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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

Prepare the way for the Lord.
The Second Sunday of Advent presents to us a challenge: prepare a way for the Lord in our hearts so that we may receive Him as our savior during this Christmas. We have four voices (Baruch, the Psalmist, Paul, and John the Baptist) speaking to us this Sunday, encouraging us to imagine a good future that God has in store for us. They all invite us to imagine the best and then act accordingly. In the first reading, the Prophet Baruch speaks of the Lord, the God of Israel, preparing the way for, and leading, the Babylonian exiles, to Jerusalem. He asks the people to change their wardrobe, to throw away the dress of sorrow and distress and wrap the cloak of God’s integrity around them, to ‘stand upon the height’ to watch the return of the exiles. The Psalmist asks the people to imagine a time when they will no longer be in bondage sowing in tears but will come home with shouts of joy carrying a harvest of goods. In the second reading Paul compliments the Philippians for helping him in his work, tells them how much he loves them, and invites them to prepare themselves for Christ’s Second Coming by practicing Christian love and by leading pure and blameless lives. In the Gospel, John the Baptist challenges the Jews to prepare their lives for receiving their long-awaited Messiah. They ought to repent for their sins, renew their lives and express their repentance. John is traveling around the Jordan district announcing the great day to come when ‘all flesh’ shall see the salvation of God.

The forgoing shows that none of these voices assaults people with the bare truth, which could serve only to deepen their helplessness; people are not just asked to dwell with the worst in them. There is always in each of them a voice of hope encouraging people to change their ways and grow because good things will come of it. People are thus invited to imagine the best there is in God and in themselves and give that best the opportunity to take charge of their lives. During this Advent, we all need help and encouragement to abandon our familiar ways which have become destructive. We need help in imagining ourselves differently, and imagining the good effect that will have on others. We have to take time to reflect what kind of person God wants us to be, what His plan is for us. We need faith in the future, to see the power of God working in the change; to have Paul’s certainty that God will not abandon us in our halting efforts, but “that the One who began this good work in you will see that it is finished” (Unknown Author and Book).

Advent, though a time of joyous anticipation, is also a penitential time. As a penitential time we are invited to change. To change, we need each other’s help and encouragement; we need others prodding us on. We need to call out the best in each other like Paul does with his converts, and rejoice with people in the changes they had made for the better. Paul himself also had to make big changes in his own life. If our community is to be constantly converted to the Lord we all have to breathe in encouragement and breathe it out. What does this change entail? We have to fill in the “valleys” of our souls, formed from our shallow prayer life and a minimalist way of living our faith. We have to straighten out whatever crooked paths we have been walking, clear away all the debris in our lives, overcome our unwillingness to forgive, dishonesty in our dealing with others. We have to level the “mountain” of our pride and egocentricism by practicing the true humility of rendering humble service to others. We need to repent and seek forgiveness from God and fellow human beings. John calls us to confront and confess our sins. We need to turn away from them in sincere repentance and receive God’s forgiveness. We need to forgive others who have offended us and ask forgiveness for our offenses.

Happy Sunday!


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