be born in us!

We continue our Advent journey of preparation and expectation of the birth of Jesus. But have you ever realized that Jesus wants to be born in you?

Jesus wants to be born in us!

There are 2 figures which point us towards this reality today:

1.) John the Baptist (from the Gospel for the 2nd Sunday of Advent; Matthew 11.2-11) came proclaiming the coming kingdom, a kingdom which we hear about from the prophet Isaiah(35.1-6,10) in the first reading. We hear of John appearing in the “wilderness” (also understood as a deserted and desolate place). So why do we meet John there? It seems to me because there are no distractions; nothing to divert us from what is going on in our heart. In our lives we are constantly tempted to divert and distract ourselves from what really matters, to fill those empty spaces.

John calls you and me in to the wilderness(the desert) to “prepare the way of the Lord”, to open our eyes and become convicted, to turn and confess and prepare our hearts(the wombs of our hearts) to give birth to Christ. What do I mean by this? That our lives would be centred and focussed on Jesus, and our relationship with him; expressing in our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

2.) Mary, the mother of God offered her entire being and body to this reality, of birthing Christ. Saturday began the novena(9 days of prayer) before the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, of the unborn, and of the Whitehorse diocese.

We have been blessed to have been donated a beautiful statue which resides at a side altar, above a votive candle stand, in our village church here in Telegraph Creek. This week she will be travelling to the different homes of our church community until her feast day on December 12th(also the National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous People).

She appeared to Juan Diego in the year 1531, in Mexico, and by a miracle imprinted her image upon his tilma. The details and symbols* of this image revealed the message she wanted to share, not only with Juan Diego and the Indigenous Mexicans but to all people, about who she is and consequently who Jesus is:

Her dark complexion and mix of Indigenous and Spanish features represents the unity of all people, that we are all her children. Her eyes are gazing down, revealing humility. As great as she is she is not god. Indian gods always looked straight ahead, never down. Her face has an expression of compassion, as a mother gazing at her child(ren).

Her mantle is a blue-green colour, a colour of cloak which was only worn by the native emperors. The stars on her mantle were configured as they were in the sky just before dawn on that day she appeared to Juan Diego. Indigenous tradition also recognized the end and beginning of different eras by comets or bodies of stars.

Her hands express prayer and offering, while her bent knee, as in movement, signifies dancing prayer; expressing how the indigenous prayed.

The particular band around her waist is the sign of a pregnant woman. For the indigenous it was a sign of someone to come. This is also one of the few depictions of Mary in pregnancy.

Mary hides/eclipses the sun, only the rays come forth. She does not extinguish the light and it shows that she is greater than the Indigenous sun god.

She is standing on the crescent moon indicating that she is greater than the Indigenous god of night and also signifies her purity/immaculate conception .

The Angel ‘carrying’ Mary is seen by the Indigenous as an “intermediary god” carrying in a new era. The Angel is holding both her mantle(representing the heavens) and her tunic(representing the earth by the flowers) in each hand signifying a union between heaven and earth.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet…she was with child…” -Revelation 12.1-2

So let us look both to the examples of John the Baptist and Our Lady today as we pray for strength to turn away from distraction and sin and open our hearts to welcome Christ who wants to be born in us, not only at Christmas but, today!

* Notes on symbology gathered and paraphrased from the University of Dayton and New Mexico State University.


It was crazy reading the Gospel from yesterday (Luke 21.5-19)! Crazy, because it was almost like I was reading the daily world news in Jesus’ response to his disciples about the temple and “when there shall not be left one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”:

-“Nation will rise against nation…” v.10

-“…there will be great earthquakes and…famines…” v.11

-“…wars and insurrections…” v.9

-persecution of the Church v.12

-people turning against each other v.16

What Jesus speaks of that will happen, before the end, is happening right now! Are we at the end? We very well could be! But that doesn’t really matter.

You may be thinking, ‘Well of course it matters. What do you mean that being at the end doesn’t matter?’

