SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

 

My Jesus, I believe that you

are present in the most Blessed Sacrament.

I love You above all things and I desire to receive

You into my soul. Since I cannot now

receive You sacramentally, come at least

spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if

You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

 

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

 

Dear friends, Today’s Gospel passage chosen from the last discourse of Jesus is the continuation of last Sunday’s gospel. We had the image of the vine and branches last Sunday to describe the intimate association between Jesus and his followers that was necessary if the disciples had to produce fruit for eternal life. In today’s Gospel Jesus urges his followers to abide in his love and to love one another. This love for neighbor must have as its model and exemplar Christ’s love for his disciples, which made him, lay down his life for them. The disciples are not Christ’s servants but his intimate friends and associates in his work. The passage also emphasizes the divine mutuality as Jesus explains that as the Father loves the Son, so does the Son love the disciples and the disciples are to love one another. Everything is interconnected and the word used is “remain”. However, the purpose of this divine mutuality is to bear fruit, meaning that the disciple must do something. Jesus says that they will bear lasting fruit in their life work if they trust in God and are motivated by true love for God and neighbor. They now have the responsibility to keep the commandments of Jesus.

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

 

This is a day to admit gratefully the fact that none of us is able to return, in the same measure, all the love that our mothers have given us. Their influence on their children is so great that it affects the children throughout their lives. Our mothers not only gave us birth but nursed us, nurtured us, trained us in their religious beliefs and practices, taught us good manners and ideal behavior, disciplined us as best as they could, and made us good citizens of our country, our Church, and our society. We have two mothers as Catholics. Our earthly Mother as well as our Heavenly Mother Blessed Virgin Mary. As Jesus gave us Heavenly Mother through his beloved disciple John let us ask her to intercede for all the mothers of the world as we say thank you to them today. I wish all my Canadian Mothers Happy Mother’s Day.

 

ABIDE IN MY LOVE

 

Dear friends, During the Easter season the liturgy brings us closer to the resurrected Jesus and makes us realize that we are always united to him and him to us. He gives the invitation to all of us to enter into the true discipleship but in the context of the community. On his mission he sends his disciples two by two and teaches them to proclaim his kingdom as a community. He tells his chosen ones that where two or three gather in his name he is present in their midst. He takes the initiative to unite himself with us. Our life receives the full meaning when we are able to give ourselves to the service of others and find meaning in that service. Our true living comes by opening ourselves to God and to the world by becoming persons open to his will. Our identification with God is the running theme of this week. At the same time Jesus invites his followers to identify themselves with him and his mission. In this gospel passage from the last discourse of Jesus we hear Jesus say that he is the Vine and we are the branches. Without his initiative of being pruned, no branch can bear any fruit. He says that each one must bear fruit to the glory of the Father. Let us remain united with the Lord through our daily prayers.

 

JESUS THE GOOD SHEPERD

 

Dear friends, Today is the Good Shepherd

Sunday and the Vocation Sunday and the

word of God presents us with two images, the

Children of God and the Good Shepherd. We

have the parable of the Good Shepherd, which

is the only parable in the entire Gospel of

John. In this parable Jesus the Good

Shepherd stresses the intimate relationship

between the shepherd and the sheep. This

passage unfolds around two references

wherein Jesus refers to himself as the good

shepherd. More important is the phrase “I

am,” which precedes the title good

shepherd. It also indicates the intimate

connection between Jesus and the Father and

at the same time designates how this

revelation meets the basic needs and desires

of those to whom he was sent. Such is the

case with the good shepherd whose concern

is the people. In this passage Jesus

emphasizes the self-sacrificing element in his

own life, namely, as a good shepherd he is

ready to lay down his life for his sheep. He

contrasts the good shepherd who owns the

sheep to someone who is simply hired to look

after the sheep. The fundamental difference is

that the hired person has no investment in the

sheep. He is paid to watch after them but

because they are not his, he is unwilling to

endure any danger to protect and care for

them. He thinks primarily of his own welfare

and, if he sees a wolf coming, he takes off,

leaving the sheep to be attacked and

scattered in fear and terror. Jesus, on the

other hand, will not be like a hired person but

is the good shepherd because he chooses to

lay down his life for his sheep. This is to be

understood from the background of Ezekiel

Chapter 34, which describes God as the good

shepherd. An image of Jesus as a Good

Shepherd is reassuring us that he is always

our support on our journey through life. Its

right time to keep our trust in Jesus as our

shepherd as we battle with Covid19. Let us

remember to pray for vocations to priesthood

and Religious life as we need more vocations

to minister of God’s people.

 

JOURNEY WITH JESUS

 

Dear friends, in our journey through life we are confronted with several problems and difficulties which can make us lose our perspective. We can lose all direction to life and remain helpless. Then left to ourselves we become nothing and tend to remain with uncertainty. Experience of covid is one of such examples at present. In such situations we need positive support, a sincere understanding which can place us on the right path. In the Easter context we see Jesus as a consoler and help to the disciples filled with fear. He comes constantly to them and remains with them, guides them and eats with them. By breaking the bread with the disciples and sharing the meal he makes them experience his real presence. Today we have another account of Jesus appearing to his disciples on Easter Sunday. The gospel begins with the story of the two disciples who had the experience of walking with Jesus and their recognition of the Lord in the breaking of bread. Jesus remaining close to them drives away all their doubts and unbelief by giving them the gift of peace. He asks the disciples to touch and feel him and experience his real presence among them. He remains as the real friend in their lives, and helps them back into confidence. The first reading of today gives us the sermon of Peter who tells his audience the way in which Jesus was put to death by them but his suffering and death brought life to the world. The second reading tells us that Jesus is the sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world.

 

We thank Fr Rajesh Madtha for his generous service to our community, especially during Easter time. He will be leaving for Vancouver soon to join his community. I enjoyed his company; I think you did also. God bless his ministry in Canada.

