Friday, 12 June 2020

Reopening of Churches

St. Mary’s Parish will be open for Personal Prayer:
Sunday June 14: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday June 15: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday June 16: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 the Church will be open at 8:30 am. Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 am and also at 7:00 pm.

Thursday, June 18 & Friday, June 19, Church will be open at 9:00 am, and Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 pm.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

4th Sunday of Easter - 2020

Each year,  on the 4th Sunday of Easter  we become re-acquainted as it were with the image of the GOOD Shepherd. 
While many of us have never even seen sheep, except perhaps at a petting zoo, as Christians we feel very strongly about the image of Jesus as Shepherd. This Sunday - Good Shepherd Sunday is also
the World day of prayer for Vocations.

The word vocation comes from the Latin  -  vocare - to hear the voice.  Vocation.  We often think of Priest's and Religious as having Vocations. Sometimes we might acknowledge teaching  and  medical careers as being a vocation, because these "jobs" demand so much out of a person, but I think that each of us has a vocation as a Christian.

All of us - We hear the call of the shepherd - and we follow because the sound of the voice is familiar to us, because it resonates within us.

Often times it is a sound that can trigger a memory ... because it resonates with us.

A few years ago - in a parish a long, long, way away (no its May 3rd, not May the 4th be with you...) there was at the Easter Vigil someone in the assembly who was telling me afterwards,  
that the most Vivid memory - vivid  -  from life - 
was not a sight,   nor a smell,  not something touched  nor  tasted,   
But something heard - the water.
The most VIVID memory was the sound of the water
pouring over the newly Baptized: In the name of the Father, the Son the Holy Spirit ,    again and again the water poured.

The sound of the water cascading over these people filled the church. Neither the sight of the pool,   nor  the touch of the water sprinkled had as much of an effect as the sound of that water.
carried over the microphone, and at the same time as we knew  -deep down - that this sound of water was right   - because it resonated with us, The newly Baptized knew that this water was going to be vivid...  life giving for them, because it resonated within them.

The call of the Good shepherd is strong today in our world.
I was talking with my Dad on Friday about Authority & Relationship. My Dad – My Father … over time friend and confidant, advisor whose voice I recognize. Authority comes from our relationship. 
The Authority of Christ in our lives will stem from our relationship with Christ, the Risen Word of God.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Prayer for and with the People of Nova Scotia

We have wanted to add a time of prayer regularly during this Pandemic - and so we will have our first time of prayer on Friday April 24, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. 
We will remember the 22 victims of this horrible tragedy in Nova Scotia. This live stream will include music, Proclamation of the Word of God, a Litany, and Prayers of Petition.
Live-Stream on Facebook - then Uploaded to YouTube.


Living out of Love

9 Reasons We Know Christ Is Returning - Bible Study

First Reading: Acts 5: 27-33, Gospel: John 3: 31-36

Today's Gospel is one of those rare passages where we do not hear from the mouth of Jesus.  It is John the  Baptist talking with his disciples. And John is echoing the conversation of Jesus & Nicodemus that we have been hearing in the readings at Mass over the last few days about the one from above. Born from above - by water and Holy Spirit. The one who testifies. The one who witnesses. 

In the Acts of the Apostles - the Apostles are arrested. For the second time! Yesterday heard how they were freed by angel of the Lord. And what did they do? The went back to preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. Now they have been arrested again.
Brought before the Religious authorities - who are Afraid!
First - afraid of people following apostles, of losing them to this group. Second - afraid of the people who are getting roiled up - and the reaction of the Roman authorities. 
Do not preach in this name - The Jewish leaders don’t want to even speak the name of Jesus. All the apostles are there - not just Peter & John, and Peter is the spokesman. We must obey God - not human authorities. 

Yesterday afternoon - there was a Conference call of sorts for all the priests in the Archdiocese of Toronto. A "Webinar" with Cardinal Collins. Why are the churches closed? 
Is it because of a Government order. Or not being an Essential service? No - we are closed out of Love. Love of God - love of our neighbour - that’s what it’s all about. 
Protection of life. Care for the good - the common good is not always easy - but it is life giving!

Peter proclaims the heart of the good news. The Kerygma
Thru the death and resurrection of Jesus (St. Peter says) - whom you condemned - and whom God raised up - and has exulted - we have salvation and forgiveness.