I say this because we really need to focus on what does really matter! Jesus warns us not to be led astray, in verse 8.

what DOES matter?

Remaining faithful & enduring, in faith and hope.

If it is the end, or even if it isn’t, what should we be doing?

Remaining faithful & enduring, in faith and hope.

All is in Gods hands, including you and me.
Even, and especially, in our everyday tasks, our work, and our responsibilities(2 Thess. 3.7-12), it is essential to seek God and keep walking toward Him. Keep your eyes on Him. Keep your thoughts on Him.

There is so much in this world drawing our attention away from Him, with everything around us and in us: the needs, hurts, brokenness, distractions, temptations to pleasure to ‘unplug’ and ‘escape’, and false promises of security. We worry about missing out and we worry for our children and grandchildren and their futures.
Amidst all of this remain faithful to Him; this is your testimony(Luke 21.13).

Everything we rely on in this world will one day pass away, BUT He will not!

Remain faithful. Endure in faith, that all is in God’s hands, and endure in hope in what does last, Heaven!

Lord, I pray for the grace today to endure, to fix my eyes on that which does not pass away, and to endure in faith and hope in your promise, remaining faithful to you. Amen

Click HERE to take some inspiration from a song that has spoken to us in this call on our own hearts!

Surrender…not to temptation

Do not underestimate the power you have to overcome temptation!

Surrender is key here. 

One of the biggest lies of the devil is that just because you are tempted you have to give in, and essentially surrender to the sin. But we have to realize that ….

it is ok to feel angry,

it is ok to feel lustful,

it is ok to feel jealous,

it is ok to feel impatient,

it is ok to feel these things.

It is only when we surrender to these that the feeling becomes a sin. And all too often the moment it begins we just give in.

What do we do? Because we will be tempted. Jesus starts his ministry being tempted in the desert by the devil (Luke 4.1-13). And he shows us the way through temptation.

You see… temptation made him stronger, and it can make us stronger too. Think of it as resistance!

Our children received a rock tumbler as a Christmas gift last year. What it does is polish rocks; what would take Mother Nature hundreds to thousands of years takes just several weeks in a rock tumbler. How it works though is the important part; it works by adding grit(course sand) which, when combined with water and the rocks and the continual turning/rolling action of the barrel, wears down the rough points and surfaces. Regular rocks are turned into gem stones by this continual rubbing and resistance.

You and I are called to greatness….

…and part of becoming great is being able to face temptation, to struggle through it. Like a rock in a rock tumbler temptation(grit) will smooth out your sharp edges and polish your rough parts.

As you surrender to God’s love(and not to temptation), and as you surrender to His word and his work and his life in you…

…you will, bit by bit and grit by grit, become who you are meant to be, who God is calling you to be!

Do not underestimate the power you have to become a saint!

Blessed are you…

A reflection on Luke 6.17,20-26

How hard it is to see our suffering as a blessing!

In our lives we do not look for suffering; good health is preferred to sickness, joy is more acceptable than sorrow, success is more desired than failure, and riches more cherished than poverty!

But Jesus’ measurement for blessedness are things so detestable by our standards; poverty, hunger, grieving and sorrowing, and being hated, despised, and excluded.

So, why these situations and states in order for us to blessed? Why suffering? Why poverty? Why hunger? Why exclusion? I believe the simple answer would be because these all bring us to a profound need, a need for God and for total reliance on Him.

But it is hard to be faithful! There are so many comforts and temptations that distract us and pull us away from God and the path of blessedness. It is kind of like a tug-of-war, with the world as our opponent. It is impossible for us to pull and to resist on our own. We need God pulling with us, for us! He has actually already won the “tug-of-war” so we just really need to let go, fall on our knees, and acknowledge our need for Him.

“Blessed the one who trusts in the Lord”

– Psalm 1 (response)

We will face hardships, temptations, and struggles in this life. We will have the desire to escape into comforts, but we need to remember that we can not face these on our own.