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas

 

PEACE BE WITH YOU

 

Dear friends, today’s gospel reading begins by telling us that in the evening, on the day Jesus rose from the dead, He came and stood among his disciples as they had gathered behind the locked doors. They were still scared of the enemies in spite of receiving the good news of the master being alive and they gathered together in that house. They were collaborators with Jesus, who was executed as a criminal, and it was not impossible that they would meet a similar fate. Then, all of a sudden and totally unexpected, Jesus was there before them. In case there was any doubt about him, he showed them his hands and side which had been pierced with nails. He gave them the message of peace which on the one hand, a normal Jewish greeting of ‘Shalom’ and on the other the fulfillment of a promise made at the Last Supper. He had promised them peace which no one could take away from them whatever trials they might meet for being his followers. The presence of Jesus was the sign of peace. Their response was one of joy that Jesus was alive and was still with them. This also was the promise made at the Last Supper that in a little while they will see him no more, and then after a little while they will see him again and that they will rejoice and their joy no one will take away. As we just concluded our Easter Celebration more than ever, we need to hear those words of Jesus peace be with you. As we continue to deal with the pandemic I’m sure the words of Christ will definitely comfort us.

Divine Mercy Sunday

May God shower his mercy upon you on this Divine Mercy Sunday.

Meridian Loan paid off March 2021

Dear parishioners, I would like to share with you the good news, we have paid off the Meridian Loan at the end of March 2021. This is truly a great accomplishment by you, St Patrick’s parishioners even though covid19 has suspended most our church activities, you all contributed towards this Loan. I’m indeed proud of you. Thank you everyone on behalf our Finance council. You will receive the financial statement ending December 2020, this weekend, April 10-11.

God bless you.

 

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas ocd

Pastor

 

HE IS RISEN ALLELIULA

 

Dear friends, today we celebrate the feast of Easter the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the very heart of Christianity. For his disciples it was indeed a mystery. They were not able to comprehend the fact of Resurrection and grasp the deep inner meaning of it even though Jesus had spoken to them several times during his public life. However, it built up their faith particularly because of their experience of the presence of Jesus and made them persons, courageous and ready to face any eventuality for their master. Jesus stood among them, talked to them ate with them. They were called upon to build the faith of others and we see how marvelous the living faith of the early Church was. The disciples once they knew that Jesus was the Messiah and that he had been resurrected from the dead by the Father became totally transformed persons. They were ready to face any suffering and even death as it was Christ that was important.

Once Jesus had resurrected by the grace of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, it did not take Him long to firmly establish the Mystical Body the Church as the continuation of his mission on earth. Resurrection becomes the uniting factor, building the mystical body of Christ. Covid19 has disrupted most of our normal life including our life of faith. Many of us miss coming to Church to attend Mass in person, others switched over to watching on Television. We have learned to modify ourselves to this unprecedented situation. I hope and pray soon we will be back to some sort of normalcy. The Risen Lord filled hope and courage to the discouraged disciples. So too He may bless us with the same renewed courage. The first words were of Risen Jesus to the apostles “peace be with you”. I take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Feast of Easter, May the Risen Lord bless you and your family with gift of peace and good health.

 

Thank you

I thank God for St Patrick’s wonderful Community who stood strong and resilient during the pandemic. Even though we couldn’t do much with our usual activities everyone still showed determination. I appreciate the generosity of you all. Special thanks for understanding my situation with ill health, with your valuable prayers and good wishes. God bless you

Happy Easter from St Patrick’s Staff Members

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas ocd, Suzanne Hunter, Michelle Prankie

 

FINAL WEEK OF JESUS’ LIFE

 

Dear friends, With the celebration of the Palm

Sunday or passion Sunday we enter into the

Holy Week. Passion Sunday is a day to reflect

on the pain, suffering and death of our Lord

Jesus. The day begins with the triumphant

entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as King. He is

entering with majesty into the Temple city to

celebrate the Passover. The gospels record

his arrival riding on a donkey, while the

crowds spread their cloaks and palm

branches on the street and shout “Hosanna to

the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who

comes in the name of the Lord.” There is the

manifestation of joy and enthusiastic welcome

from the crowds as Jesus enters Jerusalem.

They honour him as their long-awaited

Messiah and King who has come

victorious. The significance of Jesus riding a

donkey and having his way paved with palm

branches is a fulfilment of a prophecy spoken

by the prophet Zechariah and in so doing

emphasized the humility that was to

characterize the Kingdom he proclaimed. In

those days the regional custom called for

kings and nobles to arrive in procession

riding on the back of a donkey. The donkey

was a symbol of peace and those who rode

upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions.

The laying of palm branches indicated that the

king or dignitary arriving in victory or triumph.

Just as the people gathered on the road and

spread their clothes and went in procession

so also the church today holds a procession

to remember the entry of Jesus into

Jerusalem. The simplest of terms, Palm

Sunday is an occasion to reflect on the final

week of Jesus’ life. It is a time for Christians

to prepare their hearts for the mystery of

salvation. Due to covid19 there will be some

changes as we come to participate the Holy

week services. Respecting the 30% capacity

not everyone will get a chance to participate

in person, however those of you wish to

participate virtually can do so from our

website. I wish you all a fruitful Holy week.

 

PREPARING FOR THE COMING FEAST

 

Dear friends, we are just one week away from the Holy Week and away from our celebration of God’s love shown in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. For us Christians this season of Lent is a time of special grace in which we experience the presence of a personal God who cares and loves us. Our response is to transform ourselves and live according to his will. We want to do something new and come to him in obedience and freedom. Before him we acknowledge our weakness and we know that he is the one who supports us and builds with us new relationship. We ought to change our lives during Lent and come closer to him. Therefore, the Church calls this season as a joyful time, because it is our preparation for the future joy of Easter that approaches us bringing his blessings, mercy and forgiveness. We realize that God has made a covenant with us through our baptism like he made with the Israelites as we hear in the first reading of today. Here God looks beyond the failure of his people and takes the initiative to establish a new covenant with the house of Israel. In the second reading we are reminded of Jesus’ life of prayer and suffering and through his sufferings he learnt to be obedient to his Father. Now he is perfect in heaven and he is able to save all who obey him. The Gospel of today tells us of the moment of the pain and troubled heart of Jesus and he calls on his Father to glorify him. There is the voice heard from heaven which confirms the unity and harmony between the Father and Jesus.

 

Upcoming feasts

 

Please watch for the upcoming events information from our website or sent through email.

For Holy Thursday and Good Friday to determine 30% Capacity limit those who wish to attend the Mass / Good Friday service require online registration so go to our website and follow the instructions

For Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday there will be Log book at the entrance of the Church just to register your names.

