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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

Christianity: A Radical Choice
Today’s readings ask us to give absolute and unconditional priority to God rather than to “things” in our choices. In life, we are faced with many choices. Many are the things that attract us, and we cannot have them all. To choose some means that we have to renounce others. The first reading advises us to use God-given virtue of prudence and to seek true wisdom rather than fleeting realities. It makes reference to the choice of Solomon (1Kgs 3:4-15). He could have asked for gold, health, power and strength; instead he asked for wisdom. He preferred it to every other gift. All treasures and things are nothing compared with the wisdom of God. To choose wisdom is to receive every other thing. Wisdom is not incompatible with the joys and satisfactions of life; it is rather the source of them all. A wise person, who chooses things according to the plan of God, loses nothing and gains all. Since Jesus is Wisdom Incarnate, when as Christians we choose following Jesus ahead of everything else, we receive everything else along with Jesus. We find happiness when we choose wisely, otherwise we become unhappy.

The second reading tells us that the word of God is like a double-edged sword that penetrates deeply and uncovers all that is hidden in human beings. It warns us that we are accountable before God as to how we use our blessings. The living and effective word of God must be our guide in evaluating the use of our blessings; it forces us to take radical decisions. The word of God is alive and active: once it leaves the mouth of the Lord, it produces its effect (cf. Is. 55:10-11). The word of God is also incisive and penetrating. Like a very sharp sword it penetrates the most intimate part of the soul of the listener. Hence, the word that does not disturb our peace, that does not question our bad habits, and that does not transform our communities, cannot be the word of God. In the Gospel, Jesus asks the rich young man to make a very committed and important choice: either follow Him, giving up all his riches, or keep his goods and lose Him. The man’s enormous wealth was his sure security and it greatly enhanced his power and status in the society. By asking the man to part with entire wealth, Jesus is challenging him to opt out of his comfortable easy lifestyle and firmly entrenched class position. In doing so the man makes himself vulnerable for the sake of the kingdom.

Jesus is always challenging us too with His word. It challenges particularly the rich who have a vested interest in the system. A radical option for the kingdom requires us to opt out of our class security since wealth can be a possible obstacle to following Jesus. To be noted is that the demand by Jesus is not just a matter of giving out something in alms; everything must be given up. In choosing Jesus, nothing in us should be left out. It is either everything or nothing. He does not admit of half measures! Jesus, however, does not condemn riches but the selfish accumulation of them. The Christian ideal is not poverty, hunger and nakedness but the fraternal sharing of all the goods that God has made for all. It is not a sin to become rich; the sin lies in being rich all alone. The rich man in the Gospel prefers to keep his wealth and does not have the courage to accept the ideal proposed by Jesus and goes away sad. We need to accept the invitation to generous sharing. Jesus was so generous that He gave us His very self. Like Him, we should have the desire in our heart to give. Each of us has something in our life that serves as a major obstacle to happiness and peace, to holiness. It may be anger, grudges, addictions, lust, apathy, lies, infidelity, etc. God invites us today to make a radical choice, to make effort to remove that. Happy Sunday!


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