Trust in the Lord with all that you are!

Go to Him and ask Him for help and strength!

And in time you will see the blessedness of suffering as the way of drawing ever closer to him.

Praise the Lord for opportunities to grow more in need of Him and to draw closer to Him; that poverty has become a sure path to eternal riches, hunger has created a way to eternal satisfaction, sorrow and grief have become paths leading to eternal joy, and that rejection has paved the way to an acceptance into an eternity in love.

Jesus is waiting for you today, so come to Him hungry and empty.

Come and allow, not the world but, Jesus to fill you by the power of the Holy Spirit!

I felt so inspired to share this reflection, after sharing it at our Liturgy last Sunday, because this suffering really speaks to us in a very personal way as we have struggled through these past 2 years among so much adversity, all exascerbated with the challenges faced during a pandemic. At times we have felt so low, but it has been prayer, a dependance on God, and the support & encouragement we have received from so many family, friends, and clergy that has carried us. To put it in a nutshell, this passage from Luke(v.21-22 particularly) has almost completely related to our situation and speaks deeply to our hearts.

We have been asked by quite a few people lately, perhaps because we are all out in “public” with things opening up more and people gathering again (as we had a funeral service for an elder earlier this week), “how much longer are you staying?” And we feel as if people are really saying, “why are you still here? With everything that has happened and the church coming to the forefront of controversy with residential schools, shouldn’t you be somewhere else? Wouldn’t it be easier to go home and be with your families?”

So through it all we have been reminded this week, “We love because he first loved us.” Wherever we are, wherever He puts us and calls us to be, it is Gods love that we sink in to, that we accommodate to permeate our hearts, and that we seek to share by first loving those closest to us(our children and each other); allowing His love to shine forth from our hearts as a beacon of hope to all. And, as we heard recently from another person: “I hope you guys grow old here!”

What do you hear and see?

We are faced with this question in the Gospel of Matthew(11.2-11) as we await the coming of Christ during this season of Advent.

Perhaps we wonder at times, “Are you the one..” Jesus? As John the Baptist sends his disciples with this question. Are you the one who is coming in to my life, the one whom my heart is searching for? Or is there another?

A question to ponder for the 3rd Sunday of Advent:


… when you are in the silence?

… gazing at Jesus on the cross?

… when reading His word, the scriptures?

… when you receive Him in the Eucharist?

When he comes in to our lives we will experience true joy, eternal joy! And we will see and hear amazing things!

Let us quiet our hearts amidst the busyness that can be as we draw near to the celebration of Christmas and listen for His answer.



A ‘little’ Disposition

Reflecting on the Mass readings from yesterday and also celebrating the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel today we wanted to share a short reflection with you!

St.Paul reminds us(Ephesians 1.3-14) that God has called us, to be holy, and blessed us with his graces to ‘live for the praise of his glory’, encapsulating what it means to be Christian!

“God the Father has blessed us… with every spiritual blessing… He chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy… [He has lavished on us the riches of his graces]… that we might live for the praise of his glory…”

How are we responding to this in our own lives, in our every moment of every day, as we receive his graces in suffering, as we receive blessings or inner promptings, in moments of consolation or desolation?

We have the example of Amos(Amos 7.12-15), who was called to speak to God’s people at a time when they had become very big-headed, very rich, and very influential. He was a sheepherder, a nobody, called by God to bring his Word to a great(in a worldly sense) nation.

When we don’t get in the way with our ego, big-headedness, and pride, God can do the greatest work in us and through us! He can use us in our littleness to show His greatness!

This is of course why we are reminded in the Gospel(Mark 6.7-13) by Jesus to have total dependance on God and His providence, taking nothing extra for the journey.

How can we allow God to work through us this week? How can we turn our inner attitudes, our dispositions, towards full and complete trust without letting ourselves get in the way?

Let us look to our heavenly mother, Mary, especially as we celebrate her feast day today, and seek to model her response to God; her meek and humble heart;

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour. For He has looked with favour on his lowly servant.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel       R./ Pray for us!



