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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

The Holy Spirit: God’s Abiding Presence in the Church
Today’s readings show us the effects of the abiding presence of God in His Church and His indwelling in each of us. The first reading tells us how the Holy Spirit indwelling in the Christian community helped the apostles to solve a major doctrinal problem that arose. It was about the Gentiles becoming Christians; one that shook the very foundation of the early Church. The relations between the Christians of Jewish origin and those who had converted from paganism were not so good and in some places the Eucharist was celebrated separately. The Hebrews demanded that the other Christians had to be circumcised and obey the detailed Law of Moses. But salvation could only come through faith in Jesus Christ and not by keeping all the complicated and detailed traditions of the Jews. People may keep their tradition and culture, but has no right to impose them on others. The second reading prepares us for the Gospel where Jesus mentions the promise of the Holy Spirit who will guide the church in times of confusion and crises.

The Gospel shows that Jesus is aware of the deep anxiety of His own disciples as they face the reality of His final departure. His absence changes everything for them. Jesus, therefore, prepares them for the day of His going and counsels them not to be afraid. In this His last will and testament He leaves them more than His absence. He leaves them His word, His Peace and the promise of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will help them in the future to be His apostles. He knows that they would have to endure many struggles; that they would have to face ambiguity, confusion, difference and disagreement. Hence, they would need the Advocate. As we see in the first reading, it was not long before the Advocate was needed to settle conflict in the early Church.

The Holy Spirit, according to Jesus will ‘teach’ and ‘remind’. He will teach them as Jesus could not detail all the consequences and concrete applications of His message. Jesus assures them that they will always find suitable answers to their questions if they keep listening to His Word and keep their hearts open to the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will also remind them: many are the words of Jesus, that , though present in the Gospel, run the risk of being set aside and easily forgotten - words regarding the sharing of goods, equal human rights, rejection of any form of domineering over others, etc. As the church of today, we should take heart from the conflict of the early Church. Experience shows that there will always be some confusion and disagreement in our communities. Not everything is heavenly clear and this is because we are here on earth! We have to work through confusion and aim for peace in the life of each and every one of us. Our church continues to grow and has to face new questions honestly in the light of the Spirit. We are not left orphans! We have the word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit to help us do what we must always do as the Church.

Jesus also in the last part of the Gospel makes promise of peace; a peace that is not worldly peace. Worldly peace is founded on tyranny, violence and injustice. There is certainly no peace of Christ wherever society supports structures that keep up the power of the rich over the poor, of the clever and more gifted over the less educated and less gifted, etc. The peace promised by Jesus can only come when people begin new relations, when they will stop domineering and wanting or pretending to be the first and best, giving way to service, to disinterested love for the last ones. We as individuals and as the Church must face the real confusion and aim for peace. Total peace will only come when the Church as “the Heavenly Jerusalem”, a city united in love, with the victorious Jesus residing in it and in each of its members replaces the Holy Presence of God in the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem (Second Reading). Meanwhile, presently we face the real world with confidence because we have great gifts in our community and Church. We have the word of God, the presence of the Spirit and leaders who still argue for the freedom of the Gospel like Paul and Barnabas in the first reading.

Happy Easter!


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