 

BEING LIFTED UP

 

Dear friends, as we approach closer to the pascal Mystery of Christ that is His suffering and Death we are reminded of His unconditional love. God’s love is universal and at the same time it is personal. Our God is concerned of each person individually yet at the same time he loves us as a community. We exist in and through him and particularly so because he is the God who loved the world so much to send his own Son to gather us together that we may have new life in him. God also sends us to carry his divine love into the world and give the message of the newness of life and light. We are children of the light baptized into the glory that is Christ. We are initiated into the life of Christ who is the light of the world. Once baptized in Christ we become his new creation, the members of God’s own family. Today as we enter the fourth Sunday of Lent we are called upon to renew ourselves and experience the loving invitation of our Lord. In the early church those candidates to be baptized and public sinners were called upon to understand that Jesus alone is the new life. In the first reading, the house of David seems to have come to an end. Because of their infidelity the people have suffered. But God’s plan of salvation continues to move forward. In the second reading Paul overwhelms us with the message of God’s mercy. When we were dead through our sins, he brought us back to life in Christ. The Father has done everything for us in Jesus. In the Gospel Jesus the giver of new life, tells us of the love of God for humanity that he sacrificed his own Son. Jesus declares that he must be lifted up on a cross to glorify God and bring salvation to the world.

 

THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY

 

Dear friends, the liturgy of the Third Sunday of Lent begins with the acknowledging God´s holiness and his claim on us that we belong to him. It recognizes the fact that we are his own people, and must live in a way that reflects his holiness. God offers us the gift of faith as our path towards holiness. At the same time, we all want and desire to live a peaceful life in accordance with God’s will. We all want to make sense of our existence. We all desire to live a life where we can make a positive contribution to ourselves, to our families and to those around us. Challenges are always with us, difficulties surround us. However, the more we long, desire and develop a personal and ultimate relationship with Jesus Christ as our best friend, there is absolutely nothing that we cannot face and overcome. Indeed, we become the “power and the wisdom of God”. Our first reading talks about the covenant God made with Israel by giving them Ten Commandments to live by. God gave them to Moses so that his chosen people will live by the norms given by him. They had to observe them faithfully in order to live the covenant fully. In the gospel Jesus reacts with anger to abuses in the Temple, which he perceives as the violation of the covenant and shows himself as the Lord of the Temple. He drove the traders out of the Temple and predicted that he himself would be the Temple of the new people of God. One of the Lenten disciplines is fasting, through fasting from various vices we can make our Bodies as living temples of God. In our second reading Paul calls us to embrace divine wisdom though the world may see it as foolishness. He tells them that we preach Christ crucified. He tells them that God’s weakness is greater than human strength.

 

Thank you

 

Once again, I express my sincere thanks to all for your continued prayers for my good health. Shingles viral infection has caused me vertigo, I’m steadily improving but as the doctor advised me to take rest, I will be doing mass on Saturday at 5 pm and just one Mass on Sunday at 10:30 am and 9 am the rest of the week.

Please do make use of the Mass opportunities with 30% capacity. NO SIGN UP SHEETS.

God bless you.

 

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas

 

PURPOSE OF LENT

 

Dear friends, today is first Sunday of Lent. During

the season of Lent, the church invites us to

examine our lives, to repent of our sins and do

penance. By means of fasting, penance and

prayers, the faithful obtain strength they need to

overcome the sinful tendencies. The purpose of

Lent is to provide that purification by weaning

human persons from sin and selfishness through

self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the

desire to do God’s will and to make his kingdom

alive by making it first come into their hearts. The

real aim of Lent above all else, is to prepare

Christians for the celebration of the death and

Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The better the

preparation for this day, the more effective the

celebration will be. One can effectively relive the

mystery only with purified mind and heart. The

Church invites all to repent from evil ways and

return to the Lord who is eagerly waiting for each

one to come to him. In the first reading we have

the story of Noah and the deluge that destroyed

evil persons. At the end of the deluge only Noah

and his family were saved. God then established a

covenant with Noah and humanity. The rainbow in

the clouds serves as a sign of this covenant. In

the second reading we have Peter telling us how

our Baptism unites us with Christ’s death and

resurrection. We are cleansed of all evil and made

right with God. In the Gospel we have the

Temptation narrative. After his Baptism, Jesus

was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted

by the evil one. After his victory over the Satan,

Jesus enters his public life to proclaim the

message of the Kingdom of God.

Thank you

Dear parishioners, I would like to thank you all for

your continued prayers and good wishes, on my

Birthday on Feb 13, also for my good health. I’m

still dealing with aftermath from Shingles. I will try

to celebrate Mass when it’s possible. Continue to

pray for me, I assure my prayers

God Bless

 

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas

 

Power Of Prayer.

 

I pray because I believe in the Power Of Prayer

I pray because I have no doubt that God has answered

My prayers.

I pray because God woke me up and allow me to see

Another day.

No matter what others think or say, I will pray. Amen

 

Kelly’s Treehouse.

 

LISTENING TO JESUS

 

Dear friends, God’s call is personal and he invites every

individual to build a close relationship with him.

His call is unique as he calls individuals as well as nations

to be united with him. The Bible constantly narrates the

instances of God calling people and demanding a response

from him. We have the examples of Abraham, Moses, Isaiah,

Jeremiah and several other persons who were called by God

and they responded to him by sacrificing everything to obey

his invitation. In the New Testament we have the call of Mary

at the Annunciation, the call of Peter and his companions at

the lake, call of Matthew the Tax Collector, call of Paul and

several others. In the Gospel of John we hear Jesus telling

his disciples: “You did not choose me but I chose you and

appointed you to go and bear fruit.” God calls us today to

participate in his mission and he expects us to respond to

his call. In the first reading we have God calling young Samuel

as he was sleeping in the Temple. Once Samuel recognizes

God’s call he responds to him saying: “Speak Lord, your

servant is listening.” Once he is ready to listen, God gives

him the message and the mission. In the second reading

Paul reminds us that our bodies are holy as we are the members

of Christ’s Body and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies

are meant to glorify God and not meant for immorality.

In the Gospel we have John identifying the Messiah in

Jesus and telling his disciples that he is the Lamb of God.

He also encourages them to be the followers of Jesus.

These disciples in their turn invite others to come to be with

Jesus on his mission.