Becoming … a polished arrow!

Happy Birthday St.John the Baptist!

His is the only other birthday that we celebrate in the Liturgy of the Church, aside from Mary’s and Jesus’. We celebrate it just after the summer solstice, after which the days begin to get shorter. It fits with the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, 6 months later, that takes place just after the winter solstice as the days begin to get longer. With this in mind we are reminded of John the Baptist’s saying in scripture “He must increase, I must decrease.” (John 3:30). We could truly grow when we begin to model our lives after him, ‘God must become greater, I must become less.’

Here are some further thoughts from the scripture readings today, spoken so well by Jeff Cavins:

Summer Lovin’

What a beautiful day it was on Sunday! Feels like summer is here with 25 degree celsius weather during the day and the warm breeze. Being a Sunday we of course gathered in worship as a Church community(which I will share a little bit more on further down) and once all of the visiting was done decided to head down to the beach, at old town, for some quality family time.



Playing Mancala with stones we found at the beach!


On the church side of things, it is always wonderful celebrating the Easter season. And on top of that we celebrate May as the month of Mary. So we had a ceremony for the crowning of Mary and we’re so sad we forgot to take pictures. But it involved the children processing with flowers up to the sanctuary, to the singing of Immaculate Mary, and placing their flowers at the feet of Our Lady. And then the rest of the congregation was able to come forward and do the same. We also placed a wreath of flowers on Mary’s head.


The Scripture readings from Sunday centred on the Golden rule: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15.12) A fairly repeated verse and one that we should all strive towards, but what does it really mean?!

For one, it means opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit. The 1st reading(Acts 10.25-48 and a little bit before to get the full context) really opens our eyes to this as we see Peter being led by the Spirit to a new way of thinking; really to see as God sees AND living from that. This isn’t always easy as we as usually tend to stay away from change! But it is from this that the early Church extends the scope of it’s mission from just the Jews to non-circumcised believers, in Peter’s words from a reformed view, “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10.34-35)

Secondly, it means we have to abide in His love(John 15.9). There is nothing we can do to earn God’s love and He loves us all perfectly and equally. I think the key here is, also from this Gospel passage; “You did not choose me but I chose you.” (John 15.16a) It involves us giving up our control over our little story and surrendering to Gods’s love so as to be caught up in His great story.

Thirdly, and lastly, is the measure we are asked to give. In our society the word ‘love’ is used pretty loosely and lightly, but if we continue to look at this last weekend’s scripture passages we see it painted very clearly; “ In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4.10) And so the cross is what we measure our love against and by. We can say words, but they have no meaning until we put them into action; “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15.13) This is the measure to which we must love, laying down our lives, in other words sacrificing, for one another as Christ did for us!

SO, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15.12)

And in the closing lines of the Gospel passage we hear: “… I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” (John 15.16b)

Our very mission is TO love! And our individual mission which God has called us to, always takes the form of love, no matter what it is; it always takes the form of Him who first loved us.  WE are chosen BY love, to BEAR love!

We encourage you today to abide in God’s love for you and to ponder your mission, to love, by asking yourself:

How am I to lay down my life for others?

How am I to make of my life a gift?

God is speaking to YOU, “I have chosen you to be a bearer of my love to the world!”

May the last two weeks of the Easter season be blessed for you 🙂


6th Sunday of Easter

Acts of the Apostles  10.25-26, 34-35, 44-48

Psalm 98

1 John 4.7-10

John 15.9-17


*** Some themes and ideas paraphrased from Mark Hart (The Bible Geek) @ “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Podcast” and from Bishop Robert Barron’s Sermons Podcast.


The Good Shepherd

We hear this beautiful Psalm today (Psalm 23). It’s one I am sure many, if not all of you, are familiar with. It depicts our Lord and God as our Good Shepherd; one who provides for our needs so that “[we] shall not want” for anything. He is one who “comforts [us]” and “leads [us] in right paths.”

