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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

Lent: God Renews All
Today is the first Sunday of Lent. During Lent we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This time we are called to reorder our priorities and change our values, ideals and ambitions through fasting, prayer and self-control. Today’s readings refer to Baptism directly or indirectly - Baptism by which we share the death and resurrection of Jesus. The first reading tells the story of the Fall and how the merciful God selected Noah and his family to renew the Covenant. The original covenant was broken through the Fall. The flood is, however, not a disaster caused by God; it is only the symbol of the terrible devastation brought about by the sins of people. God never approves of evil, but when He interferes, it is always to repair, reconstruct, to renew. God says, “I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” To be noted is that this promise of God was unconditional, no strings attached. Why? God’s love is absolutely gratuitous. He does not wait for us to be good before being generous to us. Though He clearly sees that people are sinners, He loves them just the same; and this love transforms them into new creatures. Noah’s rescue from the flood symbolizes how we are saved through the water of Baptism which cleanses us of sin and makes us one with Christ.

The Psalm (25) has a penitential tone (in line with Lenten time). The Psalm acknowledges human insufficiency and our radical dependence upon God, His mercy and forgiveness. The second reading from First Peter shows how Noah’s episode prefigured Baptism. As Noah and his family were saved from the waters of the flood, we are saved through the waters of Baptism. Baptism is an outward sign of the New Covenant that God made with His people. It makes us adopted children of God, heirs of heaven and temples of the Holy Spirit. Through the waters of Baptism in which we die to sin, we become incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and the living Christian community. The Gospel presents to us the temptation of Jesus. Mark describes the main temptation Jesus faced during His public life, namely, the temptation to become a political messiah of power and fame (according to the Jewish expectation), to use His Divine power for personal comfort and to avoid suffering and death. The temptations Jesus faced and defeated help us to understand the conflicts that were in Jesus' own life and which will be found in ours too. Instead of yielding to the temptations, Jesus said a firm “Yes” to His Father's plan, even when it came to giving over His life. He faced and defeated the tempter by His forty days of prayer and penance in the desert immediately after His baptism. The Gospel also tells us how Jesus started preaching his messianic mission, “The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the Good News.”

Brothers and sisters, like Jesus, we have to conquer our temptations through prayer, penance and the timely use of the word of God. This is even more pertinent during this Lenten period. Lent should be a time for personal reflection on where we stand as Christians in accepting the Gospel challenges in thought, word and deed. It is also a time to assess our relationships with our family, friends, working colleagues and other people we come in contact with, especially those of our parish. We should examine whether we are able to give any positive contribution to other people's lives and to eradicate the abuses which are part of our society. Lent reminds us that we have to take up the fight each day against the evil within us and around us, and never give up. Jesus has given the assurance that the Holy Spirit is with us, empowering us so that final victory will be ours through Jesus Christ. Happy Sunday!


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