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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





Reflections on the Sunday Liturgy

(from the Synodal Process)
Third Sunday of Lent
Have you ever noticed how two similar words can have two very different meanings?

For example: “to expose” and “to repose”. To expose is to make (something) visible by uncovering it; whereas to repose is a state of rest or tranquility.

Another example: “emigration” and “immigration”. The emigrant leaves his country, while the immigrant enters a new country.

A third example: “avert” and “convert”. To avert is to prevent or ward off an undesirable occurrence. To convert is to turn away from a dangerous thing in order to orient oneself to the good.

This third pair of words is key to understanding the second reading and today’s gospel. Paul tells his readers that the Old Testament describes the tragedies that afflicted the Hebrew people to warn us and to invite us to convert. In the gospel, Jesus uses the trials of innocent people to warn His disciples and invite them to convert.

The warning serves to awaken us to the fatal consequences that await us if we continue on our way. Conversion is the decision to turn away from this path to avoid death, to move safely towards life and joy.

The fundamental sacrament of Christian conversion is baptism. By baptism, we are stripped of original sin and put on Christ. We leave the darkness of sin to walk in the light of the Spirit. We break our solidarity with the first man, a sinner, to adhere to Christ, Our Savior.

In today's world we hear a lot of warnings. If you continue smoking, you will have cancer. If you continue over-eating, you will have heart problems. If you continue consuming fossil fuels, the planet will warm up. If you continue over-consuming, the environment will degrade.

Faced with these warnings, we seek to convert: quit smoking, eat less and exercise more, use less energy, reduce and recycle what we consume.

It is much easier to convert when we do it with others. Friends who decide to quit encourage each other. A family that decides to revisit their way of eating is moving forward with more courage and determination. A whole country that decides to consume less energy creates a mass movement that encourages all citizens in the same direction. A city that gives itself the means to reduce and recycle creates a wave of commitment and community solidarity.

It is the same in the spiritual life. To convert alone to follow the Gospel is not easy. So many obstacles stand in our way, starting with our old habits, our fatigues and our indifferences. The world itself, which seems to turn a deaf ear to the calls of the Gospel, leads us along paths where we risk forgetting the voice of the Lord. What to do?

It is then that we discover the Christian community as an incredible resource. As brothers and sisters in the faith, we encourage each other, we support each other. The best of us stimulate and lead by example: that is why we love hearing about saints, reading their stories, invoking them to help us. Our voices are raised in a common prayer, in a harmonious song, to praise the Lord and to implore His help. Is it not more beautiful when we sing together?

How many young people return from World Youth Day saying, "How good it feels to be with thousands of other young people, like us, who share our faith we do not feel alone anymore."

Baptism is a personal adventure - it is not an adventure that is lived out in solitude, it is lived out in community. Together, we change our lives. Together, we walk with Christ. Together, we form this community of disciples who live in fellowship. Together, we can change and change the world.


© Copyright 2004 Our Lady of Victory / St-Malachy Site
490 Charles Street • Gatineau • Québec • J8L 2K5
Telephone: (819) 986-3763
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