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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

Blessedness and Lack of it!
Popular belief tends to suggest that wealth, health, power and influence are the source of true happiness. The Gospel does not always agree with popular belief. Today’s readings teach us that true happiness or beatitude lies in the awareness that we are all children of a loving heavenly Father and that we will be happy only when we share our blessings with our brothers and sisters in need and work to uplift them, thus declaring our “option for the poor,” as Jesus did (Fr Kadavil A).

Like other teachers of Israel, Jeremiah in the First reading uses the image in two ways: the way of life and blessing, and the way of death and malediction. He describes true happiness as consisting in our placing our trust in God and in putting our trust in His promises. In the first part of today’s reading, Jeremiah describes the way of malediction where he speaks about the wicked and what he looks like. In the second part he describes the blessed man as one who trusts in God, who is like a tree planted by the waterside, unaffected by drought, and who never stops bearing fruits. Thus if we choose God as our hope, our security and our happiness, we will be blessed, truly happy. But if we choose human standards for our guides, ourselves as our source of security and the meeting of our own needs and desires as our happiness, we will find ourselves living in increasing misery and confusion. This is what the prophet points out.

The second reading gives reasons why we must have the courage to detach our hearts from earthly riches. Our life in this world is only a passing moment, the full and final life will only come after this is over. St. Paul says that trust and hope in the Resurrection are the basis of our faith, of our own resurrection and of our eternal bliss. This means that all the blessings of the Beatitudes are now available to us, provided we choose to follow the Beatitudes, for they codify, so to speak, the pattern of living Jesus established. In the Gospel, Jesus instructs His disciples in the paradoxical blessedness of poverty, hunger, sorrow and persecution. He tells the poor and the hungry, the mournful and the reviled, that the Kingdom of God is for them. These are God’s preferred people. In poverty, we recognize our dependence on God; in hunger, God’s providence; in sorrow for sins, reconciliation with God; and in persecution, and the true joy of standing for the Faith with heroic convictions. Jesus does not want to give a blanket support to poverty, weeping, hunger and hurt; these are not desirable states to be sought after. Destitute poverty is not a condition to be sought after, it is a condition to be avoided; it deprives human beings of their basic dignity. Nevertheless, it still remains true that Jesus’ preference for the poor has a social basis.

Jesus himself, in His life and mission, knew the experience of rejection, betrayal, and abandonment. It was not adopted as some precious theological posture. It was the outcome of a life dedicated to God. The beatitudes are not prescription for becoming poor or hungry or mournful or afflicted. They are addressed to those who are already involved in committing themselves to the kingdom, and they give instances of what happens when the Kingdom arrives in the broken world. They speak of the variety of experiences that people go through as a result of getting involved in God’s way of doing things. It is a promise that God can handle the poverty, the hunger, the tears, and the rejection. The promise is that God handles all those things, lifting His people out of them. That is the Good News! The vision of the God of beatitudes is the vision of a generous God, one who reverses the tragedy. For instance, “Blessed are you who weep” is the tragedy; “for you shall laugh” is the comedy. The comedy is the promise, not the tragedy. What makes one blessed is not simply poverty or hunger or sadness or suffering for the Faith but living these in the context of our commitment to Jesus and His spirit of sharing. The beatitudes must be understood as eschatological statements which see and evaluate the present in terms of the future glory and everlasting happiness.

The apostles are blessed because they have understood that the life of man is not dependent on the goods he owns. They are different from others who continue to reason with the arguments of the world, whose hearts are bound to the goods they own. These other ones lay their hopes of happiness on these goods; they are thus not free, not yet “blessed.” Are we “blessed”?

Happy Sunday


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