 

FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

 

Dear friends, with the feast of the Baptism of

Jesus the season of Christmas ends. The

feast of the Baptism of our Lord presents us

with the Third Epiphany or the manifestation

of our Lord, the first being the Nativity of our

Lord and the second, the feast of the Magi.

The Baptism of Jesus was the moment when

he passed from the relative obscurity of

village life in Nazareth onto the public stage of

his mission of proclaiming the God’s

Kingdom. We are brought to the banks of the

River Jordan somewhere north of Jerusalem

where John the Baptist had begun his

ministry. John the Baptist was preaching in

the wilderness and was baptizing all those

who would respond to his message of

repentance. The purpose of his ministry of

preaching and Baptism was to direct people

toward Jesus who would baptize them with

the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures tell us that

Jesus came from Galilee to River Jordan to be

baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus subjects

himself to this simple act of repentance and is

baptized by his own cousin. Baptism is meant

as an acknowledgement of sin and Jesus was

totally sinless. He had no need of repentance

or forgiveness. Yet this was the beginning of

his mission as was planned by his Father. The

Baptism of Christ as recorded in all the four

Gospels indicates the Trinitarian Revelation

and the commencement of the public ministry

of Jesus. When Jesus came out of water

after his Baptism the heavens open and the

Holy Spirit descends upon Him in the form of

a dove. There is also the voice of the Father

that comes from the cloud, “This is my Son,

the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

As we are Baptized in to Christ Jesus to

follow the way of righteousness and holiness.

Let us become the bearers of good news of

Christ.

If you wish to attend Sunday or weekday Mass

during the lockdown, please call the office,

905-765-2729 to determine your attendance.

 

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

 

Today we celebrate the great festival of light, the Epiphany of the Lord. As the church, we remember and celebrate that Jesus who was born

in the darkness of night in an animal shed is the light of and for the world.

The word ‘epiphany’ means to make known or to reveal. The angels made known and revealed to the shepherds the joy of the birth of Jesus. In the same way, the star led these strangers from the East and revealed the same Jesus to them.

Our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah calls us to ‘Arise, shine out because our light has come, the glory of the Lord is rising in us, though night still covers the earth and darkness the people. Through the birth of Jesus and today’s wonderful feast, we are the people on whom a great light has shone.

Traditionally, we believe that the shepherds did not stay at stable after seeing Jesus, Mary and Joseph; they left glorifying and praising God. They left filled with the good news of this wondrous child. Just as the angels had proclaimed the good news to them, the shepherd in their turn shared their good news with others. In the same way, the visitors from the east, after they had given Jesus their gifts also left the stable. They didn’t stay there either. We are only told that they did not go back to Herod but went home another way. We can only assume, that they too told everyone what they had seen and heard in that small stable in Bethlehem.

As we look upon the crib, we cannot stay there. Like the shepherds and the magi, we too are called to move away and take the light of Jesus with us. We are asked not only to admire the light, but to be people of light. As Jesus himself tells us, you are the light of the world and your light must shine.’ The light of the Epiphany is given to us as a gift, but we cannot keep it to or for ourselves. Through the quality of our daily lives and how we treat each other, we are called to make our families, homes, parish communities and the wider world a better and brighter place for all people, especially the poor.

May Christ the Light and the Light of Christ fill all our homes, families and our parish communities this day and always.

Wish you all a HAPPY HEALTHY NEW YEAR 2021.

Thank you once again for your presence participation during the Christmas celebration, also for your kindness, generosity sharing gifts wishes with me. Stay safe

 

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas ocd

 

ONTARIO LOCKDOWN-2

 

Dear parishioners of St Patrick Church Caledonia

Updated information regarding church services under lockdown 2

The province wide Covid19 lockdown takes effect December 26, 2020.

Churches are permitted to remain open with a maximum capacity of 10 people.

The 10-person capacity includes all involved in ministry priest, cantor etc.

Bishop Bergie of St Catherine’s has asked each pastor to determine if they are

able to safely open the Church for the public worship. In line with the Bishops

advice I am offering you the following services:

In order to accommodate as many as possible for weekday and Sunday Masses

I have decided to add a 3pm Mass on Saturday and 12noon on Sunday.

That means modified mass schedule until January 23, 2021-- Saturday 3pm, 5pm,

Sunday 8.30am, 10.30am and 12noon. Weekday mass 9am remains unchanged.

The number of people allowed for each Mass including the celebrant will be 10.

There will be a sign-up sheet at the entrance of the church for all Mass times leading

up to January 23,2021 in the coming days

 

NEW YEAR MASS TIMES

 

New Year’s Eve Thursday 3pm and 5pm 10 people each

New Year’s Day Friday 8.30 am and 10.30am 10 people each

I know its going to be challenging to monitor who will be allowed to attend the Holy Mass.

My sincere advice would be if you plan to come on the first lockdown weekend then

consider giving chance to others on the following weekend. Be kind and generous to

your fellow parishioners.

It’s important that you check your booking before coming to any mass to avoid

disappointment.

It’s an extra work load on me but I want to serve and be there for you as much as I

can to attend to your spiritual need in this difficult time. So join with me in asking

Gods intervention to bring us back good health, abundant blessings.

Yours in Christ

 

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas OCD

 

Parish priest

 

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

 

Dear parishioners,

The year 2020 has brought in a lot of big changes

in our way of life, and this is mainly due to the

COVID-19 pandemic. The things we used to do

cannot be done anymore due to various health

precautions. And at this time, many of us are

somehow disheartened realizing that our

Christmas celebration this year will be totally

different from what we have been used to since

childhood.

However, when we come to think of it, this

pandemic has impelled us towards a more

meaningful Christmas celebration. All those

activities we have been used to doing every year

parties, gifts, decorations, caroling, travelling and

the like are not really that essential to Christmas.

After all, the first Christmas in Bethlehem had

nothing but swaddling clothes, humble manger,

sheep, and stars on a colder winter night. Such is

the original image of Christmas.

The Birth of Jesus announced by the angels was

good news to the shepherds. Today we celebrate

Christmas with joy because it brings untold

blessings to all, even though this year’s Christmas

celebrations will be altered but not the true

meaning of Christmas. God sent his only Son into

the world so that He can love us. God continues to

love us. I had asked school children while having

virtual Christmas mass to repeat with me that God

is good all the time. As the words from the Angel

to the shepherds, don’t be afraid, I bring you news

of great Joy. Let us share the good news of Jesus

coming in to the world as Man.

