Friday, May 14, 2010

St. MATTHIAS, Apostle - Pix from the National March for Life

According to Acts 1:15-26, during the days after the Ascension, Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers (about 120 of Jesus’ followers).

Now that Judas had betrayed his ministry, it was necessary, Peter said, to fulfill the scriptural recommendation:

“May another take his office.” “Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).

They nominated two men: Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. They prayed and drew lots. The choice fell upon Matthias, who was added to the Eleven. Matthias is not mentioned by name anywhere else in the New Testament.

Comment: What was the holiness of Matthias? Obviously he was suited for apostleship by the experience of being with Jesus from his baptism to his ascension. He must also have been suited personally, or he would not have been nominated for so great a responsibility.

Must we not remind ourselves that the fundamental holiness of Matthias was his receiving gladly the relationship with the Father offered him by Jesus and completed by the Holy Spirit?

If the apostles are the foundations of our faith by their witness, they must also be reminders, if only implicitly, that holiness is entirely a matter of God’s giving, and it is offered to all, in the everyday circumstances of life. We receive, and even for this God supplies the power of freedom.

Quote: Jesus speaks of the apostles’ function of being judges, that is, rulers. He said, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28).

From under the rubric "Saint of the Day" for May 14.

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Historical Note: It was three years ago today that Pope Benedict XVI transferred me from Halifax and Yarmouth to become Archbishop of Ottawa. Deo gratias.

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Yesterday's MARCH FOR LIFE was a delightful happening to promote the Culture of Life.

My homily speaking notes for yesterday's Pro Life Mass (French and English mixed) are interspersed with photos from the events surrounding the March.

HOMILY FOR THE MARCH FOR LIFE MASS MAY 13, 2010 HOMÉLIE DU 13 MAI 2010 – MARCHE POUR LA VIE Cathédrale-basilique Notre-Dame d’Ottawa [Textes : Actes 18.1-18; Psaume 112 (113); Jean 16.16-20]

Votre Éminence Cardinal Ouellet, confrères évêques, frères prêtres, Your Eminence Cardinal Ouellet, my fellow bishops, brother priests, faithful deacons, religious men and women, (other distinguished guests), my fellow “Workers for Life”—dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Quand nous lisons ou entendons proclamer les Actes des Apôtres, en particulier pendant cette saison pascale, nous avons tendance à condenser tous les événements de ces braves hommes et femmes et à croire qu’ils se sont déroulés en peu de temps. L’opposé est plus exact.

Saint Paul a travaillé dur au service du Seigneur Jésus pendant des décennies. Il a foulé les routes poussiéreuses pendant des années, il a été battu, lapidé, il a été victime de naufrage, il a subi l’emprisonnement, l’opposition et l’indifférence.

When we read or hear proclaimed the Acts of the Apostles, especially in this Easter season, we have the tendency to telescope all the events of these brave men and women and see them as taking place in a very abbreviated timeline. The exact opposite is the case.

Saint Paul laboured for decades in the service of the Lord Jesus. He tramped the dusty roads for years, endured, beatings, stoning, shipwreck, imprisonment, rejection, opposition, and indifference.

Just before the passage we heard this morning, Paul was in Athens where he gave a brilliant defense of the Faith to the premiere philosophers and thinkers of his day– and was laughed at. He preached in synagogues through the cities of the Roman Empire - and had been thrown out.

The Apostle seeks to speak to the people of his day and seemingly gets little positive response or, maybe, even notice. The same is repeated even today.

But Paul perseveres with his missionary enterprise. Some listen and become heralds in their own right such as Priscilla and Aquila. The number of followers grows and the Light of a new Reality begins to cast its rays upon a darkened world.

Sisters for Life

Meeting of the Executive of Priests for Life Canada

Whether the message is delivered to Jews or Gentiles, the power of truth touches and inflames the hearts of believers. Yes, a long, arduous task lies in front of all of them.

La puissance de la vérité n’est pas immédiatement évidente à tous ceux et celles qui entendent saint Paul. Mais la puissance de la vérité triomphe de la déception, des mensonges, de l’ignorance et du mal, comme « le Christ est sorti triomphant du tombeau ».

