20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 16 (Year A) Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Psalm 67; Romans 11:13-15, 29-32; Matthew 15:21-28

“Maintain justice and do what is right.”

Mary Marrocco: We’ll find strength in letting go the ‘littleness’

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One of many arresting moments in J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterfully gripping The Lord of the Rings involves Merry, one of Frodo’s three hobbit friends who accompany him on his journey to destroy the ring of power. Merry finds himself at the centre of a great battle, with one of the Nazgul (dread servants of the Enemy) bearing down on the King whom Merry has sworn to serve. When the King is struck down, with horror all around him, Merry starts to crawl away. Something inside calls him to return — but “his will would not answer” and he keeps fleeing in the other direction.

God's Word on Sunday: True silence is filled with possibilities

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 9 (Year A) 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalm 85; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-23

God is certainly capable of great deeds of power. This is most evident in the Exodus account of the Old Testament. But there is another side of God — God’s preferred side — that is quiet, gentle and often disguised to the point of invisibility.

God's Word on Sunday: We do not earn what God gives us

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 2, Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21

What is the catch? Whenever we hear that something is “free,” our suspicions kick in. There must be some hidden angle — nothing is free, we will have to pay in some way.

God's Word on Sunday: Wisdom can never be taken for granted

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 26 (Year A) 1 Kings 3:5-12; Psalm 119; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52

Imagine that we were offered the granting of one wish. This has been a familiar theme in folklore and legends, and people amuse themselves by thinking of all the possibilities — something like winning the lottery.

God's Word on Sunday: Kindness is sign of strength

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 19 (Year A) Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Psalm 86; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43

How should power, strength and sovereignty be expressed? Not in domination, harshness or the imposition of personal will on others. Wisdom describes true power and sovereignty as righteousness, and righteousness as gentleness, patience and mercy.

Fr. Yaw Acheampong: Finding hope in the Eucharist

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Over a couple of weeks, the Archdiocese of Toronto celebrated two joyful significant events: the opening of our churches on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on June 14 and the ordination of eight transitional deacons into the priesthood on June 27.

God's Word on Sunday: God’s Word is seed of transformation

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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 12 (Year A) Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 65; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23

Ancient peoples believed that rain was a gift from the gods, and it is easy to see why. Without rain or adequate water, life ceases to exist. Crops fail, vegetation withers and dies, fires rage and sand takes possession of the land.

Mary Marrocco: Learning to ‘redeem the times’ we live in

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During the pandemic lockdown, a bishop spoke to his flock about fears and panic. He emphasized that times were bad, faith was going to be lost, God would leave us and all that remained was to hold tight to our traditions and hope for the best.

God's Word on Sunday: Prophetic message applies to our world

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 5 (Year A) Zechariah 9:9-10; Psalm 145; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30

The Book of Zechariah is a puzzling collection of prophecies written at different points in Israel’s history. Scholars are unsure of the dating of the various parts of the book. But perhaps this vagueness is a blessing, for the prophecies are valid in every time and place, especially our own.

God's Word on Sunday: Kindness sets the world on better path

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 28 (Year A) 2 Kings 4:8-12a, 14-16; Psalm 89; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 10:37-42

We should not underestimate the importance and impact of our individual acts of kindness.