It has been a great joy to be your parish priest

since July 2019. I’m blessed with such wonderful

parishioners. During covid19 pandemic either

during complete lockdown or partial you have

been very supportive in all ways. I would like to

thank you all. All the Volunteers: special thanks to

John and Diana Holloway for helping to live

stream Holy Masses, the choir leaders and all the

choir members; and Dan Huynh -- for creating and

supporting parish website. Heather Piette for

creating virtual Children’s liturgy (Sunday school).

Thank you to all covid19 Health and safety

committee members for keeping everyone healthy

and safe. Thank you to Jean Sauchuk for doing

such a wonderful job with our prayer line for the

year; Lectors and Extraordinary Ministers Thank

you finance council, Catholic Women’s League,

Knights of Columbus, church Décor, both inside

and outside, Altar Linen helpers, Friends of the

church, St. Vincent De Paul society. Thank you to

Mike & Cheri from the Caledonia Garden Centre

for flowers throughout the year. Thank you,

school principals, staff for organizing virtual class

visits, which I really enjoy doing. Thank you for

your generous financial support during this

difficult time. Thank you for your Christmas

greetings and gifts, thoughts and prayers. I really

appreciate it.

I wish you all

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas ocd

 

Parish priest

 

REJOICE IN THE LORD

 

Dear friends, as the readings of today echo a resounding message of JOY, there is good news for all of us as the Covid19 Vaccine has been approved for vaccination in Canada. As we approach the Celebration of Christmas let us Rejoice because the Lord is near. It is not a question of a superficial happiness or a passing excitement because Christmas is coming, but it is the joy of salvation. Salvation is glad tidings given to all the people of the universe and more particularly to the poor and lowly. The third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (meaning rejoice) Sunday inviting all Christians to rejoice at all times. St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, as in today’s second reading, to rejoice always because the Lord is near. Today’s liturgy indicates that in the joy, salvation and a more just and human world are somehow interconnected. It is not the pursuit of human happiness and fulfillment, or of social justice, that brings salvation; rather, the salvation that comes from on high, enables us to be instrumental in bringing about a more just world and to find the joy that no one can take away. In the first reading Prophet Isaiah presents the special servant who receives the spirit of God. He has the task of proclaiming the Good News to the poor, to bind the broken hearts and bring liberty to all. In the second reading Paul while inviting the people to rejoice in the Lord, encourages them to live a lifestyle in keeping with their vocation as Christians. The joy spoken of by Paul is a gift of the Holy Spirit and we must pray for it. In the Gospel of today we learn the role of John the Baptist is to bear witness to Jesus. He tells the people that he is not Messiah and he himself is not worthy to untie the lace of his shoes.

 

PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD

 

Dear friends, we now enter the second week of

Advent. A time of waiting for the Lord who is

coming to us. As much as we are waiting for him

and place our hope in him, we can imagine how

much more God is waiting and hoping for each of

us personally to come to him. It is the time when

God comes to earth as a human person and

chooses to live among us. It is the time when God

shares his love with us as we should share our

love with Him and among ourselves. Advent

prepares us to welcome the arrival of the God who

became man and who by his example showed how

we should share his love with our

neighbours. The readings of today tell us about

the concern of God for his people and at the same

time admonish the people to prepare the way

spiritually for the coming of the Lord. Prophet

Isaiah tells us that God is ready to intervene in

history for the sake of human kind because he is

concerned about them. In this passage normally

known as the poem of consolation, God shows

how he cares for each person individually. God

extends his hand of healing to the weary people

who are exhausted and he gives them the needed

repose. In the second reading Peter speaking

strongly against those who denied the second

coming of Christ says that the day of the Lord will

come in good time and Jesus will come to

establish his kingdom of kindness, truth, justice

and peace in a new heaven and new earth. The

Gospel of today invites us to prepare the way of

the Lord, just as John the Baptist did by

proclaiming his coming to all. He called them to

prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths

straight. He proclaimed the Baptism of

repentance and announced the coming of Jesus

who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit.

 

THREE-FOLD WAITING

 

Dear friends, today we begin the season of Advent. Advent means waiting or coming and we wait for the coming of someone we love. During this season we focus on waiting for the Lord, waiting for the coming of Jesus. We have the three-fold waiting. We know that Jesus has already come in history and we remember that during the week before Christmas our waiting changes to waiting for our celebration of the birth of Jesus. We also wait for his final coming at the end times when he will take all to himself. We also experience his daily coming into our life through the Eucharist, word of God and also in the various persons and events of life. Waiting is something very important in the life of the human person. Anytime we wait we do so because we expect something to happen or someone to come. In our daily routine of life we wait for something to take place, maybe we wait for a friend, for a bus or train, and there is the eagerness within us that makes us look forward to something new that will take place. During Advent we look forward to Jesus who will come in a total gesture of love: God becomes man. Today’s readings assure us that the Lord is coming. But an individual has to be alert and must be on watch. The first two readings of this liturgical year bring us face to face with a God who is Father and with the reality of our own sinfulness before him. We have wandered away from him but he is faithful and has sent his own Son to free us from our blame. Prophet Isaiah makes a prayer of yearning asking God to come and save us from sin. Paul in the second reading stresses on the fidelity asking people to remain faithful to Jesus to the end. The Gospel of Mark invites all to a spiritual vigilance. He tells us all to be ever alert so that the coming of the Son does not find us unprepared for no one knows the day or hour of his coming.

 

FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING

 

Dear friends, on the last Sunday of the

liturgical year the church celebrates the Feast

of Christ the King. This Sunday helps us to

look towards our future, our final destiny,

when Jesus will return in glory for the final

judgment and award to reach the reward or

punishment. The Solemnity of Christ the King

is a recent established feast in the Catholic

Church. This feast of Jesus Christ, the King

of the Universe was instituted by Pope Pius XI

in 1925 and is observed on the last Sunday of

the liturgical year as it helps us to meditate on

Christ the King and Lord and also on the

Second and Final Coming of Christ, the Last

Judgment, and the end of the world. The Pope

Pius X1 was witness to a turbulent time in the

world’s history. The First World War had just

come to an end. Secularism was on the rise

and dangerous dictatorships were emerging

in Europe and beyond. Christ had long been

referred to as King, but Pope could see the

respect and reverence for Christ’s authority

disappearing in the midst of the unrest during

the early decades of the 20th century. In

response, the feast was set with the intent to

reaffirm and refocus faith and respect in the

kingship of Jesus. Pope Pius XI felt that

nations would see that the Church has the

right to freedom. Secondly that leaders and

nations would see that they are bound to give

respect to Christ. Finally, that the faithful

would gain strength and courage from the

celebration of the feast, as we are reminded

that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds,

wills, and bodies. Let us take Christ as our

eternal King of heaven and earth.

