someone else's game.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance Day Thoughts

Remembrance Day, November 11, 2012

Today our country is commemorating Remembrance Day. 
And also today the Church is hearing the story of the widow’s mite: the giving of our all.

God’s Life & the Church’s Mission
The life that we live is God’s life. It is not ours to cling to, but God’s to share. The Church’s mission is to awaken this truth of unitive Love and Life within the heart of every human being.
Awakened and Transformed
As our hearts are awakened, like the widow and her mite, a transformation begins to take place that has a ripple effect.

As our hearts are transformed into self giving, our homes are transformed, our church is transformed, our community is transformed, our province is transformed, our country is transformed, our world is transformed. 

Self Giving and Sacrifice
This requires, as with the Widow, and foundationally with Jesus, self giving and sacrifice for the benefit of others. 

Remembrance Day
Today is Remembrance Day, and we are remembering the men and women of our Armed Forces who have offered themselves for the benefit of others who could not help themselves. 

Today we are remembering those who responded to the call to battle evil in conflicts such as:
  • The Second World War and the evils of Facism and Marxism. 
  • Crotia and the evils of ethnic cleansing.
  • Afghanistan and the political extremism and Terrorism of the Taliban.

Our Neighbours
The people of Europe in the 1940’s, the people of the Balkin’s  in the 1990’s, the people of Afghanistan in the early 2000’s...
...All of these people are our neighbours, made in the image of God, and we are united with them in the very same Divine Spirit that we share and that we are.

Societies that know the gift of freedom and equality have a responsibility to find ways to offer something of ourselves for the benefit of those who cannot help themselves.

Some of My Own Story
During the Second World War my father and six of his brothers offered themselves to fight the evils of Hitler’s Facism.

As a chaplain in the Canadian Forces in the 1990’s, I had to help prepare soldiers and families for the conflict in Crotia. 

In 2011 my eldest son offered himself to fight the evils of Taliban extremism and terrorism in Afghanistan.

I’ve had to reflect on such sacrifices in a very personal way. And I’ve had to ask myself “Is it worth it?” And the answer is Yes. It is Freedom's responsibility.

Jesus asks us to lay down our lives for our neighbours. The widow in todays Gospel offers her all. Free and equal people are called to help those who cannot help themselves.

So today, let us remember and give thanks for our men and women of our Armed Forces who have sacrificed themselves for others.

And may their sacrifice not be lost as we continue our stand against evil and injustice in our world.