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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

Today’s readings explain why Christians are expected to be holy and how we are meant to become holy people. The first and second readings give us reasons why we should be holy. The first reading, taken from the Book of Leviticus, teaches us that we should be holy because it is the command given to us by God through Moses: “Be holy, for I the Lord, your God, am holy.” It also shows us the way to share in God’s holiness: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The Responsorial Psalm (Ps 103) challenges us to be holy as our God is holy by becoming kind, merciful and forgiving. In the second reading, St. Paul gives us an additional reason to be holy. We are to keep our bodies and souls holy because we are the temples of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit lives in us.

The Gospel describes ways of becoming holy people prescribed for us by Jesus. Jesus deals with the question of how His followers should behave when faced with hurt and hatred. This is the continuation of Jesus teaching, The Sermon on the Mount, where He gives a radical interpretation of the Law. Jesus deals with the Old Testament law of retaliation. The law ‘eye for eye and tooth for tooth’ (Lv 24:19f) was introduced as a legal practice to put a stop to never-ending feuds and avoid excessive punishment. The law fixed the boundaries of vengeance, limited the retaliation to the penalty of the same injury so that there must be some proportion between the crime and the punishment. But Jesus goes beyond this law to say that the disciple must not be provoked into taking retaliation for the wrongs done against him/her. The response of the disciples (followers) to wrong must not flow from another person’s hostility but from the nature of their discipleship.

Jesus also confirms the ancient law that you should love your neighbour, but rejects any interpretation of the Law that permits people to hate their enemy. The law enjoins the Israelites to love their neighbour, but a neighbour was understood to mean a fellow Israelite. He, thus, rejects this limitation of the love and asks His disciples to love the enemies. In this way, He lifts all limitation to love. That is Christian love; it excludes no one, not even the one that persecutes the disciple. The point that Jesus makes is that the love His disciples gave people is not related to the love they received from others. Love is not a social contract or a fair bargain. The disciple loves because that is what the nature of discipleship involves. A disciple should imitate the Father who does not withhold the sun and the rain from those who oppose Him. Love is offered because that is what a disciple of the kingdom should do. His script proceeds from who he is, not from what he receives from others. Jesus loved even those who hated Him. He stayed with love, a supreme value, because that emerged from who He was as the Son of the Father.

We need to love our neighbors and our enemies too: Agápe love is a choice more than a feeling. We choose to love, not because our enemies deserve our love, but because Jesus loves them so much that he died for them. We have in the Acts of the Apostles the example of St. Stephen, the first martyr, who prayed for those who were putting him to death. We need to have a forgiving heart. Jesus demands that we should forgive, pardon and be generous whether or not our offenders deserve it, and even if we are not loved in return. He also tells us to pray for those who willfully cause us suffering, hardship and unhappiness. We are to try to be perfect, to be like God. We become perfect when we fulfill God’s purpose in creating us, i.e., when we become Godlike by cooperating with His grace. We become perfect when we try to love as God loves, to forgive as God forgives and to show unconditional good will and universal benevolence as God does.


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