 

Fr Jerome

 

PREPARATION FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

Dear friends, the Church places before us today

the last ordinary Sunday of the Church year 2020

and coming Sunday we celebrate the feast of

Christ the King. In our liturgy we are reminded not

just of the end of the liturgical year but of the end

of all things and the preparations we need to

make. Bible tells us that we are all created in the

image and likeness of God and he has placed on

us multiple gifts and blessings. He expects us to

utilize these blessing for his kingdom and for his

people and also develop the talents he has given

us. He wants us diligent and watchful for the

coming of the Lord who will take into account all

that we have done. The Book of Proverbs speaks

eloquently of the qualities of a worthy wife and

while the text applies literally to ‘the woman who

fears the Lord’, there is also a valid application to

the qualities of each person who lives in

expectation of the Lord. The passage emphasizes

the diligence of the good wife who is busy with

useful matters, skilled at her work and cares for

the poor. The Gospel of St. Matthew focuses more

sharply on the Christian attitude towards earthly

life as we live in expectation of the Master’s

return. The implicit responsibility of each servant

is to work and to multiply the talents entrusted to

him. It is not enough just to preserve what one has

been given. The Master expects the results from

the person who has been given special talents. St.

Paul in the second reading reminds the Christians

at Thessalonica of the unexpected but certain

coming of the day of the Lord. He says that that

day will strike like a sudden disaster on people’s

lives. Christians have been forewarned and are to

stay alert and sober, and not remain asleep at this

special moment.

 

KEEP AWAKE AND BE READY

 

Dear friends as we approach the end of liturgical

year the message of the readings points towards

preparedness. Christian spirituality has always

insisted on the need to live this life as a clear and

certain preparation for the future eternal life. The

mere desire of eternal life is not sufficient but the

life, a person lives must show in practical ways

this preparedness and the worthiness for the

Kingdom of Heaven. The message given to us

today is one of watchfulness and to be ready to

receive the Lord. As we approach the end of the

Liturgical Year, the Church seems to place these

very mysteries before us. We have to be alert to

the signs God gives us in our lives. When troubles

overtake us, we have to build our lives on the

practice of faith, hope and love. We are called

upon to keep the light burning in our lives. The

Book of Wisdom affirms the immortality of the

soul and promises the gift of the Divine

personification of Wisdom to all who seek her. The

stress is on the desire of those who want to live

wisely; wisdom will be granted to those who

search for God’s meaning and purpose in life. St.

Matthew’s Gospel changes the emphasis on the

theme of eternal life to stress the necessity of

being awake and prepared for the Lord’s coming

and the definitive establishment of the Kingdom of

Heaven. Jesus tells of a division between those

who prepare themselves for the patient wait for

the Bridegroom to arrive and those who do not. He

speaks of a lost opportunity as those who should

have been ready are shut out. Paul in the second

reading reminds the Christians at Thessalonica of

the true meaning of death for the Christian. The

sleep of death is converted into a risen life and all

Christians, both living and those who have already

died, ‘shall always be with the Lord’. It is this

second coming that is to comfort and strengthen

Christians here on earth.

 

COMMUNION OF SAINTS

 

Dear friends, today we are celebrating the feast of

all saints. The feast of All Saints is a holy day on

which the church glorifies God for all his saints,

known and unknown. It is celebrated on November

first in the West, since Pope Gregory IV ordered its

church-wide observance in the year 837. All

Saints’ Day has been observed by the Church as

an occasion to celebrate in a special way all its

saints, past and present, whatever their country of

origin, their race, or their denomination, and

whether they are known to us personally or not.

On this day we remember the saints, who may

have been forgotten, or never been specifically

honored. But they are holy persons whose

examples we aim to follow and their life we imitate

and at the same time ask for their prayers and

intercessions. The whole concept of All Saints Day

is tied in with the concept of the Communion of

Saints. This is the belief that all of God’s people,

on heaven, earth, and in the state of purification,

are connected in a communion. We celebrate the

lives of ordinary men and women of every time

and place who lived in an extraordinary way in

faithfulness to the message of the gospel. These

men and women have been teachers and

preachers; they are founders of religious orders

and scholars. They are married persons,

missionaries, and martyrs. They come from all

walks of life and from various parts of the globe.

They are ours and they belong to us. They show

us how to live faithfully the Beatitudes that Jesus

once again teaches us in today’s gospel. In the

history of the Church there have been countless

others who really are saints, and who are with God

in heaven. Their names are not on the list of

canonized saints in the church. They are

especially remembered today on this feast

day. These saintly men and women are indeed

blessed and holy and we ought to follow in their

footsteps.

 

CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES

 

Dear friends, Love of God is the essence of

our Christian life. Our religion is based on the

principles of love of God and the love of our

neighbors. The love of God implies not

merely the notional assent to the truths of

faith, but in the real, conscious, wholehearted

response that makes God the chief motivation

and reason of our life. The love of one’s

neighbor is perhaps one of the surprising

characteristics of our Christian faith as

indicated in the importance given to the duty

of loving others. Several passages from the

Gospel show the practical necessity of the

Christian precept of loving one’s neighbor

and the association Jesus himself makes with

the poorest and humblest. In our Christian

practice it is necessary to search for the

personal experience of God that uniquely

religious and sacred experience found only by

those who search for it. This is done

principally in silence, solitude and dedication

to personal prayer. This requires the time and

the disposition to identify the religious

experience of God in our lives and to let it

take root in our minds and hearts. We need to

open our minds and find the time necessary

to become aware of the presence of God in

our lives. This is not easy to do, especially as

we have become accustomed to ways of

perception and of thinking that are always in

hurry and are functional. It takes a great effort

to learn a meditative way of perceiving reality

that allow us, moved by grace, to experience

something of the presence of God. The

Gospel of today tells us that we ought to love

God our Lord with all our hearts, soul and

strength and love our neighbor as we love

ourselves. The Book of Exodus recalls some

specific provisions of the Law with regard to

strangers and to the poor and unfortunate. St

Paul on the other hand advices the

Thessalonians they have to be an example to

others and he himself has been a guide to

them.