Aujourd’hui, je vous appelle une fois encore à marcher avec le Christ pour la Vérité. Que notre message soit accueilli ou pas, nous marchons avec le Christ.

Même si nous sommes bloqués hors du courant de pensée majoritaire, nous marchons avec le Christ. Dans les débats ardus ou lors de longues veilles à répondre aux appels téléphoniques pour demander de l’aide, nous marchons avec le Christ.

Et sur la Colline Parlementaire, et dans les rues, non seulement à Ottawa, mais dans plusieurs capitales provinciales aujourd’hui, nous marchons avec le Christ, témoins de l’humanité de toute personne, née ou non née, malade ou bien portante, vieille ou jeune.

The power of truth is not immediately evident to all who hear it. But the power of truth triumphs over deceit, lies, ignorance and evil as “Christ rose triumphant over the grave”.

Today, I call you once again to walk with Christ for Truth. Whether the message we bring is accepted or not, we walk with Christ.

In spite of being frozen out of the mainstream, we walk with Christ. In arduous debates and in long vigils at the end of telephone help lines, we walk with Christ.

And on Parliament Hill and in the streets, not only of Ottawa but of the many provincial capitals today we walk with Christ in testimony to the humanity of all persons, born and carried in the womb, ill and well, old and young.

We gather as a living sign of swelling numbers who declare that Truth cannot be conveniently compartmentalized and put aside.

We come together to speak out that the crimes against humanity of abortion and mercy-killing demand justice. We are here – and will be there on the Hill (pointing to Parliament Hill) – to continue on the long road to build a new Culture of Life in our day, and this both in our nation Canada and in our 21st century world.

Jesus himself challenges us with his prophetic teaching that, “You will weep and mourn but the world will rejoice. You will have pain but your pain will turn into joy”.

Nous tous, présents aujourd’hui, nous le savons : nous avons entrepris un travail difficile, mais déjà des signes montrent que notre société devient de plus en plus consciente.

Réfléchissez à la défaite écrasante du projet de loi C-384 sur l’euthanasie. Ou encore au refus d’utiliser l’argent des impôts pour payer pour la mort des non nés dans les pays en voie de développement. Souvenez-vous du travail constant et vaillant des membres du Parlement et des sénateurs pour que dans notre pays les questions pro-vie demeurent à l’avant-plan. Ce sont là autant de réussites.

Regardez autour de vous ce matin, et voyez le nombre grandissant de jeunes venus témoigner, par leur présence, de la ténacité de la Vérité.

Considérez le travail ardu pour construire cette Nouvelle Culture de la Vie que vous tous accomplissez et pour lequel les évêques du Canada et moi-même vous exprimons notre vive gratitude.

All of us here today know that. It is a difficult work that we have undertaken, but already there are signs that our society is growing more aware.

Consider: the resounding defeat of the euthanasia bill C-384. Consider the refusal to use tax dollars to pay for the deaths of the unborn in developing countries. Consider the constant valiant work of Members of Parliament and senators to keep the pro-life issues alive in our country. All of these are successes.

Look around at the growing numbers of young people here this morning who testify, by their presence, to the steadfastness of the Truth.

Remember the babies that are saved each year in 40 Days for Life and in the silent witness outside abortion clinics; and remember the lives that are now treasured!

Look at the hard work to build up this New Culture of Life that you all do and for which the bishops of Canada and I sincerely thank you.

I ask you to continue, to persevere with courage and fortitude in the cause of life, to continue to walk with Christ and bear His message of Life and truth: on Parliament Hill, in your schools and on your campuses, in your homes and in hospitals. Continue to speak in the New Media, in your market places and meetings.

Chers amis, « Le Seigneur a fait des merveilles » et il continuera de faire des choses merveilleuses en notre temps avec notre collaboration.

Dear friends, “The Lord has done marvelous things” and He will continue to do marvelous things in our day. Let this sentiment of joy amid travails—like the woman giving birth who rejoices in her new-born child and forgets the labour pains—be ours at this Eucharist and in our every activity today in the cause of life.

God bless you all.

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