I find it interesting that, in the Gospel today, we are compared with sheep! I have heard that they are not very smart, hence why they need a shepherd. Truth be told (and I speak firstly of myself) we are not the brightest when it comes especially to spiritual matters. We continually go back to our same habits of sin as much as we try to turn from them, we get distracted by worries, and we stray awful close to cliffs of self-sufficiency and doubt among many other things. We are in need of being led by a shepherd who can bring us comfort and security, who knows our weaknesses and can lead us to green pastures and beside still waters.

Two lines in our Gospel today really spoke to me:

  • “He calls his sheep by name… He goes ahead of them and the sheep follow because they know his voice…”  John 10:4-5
  • “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

The first, “He calls his sheep by name… He goes ahead of them and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but run from him because they don’t know the voice of strangers.”

It is important then for us to be able to hear the voice of the shepherd so that we can follow it, otherwise it will be the voice of the stranger that will entice us in. In today’s world however there is so much noise. The biggest one I can think of is our televisions, but we also have our iPads, Tablets, iPods, telephones, e-mail, the news, the media; all these things that fill our heads with noise. How are we to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd? In the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “We are no longer able to hear God; there are to many frequencies filling our ears.” Now I am not saying to get rid of these things, although that would certainly make it a lot easier for us to hear God’s voice, but I know for myself this noise distracts and pulls our minds and hearts away from silence. As a family, we challenge ourselves on Sunday to pull away from the screens and the noise, to be in the silence of eachothers, and God’s, presence because this is where His voice is. So my challenge for you is this; think about the nose in your life, from the time you get up in the morning. This week(maybe even today) be conscious of even just one thing that creates noise in your life and take it out for a day. Spend that time in silence and allow the Shepherd to speak to you.

This leads us to the closing line of the Gospel, Jesus’ life’s vocation: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

“Sometimes in the media world we live in, I would say a post-Christian and anti-Catholic world for the most part, we get this message that the Church is oppressive, that God is a mean ogre in the sky who wants to squash our fun. Nothing could be further from the truth. What God gives us is this incredible plan of his that is all about helping us live the abundant life.” -Teresa Tomeo  (from Opening the Word on

Yes, these green pastures and still waters can be likened to heavenly paradise into which we can enter by Jesus, “the gate;” the way in. However Jesus not only leads us to life in heaven, but ‘abundant life’ here on earth if we follow in the paths he has made for us. Let’s go back to the words of St.Peter in the 2nd reading(1 Peter 2:21,23) for a moment: “Christ also suffered for you leaving an example, so that you should follow in his steps… When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.” So we have this Good Shepherd who leads us, by first walking the path that we too must walk, in order to have HIS abundant life in us.

I want to share a little story with you to go back to the behaviour of sheep. I have heard it said: “That when a lamb is particularly rambunctious or adventurous, repeatedly putting itself in danger, a shepherd will sometimes purposely break one of it’s legs. He then puts the lamb around his neck until it’s leg is healed. By that time, the little lamb has become attached to the shepherd, and it never again strays far from it’s masters protection and guidance.” Fr.John Bartunek (The Better Part, pg 895)


In my own life I can really relate to this lamb. I didn’t realize how self-sufficient I had become. Yes, I said I needed God but I feel that there wasn’t a deep realization of that need. So when I was hit with what started as a common cold and ended with me losing much of my balance and proper leg function I was for the first time in my life actually, physically in need of others to help me. I couldn’t do everything any more. Before all this had happened I had booked myself for a 2-day silent retreat. God had placed the need for this on my heart, even having to sacrifice time with my family who we were down to visit with. At the beginning of the retreat I remember the priest explaining the purpose of the silence, ”To create a space to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to us.” It hit me, and made so much sense. And it was such a time of grace for me. I realized, in my physical weakness how weak I was spiritually and how much I needed God. This time of intimacy in the silence gave me a new perspective and a new angle from which to see life. But I first needed to have my ‘leg broken’, so to speak, so that I could learn to remain close to Him, to rely on Him for my every need.

