This weekend’s gospel reading is the beginning of what is often called the “Sermon on the Plain”. We find a parallel to this passage in Matthew 5:1-7,11 that is often called the “Sermon on the Mount”. As these titles suggest, there are differences and similarities between these gospel readings.
When spoken from the mountaintop in Matthew’s Gospel, we can’t miss the impression that Jesus is speaking with the authority and voice of God. The mountaintop is a symbol of closeness to God. Those who ascend the mountain see God and speak for God; recall the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. As Luke introduces the location of Jesus’ teaching, Jesus teaches on level ground, alongside the disciples and the crowd. Luke presents Jesus’ authority in a different light. He is God among us.
As we listen attentively to the Word of God this weekend, may we place ourselves at the feet of Jesus, listening to his every word.
I had a very pleasant vacation in South Carolina and am rejuvenated and recharged, for which I am most grateful. Unfortunately, I did face a snag. As required for re-entry into Canada, I completed a COVID test on Monday. Much to my surprise, it came back positive. Other than some congestion, I have no symptoms and no fever. In disbelief, I completed another test on Tuesday with the same result. My Mom who joined me – negative. As a result, at this moment I am required to isolate for 10 days. This will make my return date to the parish Sunday, February 20th. In the meantime, I will be working from the rectory, though I will be absent for the most important part of my ministry – celebrating the Mass with each of you.
This weekend, please join me in welcoming Fr. Stephen Collins who will be presiding at our Masses. I am most grateful for his ministry and assistance.
May God bless and keep safe each of you and those that you love. Rest assured of my prayers.
From Our Pastor