Perspectives Daily – Thursday, Dec. 6

Tonight on Perspectives: The new Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas is appointed, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch passes away, and the Province of Quebec makes a controversial decision on religious curriculum.

The Word Made Flesh – Emmanuel: God With Us, a reflection by Fr. Thomas Rosica


Let us consider the Scripture stories that speak of the birth of Christ in history, about the Word becoming flesh. How do Matthew, Luke and John explain this great mystery in their Gospel accounts? What should be our response to this mystery that is prolonged in our midst through the Eucharist? What does it mean to adore the mystery of the Word made flesh?

Matthew’s Story

Matthew’s Gospel is about the scriptures being fulfilled in Jesus. In the genealogy, Jesus is the culmination point toward which Israel’s long covenant history has been leading, particularly its puzzling and tragic latter phase. Matthew agrees with his Jewish contemporaries that the exile was the last significant event before Jesus; when the angel says that Jesus will “save his people from their sins” (1:21), liberation from exile is in view.

Matthew tells us that Jesus’ birth in human history fulfills at least three biblical themes. He brings Israel into the Promised Land; “Jesus” is the Greek for “Joshua.” As Emmanuel, “God with us”, Jesus embodies God’s presence with his people (Isaiah 7:14, quoted in 1:23). As the new David, Jesus is the Messiah born at Bethlehem (2:5, fulfilling Micah 5:1-3).

In the name “Emmanuel,” we find the answer to humanity’s deepest longings for God throughout the ages. Emmanuel is both a prayer and plea (on our behalf) and a promise and declaration on God’s part. When we pronounce the word, we are really praying and pleading: “God, be with us!” And when God speaks it, the Almighty, Eternal, Omnipresent Creator of the world is telling us: “I am with you” in this Child.

The name Emmanuel is also alluded to at the end of Matthew’s Gospel where the risen Jesus assures his disciples of his continued presence: “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (28:20). God did indeed keep his promise in Jesus. Jesus truly fulfills the plan of God in word and deed, in desire and presence, in flesh and blood.

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New Archbishop for Keewatin-Le Pas

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Murray Chatlain of Mackenzie-Fort Smith as Archbishop of Keewatin – Le Pas.

Archbishop Chatlain will also serve as apostolic administrator of Mackenzie-Fort Smith until a new Bishop can be named for that diocese. He succeeds Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie who retired in July 2012 for health reasons. 

Originally from Saskatoon, Archbishop Chatlain studied at the University of Saskatchewan before entering the seminary. He completed his priestly formation at St. Peter’s seminary in London, Ontario and was ordained for the diocese of Saskatoon in 1987.

Besides serving at various Saskatoon  parishes, Archbishop Chatlain also studied the Dene language in La Loche, Saskatchewan. He became Bishop of Mackenzie  – Fort Smith in May of 2008 and has been part of the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council since that time.

Keewatin – Le Pas has 45 parishes and missions and 37,380  Catholics who are served by 4 diocesan priests, 11 religious priests and seven religious sisters.

Photos courtesy of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

The Word Made Flesh – Joseph: The Faithful and Wise Servant, a reflection by Fr. Thomas Rosica


St. Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus, whose Father is God alone, and yet he lives his fatherhood fully and completely.  He is often overshadowed by the glory of Christ and the purity of Mary. But he, too, waited for God to speak to him and then responded with obedience. Luke and Matthew both mark Joseph’s descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge about him: he was “a righteous man” a “just man” (Matthew 1:18).

Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been engaged, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary quietly according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. Joseph was also a man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome.  When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all of his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We are told that Joseph was a carpenter, (more likely a builder), a man who worked to provide for his family. Joseph wasn’t a wealthy man, for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb.

Joseph revealed in his humanity the unique role of fathers to proclaim God’s truth by word and deed. His paradoxical situation of “foster father to Jesus” draws attention to the truth about fatherhood, which is much more than a mere fact of biological generation. A man is a father most when he invests himself in the spiritual and moral formation of his children.  Joseph was keenly aware, as every father should be, that he served as the representative of God the Father.

The Gospel, as we know, has not kept any word from Joseph, who carries out his activity in silence. It is the style that characterizes his whole existence, both before finding himself before the mystery of God’s action in his spouse, as well as  when — conscious of this mystery — he is with Mary in the Nativity. On that holy night, in Bethlehem, with Mary and the Child, is Joseph, to whom the Heavenly Father entrusted the daily care of his Son on earth, a care carried out with humility and in silence.

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Perspectives Daily – Wednesday, Dec. 5

Tonight on Perspectives Pope Benedict apealled for help to Congo, the Bishops of England held a day of prayer for the Middle East and we take a look at today’s general audience.

Salt + Light celebrates 10 years with a special concert

Thursday December 6 will mark the first of what is sure to be many celebrations recognizing 10 years of Salt + Light Television. A decade into the brainchild of Gaetano Gagliano, the small upstart, which many said was doomed to failure is now on the cusp of branching out far and wide, already showing signs of what the future has in store. Quite properly then, it was conceived that something extraordinary should be done to celebrate this milestone and what is to come.

