The Christmas liturgical season finished last Sunday with the Baptism of our Lord. We have now moved into ordinary time, which doesn’t mean that it is not extraordinary, but rather that is ordered, that is to say numbered, in ordered to allow us to organize Sunday readings during the course of the year.
However, in this liturgical year C, we hear again the message of Christmas, like an echo telling us how Jesus changes water into wine during the wedding in Cana. It is interesting to note that when the early church first began to celebrate the incarnation of the Son, the church fathers wanted to give prominence to this and consequently they chose three particular events, namely: the worship of the Magi (in which the nations of the world recognize the coming of the Son; His baptism (where the voice of God qualifies Him as “His beloved Son” and the wedding at Cana (where we hear that the disciples believed in Him for the first time).
We can all bring to mind important events from our own lives. Events which touched us deeply and those close to us. Passing an exam, getting a promotion, choosing a particular career, an encounter which changed us profoundly and perhaps our wedding day. The fact that Jesus picked such a day to begin his public life is not devoid of meaning. The prophets had already understood that human marriage is a weighty symbol of the covenant between God and His people. They had imagined that God would ultimately invite His people to an immense wedding banquet, where wine would flow freely. When the disciples understood that Jesus had brought some 600 liters of wine to the feast, they quickly made the link. Such extravagant behaviour could only come from divine generosity. The Messianic time had come and Jesus was the Christ, the anointed one, they had long awaited!
These extraordinary events we have mentioned: the worship of the Magi; the baptism of Jesus and the wedding at Cana; all occurred during “ordinary time”. Our own ordinary, humdrum lives also contain such extraordinary and significant events, even during the difficult times we are going through right now. As did Mary, we notice first what is missing, what we lack. But, as She did, we can transform this experience into a resolution to follow Jesus even more closely. “Do whatever He tells you”. This is Mary’s example to us. During the hard times, let us turn towards Her Son. Let us seek out His will for our lives and in so doing we will discover a reliable and overflowing source of joy!
May this Christmas echo in this ordinary time be for us a call to believe!
Archbishop Paul-André Durocher
Social media is a way for the Church to be among the people, and work toward the common good, not about compromising the truth to gain followers or 'likes,' says Dr Paolo Ruffini. The Prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication was speaking with Vatican News after presenting the Dicastery’s new theological and pastoral document reflection on social media, titled “Towards Full Presence. A Pastoral Reflection on Engagement with Social Media."
In January 2023, Pope Francis published his latest annual message for the 57th World Day of Social Communications, which will take place on Sunday, May 21, 2023. The theme of this year’s edition is Speaking from the heart. “Speaking the truth in love.” Quoting Saint Paul the Apostle’s Letter to the Ephesians, the Holy Father mentions that “We should not be afraid of proclaiming the truth, even if it is at times uncomfortable, but of doing so without charity, without heart.”
In the context of the National Week for Family and Life, the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued both an Open Letter to the Government of Canada and a Message to the Catholic Faithful on federal legislation which, by 17 March 2024, will permit persons living with mental illness to access euthanasia.
Rising prices are hitting hard at families and individuals who are already in difficult socio-economic situations. In its annual message for May 1st, the Church and Society Council of the Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops invites solidarity in the face of this phenomenon...
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have issued the North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.
Begun in late 2022, the Continental Stage of the Synod was the second stage of the three-year process initiated by Pope Francis in October 2021. For the North American Continental Stage, the United States and Canada held twelve virtual assemblies: seven in English, three in Spanish, and two in French between December 2022 and January 2023. In total, 931 delegates and 146 bishops from Canada and the United States were appointed to participate in one of these twelve assemblies to share their reflections and responses to the Document for the Continental Stage (DCS) issued by the Holy See’s General Secretariat of the Synod in October 2022. Those reflections were brought together by the North American Writing Team to create the Final Document.
How I wish I could experience Easter without having to endure Good Friday!
How pleasant it would be to lose weight without dieting or exercising, to master an art without practising for hours, or to succeed in a project without devoting so much energy and resources to it! It would be wonderful to be loved without having to give of myself to another, to be forgiven without having to ask for forgiveness, to be reconciled without having to overcome my pride.
Father Normand Carpentier passed on March 26, 2023 in Gatineau. Born in Buckingham on December 6, 1940, he was the son of the late René Carpentier and the late Alice Mallette and brother of Paul, Louis, Pierre, Richard, Luc, Yolaine, Jean d'Arc, Madeleine, Louise and the late Claudette.
Bill 11, the Act modifying the Act Respecting End-of-Life Care, along with other legislative provisions presented February 16, 2023, by Quebec Health and Seniors Minister Sonia Bélanger, obliges us as Quebec citizens and Catholic bishops practising our ministries throughout this province to speak out today on this question which is of the utmost importance.
Trois-Rivières – March 10, 2023 | The Bishops of Quebec concluded their Plenary Assembly today, which had begun on March 6. The meeting was greatly inspired by the synodal process and provided an opportunity for many fruitful and stimulating exchanges...
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