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Our Lady of Victory / St. Malachy
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Our Lady of Victory   St. Malachy
Sunday - 9:00 A.M.   Saturday - 7:00 P.M.

F O O D   F O R   T H O U G H T

Reading I Acts 9:26-31
Responsorial Psalm I will praise you, Lord in the assembly of your people.
Reading II 1 John 3:18-24
Gospel John 15:1-8
Food for Thought
  • Grapes grow on a gnarled and craggy branch because the vine has deep roots. In what am I rooted? What is my heart's desire?
  • Being a branch on Christ's vine means that I am in solidarity with many others, including the marginalized, people who are different from me, and some people whom I just don't like.
  • Can I take "pruning"? How will I bear fruit?

MAY 14th, 2006

William Marrevee s.c.j.
490 Charles Street
Gatineau, Québec J8L 2K5
Monday and Thursday 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
(819) 986-3763
(819) 986-9889

A sincere welcome to those who are new among us. We hope you find a warm and welcoming faith-home with us. Please introduce yourself after Mass and call the Rectory to register.

WED. May 17th - 9:00 a.m. OLV Jack and Josephine Miller by Iris Delcourt
SAT. May 20th - 7:00 p.m. St. Malachy Connie Dorothy by Brian and Doherty and family
Dorothy Teske by Gladys Miller
SUN. May 21st - 9:00 a.m. OLV Lowell Carriere by Rose and family
Bernard Bisson by Frances Costello
Mass of Thanksgiving by Bob and Maureen Dunning

- Alma Miller and her family on the death of Larry. May Larry rest in peace.

It happens every so often that on funerals or on memorial cards mention is made of the poem "Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not here, I do not sleep..."

It seems that the mourners find much comfort and consolation in the thoughts expressed in the poem. And as such that must be respected. Moreover, it could be argued that the poem expresses some belief in than "afterlife", but to be honest I find it so face-less, name-less, shape-less.

So I cannot help but wonder - especially now that we find ourselves in th 50-day Easter season - whether as Christians we do not have something more to say than that. Or is this a good example of the fact that our Christian language has become so inadequate in speaking our Christian faith that we look elesewhere for comfort when we are faced with the reality of death.

Where do we as Christians look? To none other than Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection is not a simple reference point, but the prism through which we may look at death anew. It is true that Jesus has not made death disappear. Death is still very much part of the human story. Seeing our own death approaching can be disturbing. Experiencing the death of a loved one can be devastating. Yet, by accepting death not out of defiance, but out of love for us and by being raised from the dead Jesus Christ has fundamentally altered death or the grip that death has on us. Death claims us all, but there is an even greater claim on us: the God of life, who is Jesus Christ broke the bond of death and who raised Jesus from the tomb.

The claim of the life-giving God on us does not wait to be activated at the moment of death. It is first heard, and never revoked on God's side, when at baptism the life-giving God calls us by name, writes our name in the palm of this hand, in the Book of Life, never to be erased. Is not the life of faith, in the final analysis, a yielding to that claim, a clinging to that claim in good times and in bad, trusting and confident that that claim will have its full impact when we have to let go of everything, when we have to let go of life itself? After all, we are loved and cherished by the life-giving God who will not stand for it that, in the end, death will have the last word about us. As one author put it: "In the mind of a child who lives under the good care of his mother, the question never occurs whether his mother will still be there to care for him tomorrow."

That is the sort of thing that, I believe, has come to light in the dead and risen Jesus. Our faith in this Jesus marks us in the 30, 60, 90 years that we have here, but especially when those years come to an end. An end? Yes, but the claim of the life-giving God does not come to an end. In fact, we trust that the claim will become a life-giving embrace of the God of love. That is our lasting home and destiny

What does it mean that Jesus is raised from the dead? It is the core of the Christian faith. Not easy to handle or explain. But still essential. Last year, in Catholic Update, Thomas Groome tried his hand on reflectng on it in such a way that it may speak to us. It will still take some struggling, but it is worth it. Here follows the fifth of the five installments:


To fully appreciate the significance of Jesus' dying and rising for us, we need to remember that God was among us as one of ourselves in this carpenter from Nazareth. Jesus Christ was the great catalyst of liberating salvation because he was fully one with us in humanity and "one in being" with God as well. As a juman being he showed us how to live into our fullest potential - the changes we ever need to make; as the Son of God and Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, he raised up our whole human estate, empowering us to "follow the way" that he modeled. In other words, the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith are one and the same person. To grasp the change that he asks and empowers requires us to acknowledge this unity.

The Christological doctrine of "two natures in one person" was hammered out over the first four centuries, accompanied by lots of controversies and accusations of heresy. The arguments seesawed back and forth between two emphases. On the one hand, some insisted rightly that Jesus had to be fully human in order to be in total solidarity with us, and for us to be "raised up" with him. On the other, many emphasized his divinity because we needed someone fully divine to be ultimately effective on our behalf. Meanwhile, the Church searched for a middle ground of both/and instead of either/or. Finally it reached its classic expression at the great Council of Chalcedon (in the year 451).

Thereafter, however, orthodox Christian faith would affirm that "Our Lord Jesus Christ," to quote Chalcedon, "is complete in his deity and complete in his humanity, truly God and truuly a human being...coessential (homoousios) with the Father as to his deity and coessential with us as to his humanity, a being like us in every respect apart from sin..." Does this mean that we understand the mystery of Jesus Christs' identity? No, not in a rational way. Through the eyes of faith, though, we can say yes and be enlivened by this mystery of our faith.

Such faith means that the whole human family has been "raised up" effectively and definitively through its solidarity with Jesus Christ. As the divine and human are at one in him, so, too, we can live at-onement with God, and God's grace overflows through Christ to empower us to live as God's people after "the way" of Jesus. Indeed, Yeats said it well not only for Easter of 1916, but really for every Easter: "All changed, changed utterly, a terrible beauty is born."

For some it is exciting, others are not so sure. Will it work? Or is it better to ask: will we make it work? It is an interesting initiative: Once a year to show that as Catholic Christians, despite our linguistic and cultural differences, we know ourselves united with and belonging to each other in Jesus Christ? Is that not one of Christ's specialties and the purpose for which he was sent: to break through barriers and to be the source of unity while living among us? Sounds very close to what we say about Sunday Eucharist: all together around Christ's Table. That is why we start with that at 10:30 A.M. at the Community Centre.

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