We are in the great 90 days - Lent 40 days plus Easter 50 days.  We began the journey of Lent on Ash Wednesday marked with the words: Repent and believe in the Gospel - turn away from sin and believe in the good news. Repentance is seen as a gift from God

God's wrath is not an emotion like anger is for us. 
Gods wrath is not directed at people - but at evil. Because God is Love! 
God is not sending this virus against us. God is with us, against this evil. Jesus never sent sickness - on the contrary - he worked miracles of healing! And so we call upon Jesus. That name above every other name. In our fight. In the fight that Doctors, Nurses & all Health care workers fight. Out of Love. God who is Love - is very near to us. For the Lord hears the cry of the poor!


Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Going back to Fishing

(Editor's Note: This reflection is from Thursday in Easter Week, 
but is published now, due to some computer problems last week!)

Thank you Lord – I am Grateful – Yes for the Resurrection
Really grateful - that Fish never became a Eucharistic Food!
How hard it is keeping things organized with bread & wine
Salmon/Tilapia - Imagine first communion with FISH!

Sometimes we live life on Auto pilot (Gloria spoken difficult)
The disciples seemed to have done gone on Auto Pilot
Today we hear how they have gone back to Galilee
     Back to fishing…fishing for fish
When they should have been è fishing for people

Today I am grateful – for many things – but in the sacred Scripture - I am grateful for the continuation of this story. how this passage concludes (which we do not hear today).
Grateful that Jesus allowed Peter to say “I Love You” so many times.
I can’t help but think of 2 places in the Holy Land:
St. Peter Gallicantu – where St. Peter denied the Lord 3 times
& Mensa Christi – where the Lord prepares Breakfast - bread and fish.

In the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu – there are 2 Icons – one on either side of the Altar. On the left - the image of Peter`s Denial  of the Lord 3 times  & on the right - the image on the shore of Galilee - where Jesus asks Peter Do you love me?   3 times

Here at this table of the Word is where God will greet us, 
Tell us he loves us – and allow us to say again and again how we love him.


Tuesday - 2nd Week of Easter

Ken's Devotional: Share, And Share Alike / Daydream
"The whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.
With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet."                Acts 4:32-37
 We hear an image of a communal life in the early Church in today's first reading. Each gave as they had the ability - each received as they had a need. Together they lived for the common good.  I am reminded of how I was informed early in my time at St. Mary's that the Motto or Slogan for Simcoe County is "for the greater Good".

One might be forgiven for thinking that this is an image of Communism - which we have seen fail in our lifetime. But I think its not so much about the Totalitarian regime type of Communism  which did indeed fail, but rather the image of Solidarity - which is what helped to bring down the Communist Eastern Block and the Berlin Wall.  

Right now we are acting on this principle of caring for the common good - the greater good - in our efforts at Physical Distancing. Caring for the health of each other - for our common good.

There is a Famous Quote from G. K. Chesterton: 
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”
It is not always easy to live for the common good - the Greater Good - but we know from sacred Scripture, and deep within, that doing so brings life!


Divine Mercy

How to approach this Sunday in light of the current Pandemic and the restrictions on Parish church closures. 
Do these three things on Divine Mercy Sunday 
with the intention to turn away from sin in your life:
1. Make an Act of Contrition
Since you are unable to get to Confession, make an Act of Contrition, instead. 
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is 'sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again'" (1451).
You thereby will be completely forgiven of all sins, even “mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (Catechism, 1452).  

2. Make a Spiritual Communion
Since churches are closed and you cannot receive Holy Communion, make a Spiritual Communion instead, asking God to come into your heart as if you received Him sacramentally. For instance, you can say this: Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though You were already there, I embrace You and unite myself to You; permit not that I should ever be separated from You. Amen. 
Again, do this act of trust with the intent to return to the sacrament of Holy Communion as soon as possible.  

3.    Finally – Say a Prayer like this:
Lord Jesus Christ, You promised St. Faustina that the soul 
that has been to Confession 
[I’m unable, but I made an Act of Contrition] 
and the soul that receives Holy Communion 
[I’m unable, but I made a Spiritual Communion] 
will receive the complete forgiveness of all sins and punishment. 
Please, Lord Jesus Christ, give me this grace.