 

 

EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD

 

Dear friends, in the Gospel reading of today, we have the first

of four challenges to Jesus coming from the leaders among

the Jews as they aim to oppose him in his teachings and social

relationships. Their plan was to get Jesus to discredit himself

through his response. Everyone respected Jesus as a great

teacher and talented preacher.

 The first challenge given in today’s Gospel comes from the

Pharisees as they make use of the Herodians to trap Jesus in his

teachings. The Pharisees opposed Jesus from the

beginning of his public ministry because he freely associated

with sinners and tax collectors.

 The Pharisees were in fact were in opposition to Sadducees

and Herodians, two other Jewish sects. Nevertheless they were

willing to join hands with them in their desire to challenge Jesus.

 Their deviousness is seen in the delegation they sent, namely, a

mixture of their disciples and some Herodians. It was a known

fact that the Pharisees and the Herodians were bitterly opposed

to each other. The Pharisees were totally anti-Roman and the

Herodians were willing to collaborate with the Romans hoping

to benefit from this relationship. In the language of today, they

would be called “appeasers”. It was a perfect example of the

enemy of my enemy is my friend. Both sides hated each other

but they hated Jesus even more. Perhaps they thought Jesus

would not go into conflict or taken aback after seeing this

combined opposition. Their opening statement is clever and

very flattering.

 They praise the utter honesty and integrity of Jesus, which

was a fact. Jesus, in fact, is being praised as endowed with

God’s own sense of truth and justice.

 

WEDDING GARMENT

 

Dear friends, the readings of 28th Sunday reminds us that when we were

 Baptized in to Christ Jesus, we were clothed with Christ with a new

garment which referred in the parable of today as wedding garment.

The wedding garment in the parable symbolizes that the wedding guest,

whatever his past may have been, has put on Christ and is converted to him.

Such a person, through Baptism, the sacrament by which one is given access

 to the wedding banquet of the Lord, has grown to be clothed in the spirit and

teachings of Jesus. This is shown by the gradual transformation of his life through

the influence of Jesus he experiences in the Christian community. Secondly,

we might reflect today on just how clean our wedding garment really is.

It tells us to consider as to what extent we have really offered ourselves in

love and service to Jesus and to his people. It tells us of the extent to which

we give clear witness of our values and beliefs both inside and outside the

community. It invites us to manifest the values of Christ we are called upon to live.

Thirdly, we must never forget that, while as Church members we are expected to

contribute actively to its life and witnessing, the forgiveness of God and of the

community is always available whenever we betray its ideals. The Gospel tells

us that mere physical presence is not sufficient. Without the proper conversion

one will be rejected. So, let us make sure to put on the garment of Christ.

 

 I wish you all A HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

 

 

TODAY’S REFLECTION

 

The reading from Isaiah speaks in allegorical

form of a vine, planted and tended to by God,

which produces only wild grapes. The prophet

warns the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah

that they, the vine, will be abandoned by God

because of their injustice and non-observance

of the Law. Paul’s letter to the Christians in

Philippi contains a joyful in tone. It seems that

they have produced fruits that correspond to

the Gospel. St. Paul exhorts them to keep

striving for all that is good and holy. In this

way they need have no anxieties and the God

of peace will be with them. In the Gospel the

charge is leveled not against the failed

produce, but the tenants, those temporarily in

charge of the vineyard, failed to recognize the

owner and his son. The chief priests and the

elders, those to whom the parable is

addressed, have no difficulty in recognizing

the outrageous injustice of the tenants

towards the vineyard’s owner. Jesus then

unveils the real application of truth of the

parable, comparing it with the historical

reception of God’s prophets, and of the Son of

God Himself, at the hands of the religious

leaders.

 

 

FROM NO TO A RESOUNDING YES

 

Dear friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us that words do not express

the full human response to God, until they are put into practice in each person’s life.

What is required is the integral response of the whole person: his thoughts, words

and actions in total human capability. To draw on a Biblical distinction, our search

and openness to the experience of God needs to involve the heart even more than the mind.

It is the heart that is the origin of our desires and actions. The heart turns doctrine into action.

Matthew’s here distinguishes clearly between those considered nominally good and those who

actually do well. One son only says he will work and the other does the actual work.

Jesus declares, in a way that must have shocked the legalistic mindset of his hearers, that

prostitutes and tax collectors are entering the Kingdom of God before the chief priest and the elders.

In other words the one who works for his salvation will achieve it. Paul in the second reading appeals

to the Church at Philippi to live in unity, and the key to unity is humility, which regards others as more

important than oneself. This inspires Christians to a practical interest in others’ needs. Their model is

Jesus who, in the words of an early hymn, took the form of a slave and served and obeyed to the point of death.

 

 

JUSTICE OF GOD

 

Dear friends, the main message from the

readings of this weekend is that of ‘justice’.

God is wholly just and we are called, both

individually and corporately, to lives of

justice. The Readings of today refer to how

much the God’s wisdom surpasses our

human categories of value and judgment. We

experience a desire for God and for

communion with others. Human nature has

the wonderful capacity to love and to put its

necessary self-affirmation at the service of

God in communion with others. We also

experience within ourselves a profound

distortion of these faculties that exaggerates

and distracts these tendencies and

inclinations from their true measure and

purpose. Each person experiences in a unique

way this inner tension on the one hand, the

conflict between fundamental desires for love

and justice, and, on the other, the practical

difficulty of acting as we would ideally desire.

In the first reading prophet Isaiah exhorts his

people to search actively for the Lord. He

reminds his people that the Lord’s ways are

not obvious to us, and need to be sought

while we have the opportunity. Paul in the

second reading shows us the spirit of true

Christian service. He would prefer to be with

Christ, but he knows that his present work in

the vineyard “is more necessary for your

benefit”. He says that for him, to live is Christ

and to die is gain. Matthew’s Gospel presents

us with a parable that demonstrates to us the

difference between our spontaneous

judgments and God’s ways. If we do more,

like the early laborers in the vineyard, our

natural reaction is to claim more for ourselves

than the latecomers who do less. The parable

reminds us that service in God’s vineyard is

selfless. It is God’s will and wisdom to save all

who want to work, and that should also be our

intention.

