Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jesus walked among us for a few hours in Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte

Pastor’s Reflection to St Luke Parish – Réflexion du Curé à la Paroisse St Luc

Après la Consécration de l’Autel et de l’Église, où allons-nous ?

Now that our Altar and Church have been consecrated, where are we going?

La Consécration a été un moment marquant et déterminant pour moi, un moment décisif, et une grande et profonde grâce. At first, I was just overwhelmed by it all as the time of preparation gave way to the experience and the press of people, many of whom had the jitters and passed them on to me by asking me last minute questions. Si ce n’eut été du Cardinal, je n’aurais pas pensé à demander à Bishop Bob de faire sa part dans le texte et faire la bénédiction et l’envoi des enfants après le Notre Père.

Was it not amazing how the faithful who attended the Consecration Liturgy soaked up the Archbishop’s presence like people in the desert when they come upon fresh water in an oasis? Naturally, as I explained to a number of parishioners – I will write a reflection on this for either the website or bulletin or both – Cardinal Turcotte is our Archbishop, our chief Pastor. He has what is called the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, ordained three times; deacon, priest, and bishop. In addition, he was personally chosen by Pope John Paul II to be our Archbishop and shepherd the Church of Montreal.

When an Archbishop walks among the people – especially if he is a humble man of prayer and conscientious in manifesting pastoral charity to all whom he meets – it is much as when the Pope walks among the people. These men, personally chosen by Jesus through no merit of their own, are the poor instruments Jesus is pleased to use in order to continue his walk among us until the end of time. That is why people – even atheists – inexplicably melt into tears when the Pope passes by them, and they feel compelled to follow him: Jesus has touched them as Elijah touched Elisha, as Jesus himself touched throngs of individuals as He walked the roads of Palestine. This is what Holy Orders is, in three degrees.

Il en va donc de même avec notre Archevêque, et bienheureux ceux et celles qui se sont déplacés pour le recevoir et participer à cette Liturgie Sacrée qu’il nous a fait la grâce de présider. Nous avons été touchés par Jésus Lui-même, qui en toute génération se donne du mal pour choisir de pauvres instruments humains pour en faire ses représentants, Lui l’Époux de son Épouse l’Église, que nous sommes tous ensemble. Naturellement, cela aide que Monsieur le Cardinal Jean-Claude fait des efforts pour correspondre à cet appel qu’il a reçu du Seigneur. Avant même de venir, il s’informe de nous, il relève tous ce qu’il a observé de nous au fil des ans, même à distance, et il a beaucoup prié pour nous. Donc, à son arrivé, il avait déjà été précédé par la grâce de la sollicitude du Seigneur pour nous.

It was his smile, his demeanour, his warmth in word and gesture – like waving to the children in the choir in front of him – that demonstrated his joy at being among us like an unspoken or non-verbal “word” expressing the truth of who we are, all together, in God’s eyes, the redeemed and beautiful Bride of Christ Jesus, his Beloved Son. These are only some of the reasons why we responded so readily to the presence and service of our dear Archbishop during the few hours he spent with us. In him, Jesus walked among us in a personal way for a few hours, despite – no I dare say precisely because of – the Cardinal’s human frailty, unique character, approaching age and fragility, in short, all that makes him so human and sympathetic.
En tant que communauté paroissiale de foi, nous avons été ravivés et rappelés à notre vocation de cellule de l’Église universelle, comme l’Église domestique qu’est toute famille, et renouvelés dans notre participation à la mission que Jésus avait été envoyé par le Père pour commencer et confier à des êtres pécheurs et fragiles, mais pardonnés, sauvés, relevés, transformés, et envoyés dans le monde. Relisez l’homélie de notre Archevêque sur mon site web ou celui de la Paroisse, et notez ses dernières paroles.

So as a Parish we have been refreshed and recalled to our vocation as a cell of the universal Church, like every family which is a domestic Church, and we have been also renewed in our participation in the mission which the Father sent Jesus to begin and entrust to sinful and fragile human beings, whom He forgave, saved, lifted up, transformed, and sent out into the world. Reread the Cardinal’s homily on my website or that of the Parish and note in particular his last words.

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