In closing, the Lord guides us, as a shepherd guides his sheep, if we are open and disposed to hearing his voice in the silence. He has an incredible plan for each one of us, to help us live the abundant life here and now and (God willing) eternal life with him in heaven. So let us not be timid or fearful but live whatever presents itself to us, because everything is a gift from our Good Shepherd for our own good and for our abundance!

Be Perfect…

With the closing line in today’s Gospel(Matt. 5:48)  Jesus gives a challenge that carries a lot of weight, but offers us a way to true happiness, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” There is a lot packed in to this one line; “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Can we really be perfect? Yes, and according to Christ it is by love; “Love your enemies and pay for those who persecute you.” Our usual strategy might be to avoid our enemies, or to simply put up with them, but to actually love them?

What Jesus is trying to show us here is that love is not about feelings, or about loving those who love us, but rather desiring good for the other. To give an example, [to love a friend we could just do so because we know that we will receive something good in return, but when you love an enemy, who will not return in kind, you truly know that you are loving].

If you notice in the first reading(from the old law) we are told “love your neighbor as yourself,” but Jesus, in his ‘new commandment’(in fulfilling the old law by making himself its centre) tells us to love our neighbor as he loves us. This is really where the revolution of the heart is, because anyone can love those who love them, as even those who do not believe in Christ do, but we must “love [our] enemies and pray for those who persecute [us].” Can you imagine getting to heaven and the first person you meet is the one you liked the least on earth? It’s possible, after all, “[God] makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends his rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” God desires the good of all, and his love extends to all the same, saints and sinners alike, even to those with the worst intentions. For God IS love. And Jesus asks us to love as he loves us? But how can we possibly love like this? The truth is that we can’t love as we ought to on our own, but we can with Him and through Him.

By Christ’s death on the cross he took the Church(which is all of us) as his spouse(laying down his life for his bride) and gifted to her the Holy Spirit making us, each one of us, in a very personal way members of his body. As St.Paul says, the two became one flesh. In a tangible way this is the gift of the Eucharist to us, supernatural food for our Christian souls to supplement our weak efforts and keep us strong, united with Him, as we follow this difficult path. So we now share perfectly with Christ in his atonement(reparation for our sins), in his supernatural life(received through the sacraments), and in his triumph(through the resurrection-eternal life).We have the power, in and with Christ and the Holy Spirit, to overcome the world and the devil. We are promised perfection in him, provided we desire, cooperate, and ask for it!

We have this ideal, to “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” and we also have Jesus Christ, his Son, who shows us by his example this path that we must take, walking it ahead of us and beside us. He was betrayed and abandoned by his closest friends, tortured, humiliated, unjustly condemned, and put to death. He loves us as we are, that even while with our sins we keep acting as his enemies today. To see with the eyes of Christ on the cross; these are the eyes with which we need to gaze upon our enemies; If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also, if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well, if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them a second mile!

If you want to be perfect begin by loving your enemies! They will be your aid in reaching perfection. Today, think of one person you have a hard time getting along with, or someone whom you do not like being around. Start with saying a prayer for them and for the opportunity to see them with the eyes of Christ. Are you holding a grudge with anyone, or seeking vengeance, or not speaking with someone because of differences. Pray for Jesus to show you a way to love. Pay attention to the thoughts that cross your mind about others this week, and take those moments to offer a prayer. Instead of calculating your love (ie. I won’t do this for that person they did this to me; I won’t speak to them because they did or didn’t do this to/for me) open yourself to God’s love for you and look for opportunities and invitations to love those that are most difficult for you to love; start in little ways.

It is by our love that we are set apart from the world, and it is in our love that we have the opportunity to be like our God, to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.



Further Reading:

Reading 1 – Leviticus 19:1-18
Psalm – Psalm 103:1-13
Reading 2 – 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Gospel – Matthew 5:38-48