So it was at a staff meeting just over two months ago that we at the office learned that The Priests had agreed to come over from Ireland to put on a Christmas concert, and it was with that, that Venite Adoremus was born. We then learned that this truly extraordinary event would take place at Koerner Hall, adjacent to the Royal Conservatory of Music on Bloor St. (Toronto’s own 5th Avenue). This enormous and beautiful facility that sits 1145 people is a gem in the eye of all those I know who had the pleasure of attending concerts there. The cathedral high hardwood walls provide a tremendous acoustic experience, which is sure to do nothing but enhance the sounds of the talent performing on stage.

Speaking of talent, Venite Adoremus will bring together tremendously gifted musicians from both home and far away. To mark the special occasion, Salt +Light is blessed to have The Priests come from Ireland to share their musical talents with the people the Greater Toronto Area. On the odd chance that you missed their meteoric rise to fame, they are a trio of Irish priests from the Diocese of Down and Connor in the Republic of Ireland. Brothers Fr. Eugene and Martin O’Hagan, along with their grammar school classmate Fr. David Delargy are parish priests who when not tending to their flocks at home, travel the world sharing their incredible musical talents. Having been received so remarkably well, they were given the unusual and unique honor to recording their debut album in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

Not only will Salt + Light bring you three priests, but a whole choir of youthful voices from the city of London, Ontario. The Amabile Youth Singers are internationally renowned female choristers who have racked up an impressive array of awards and accolades in their 25-year history. Under the musical direction of Brenda Zadorsky and John Barron, these young ladies were featured in the Salt + Light documentary Panes of Glory, which explored the stained glass windows of St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario. On December 6, the ladies of Amabile will take a busy break from winning gold medals both at home and around the world to once again lend their talents to Salt + Light.

Salt + Light will also welcome the talents of Toronto-based songstress Rosanna Riverso. No stranger to the stage and to our organization, Rosanna has been featured on SL Radio and sang alongside The Priests at St. Paul’s Basilica in 2009.

Finally in order to Irish up the evening just a little more, the evening will see the participation of the Irish Choral Society of Canada. Under the direction of Sinead Segrue, this 28-member ensemble of voice will serenade audiences with sweet sounds as they enter Koerner Hall.

As we await the coming of Christ this advent season, let us join in a night of celebration and song, reflecting on ten years of remarkable work at Salt + Light.

Perspectives Daily – Tuesday, Dec. 4

Tonight on Perspectives: More on Pope Benedict ‘s outreach via communication and a look at upcoming events across the country.

John the Baptist, the Paradox of Advent – Second Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent, Year C – December 9, 2012
The readings for this Sunday are: Baruch 5.1-9; Ps 126; Philippians 1.3-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6

In today’s Gospel text, the evangelist who is called the “scriba manuetidinis Christi” (scribe of the gentleness of Christ) by Dante Alighieri, casts the call of John the Baptist in the form of an Old Testament prophetic call (Luke 3:2) and extends the quotation from Isaiah found in Mark 1:3 (Isaiah 40:3) by the addition of Isaiah 40:4-5 in Luke 3:5-6. In doing so, Luke presents his theme of the universality of salvation, which he has announced earlier in the words of Simeon (Luke 2:30-32). Let us consider several historical details offered by Luke in today’s prophetic call story.

Tiberius Caesar succeeded Augustus as emperor in A.D. 14 and reigned until A.D. 37. The fifteenth year of his reign would have fallen between A.D. 27 and 29. Pontius Pilate was prefect of Judea from A.D. 26 until 36. The Jewish historian Josephus describes him as a greedy and ruthless prefect who had little regard for the local Jewish population and their religious practices (Luke 13:1). The Herod who is mentioned is Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great who ruled over Galilee and Perea from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39.

Luke not only situates the call of John the Baptist in terms of the civil rulers of that period but he also mentions the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the religious leadership of Palestine. Annas had been high priest from A.D. 6-15. After being deposed by the Romans in A.D. 15 he was succeeded by various members of his family and eventually by his son-in-law, Caiaphas, who was high priest from A.D. 18-36. [Read more…]

Perspectives Daily – Monday, Dec. 3

Today on Perspectives: Pope Benedict XVI gets his own Twitter feed, he releases a decree with guidelines for Catholic charities and WYD Rio 2013 announces a new location for the closing mass.

The Church’s Deepest Nature: Letter from Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI has released guidelines about how Catholic charities should be organized and who oversees them.

He wrote the guidelines in a papal letter released “motu proprio” (of his own impulse)  called Intima Ecclesia Natura, or The Church’s Deepest Nature. It was released by the Vatican December 1.

In the letter the pope warns that catholic charities should avoid becoming just another social service organization. The guidelines he set out in the letter were meant to help avoid that possibility.

The full text of the Pope’s letter can be found below:

The Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia) and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable” (Deus Caritas Est, 25).

The service of charity is also a constitutive element of the Church’s mission and an indispensable expression of her very being (cf. ibid.); all the faithful have the right and duty to devote themselves personally to living the new commandment that Christ left us (cf. Jn 15:12), and to offering our contemporaries not only material assistance, but also refreshment and care for their souls (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 28). The Church is also called as a whole to the exercise of the diakonia of charity, whether in the small communities of particular Churches or on the level of the universal Church. This requires organization “if it is to be an ordered service to the community” (cf. ibid., 20), an organization which entails a variety of institutional expressions.

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