 

FRATERNAL CORRECTION

 

Dear friends, As Christians we are responsible and are made accountable

 for the welfare of those under our care, be it children, parents, elders, or even friends.

 People holding any office of responsibility have the need to be accountable for the work they do,

 be it a doctor, a lawyer, an officer or a Pastor. In each occupation, there is a responsibility

 and full accountability is required of the individuals. As Christians we are not individuals

but members of the Body of Christ that is the Church. The readings of today tell us of

 God’s command of spiritual responsibility and accountability that each one of us have

 towards our neighbours. It speaks of our responsibility of correcting our brothers and

 sisters in Christ who live in error. This obligation always existed in the Catholic Church,

from the early days of the Christian community right up to the present time. They challenge

 us to care for our brothers and sisters and protect them in their physical and spiritual needs.

 The Gospel of today presents to us matters pertaining to the relationship between the

members of the Church. Jesus stipulates a process for dealing with a community member

 who sins against another person. He lays down the guidelines for fraternal correction in the

Christian community.

 

 

NO CROSS NO CROWN

 

Dear friends, to be a Christian, to be on the journey of discipleship,

is to have our life changed, to be led in unexpected ways.

Sometimes it is in ways we would rather not go as our

 cross is heavy and painful. At times we look for life of

false expectations, life of illusions that is free from all pain and sufferings.

If as Christians we are to seek Jesus or the church or the faith only

because we are seeking self-satisfaction, or because we want a

 solution to our problems, we are going to be sadly disappointed.

That is the time we look towards Jesus for strength to carry the

 cross given to us and walk with him. However,

we are sure to encounter God in the midst of pain and

 everything is bound to change. But the cross will be with us.

 In the Gospel of today Jesus teaches the disciples regarding

 the suffering Messiah who will suffer, die and rise again.

 Peter could not understand why Jesus must suffer and die

 and tries to admonish him.

He receives the reprimand from Jesus and also receives the correct teaching about the cross.

Jesus tells his disciples that they have to deny themselves,

 carry the cross and follow him to be his followers.

In the first reading Jeremiah complains about his

difficulties as a prophet and the pain he experienced to speak in God’s name.

The role of a prophet, who has to speak the truth even if it makes him unpopular.

Prophet Jeremiah does speak the truth in the name of God.

 

 

FAITH IN GOD

 

Dear friends, Today’s three readings show

God’s plan as revealing and unfolding a more

generous love that stretches to people

inviting them to follow him. This reveals

generously a world where the Kingdom of

God exists and is big enough to welcome

everyone. Wherever hatred and narrowmindedness

and prejudice come from, surely,

they are not from God. But they have to wait

in patience to recognize the divine message

and his working which finally leads to a

response. In the Gospel of today we have the

healing of the daughter of the Canaanite

woman and Jesus praises the faith of the

pagan woman and cures her daughter. We are

presented with his apparent hesitation to heal

her daughter until her persistence

demonstrates her great faith. In the first

reading the prophet describes a new age. All

the nations will gather together in God’s

house of prayer, which is a holy place. In the

second reading Paul rejoices in his ministry to

the gentiles. He trusts that the conversion of

the gentiles will prompt the Jews to

conversion and he looks forward to the day

when the Jews will embrace the saving mercy

of God.

 

LORD SAVE US

 

Dear friends, God’s presence is felt more

often in tiny, small ways, not in earthshattering

howling wind or rushing fire or

storms. He comes to us in gentle little ways

and is there present when we need him the

most. He expects from us the openness to call

on him for help and he will be there to support

and guide us. He wants us to be aware of his

voice in our life which often goes unnoticed.

Our confidence that Jesus is always there

presents extending his guiding and

supporting hand builds up our faith. In the

First Reading from the First Book of Kings we

have Prophet Elijah who had gone to a cave at

Horeb, the mountain of God, where he stayed

for 40 days. Convinced that there is no more

to do for God, the Prophet asked God in

prayer to take his life. But God has different

plans and provides him strength to carry on

his mission. In the Second Reading Paul

expresses his sadness over the fact that his

fellow Jews have not accepted Jesus as

Christ and have rejected the Lord. Expressing

the great love that he had for his own

countrymen, Paul was willing to undergo the

worst possible fate, being cut off from Christ,

if such could possibly save those that he

loved. In the Gospel of today Jesus

miraculously saves the frightened disciples.

They were caught in the midst of a storm and

Jesus comes to them walking on water. Peter

while walking on the water towards Jesus

began to sink and asks his master to save

him. Jesus tells him to place his trust in him.

 

EUCHARISTIC MEAL

 

Dear friends, in the Gospel of today Matthew

assumes the reader to be familiar with the

remarkable story of Elisha where he feeds a

mere one hundred people with only twenty

barley loaves. There it seemed impossible to

feed so many people with so little bread. But

after people were fed, they too had collected

the fragments left over. Therefore, the action

of Jesus appears even more astounding,

given the few loaves and the immense crowds

needing to be fed. Again, not only are the

people fed but there are twelve baskets of

leftovers. Here we notice that there is no

attempt to describe what Jesus actually did or

how he fed so many with so little. Any and all

speculations on that is a waste of time. What

God did in the desert to feed the hungry

Israelites with Manna in desert, same Jesus

did here to feed the large crowd in a deserted

place. Jesus just cared for those in need and

looked after the hungry people who came

looking for the divine meal. The miracle of the

multiplication of loaves tells how God really

cares for those people in abundance in time of

their need. It also tells us about the future

events to come when Jesus will provide his

people with the Eucharistic meal. Here Jesus

looks up to heaven, blesses the bread and

gives to his disciples who in turn feed the

crowds. These came to be known as the

Eucharistic gestures. There is even greater

reference to the great messianic banquet that

Jesus will ultimately preside over at the end of

time.

 

KNOW THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

Dear friends, in the Gospel of today we are

presented again with three parables, two of

which are closely linked in meaning but with

slight difference. The first two parables using

the images of hidden treasure and a pearl of

great price are addressed to individuals who

with joy and assurance sell everything else to

possess something precious. The third

parable speaks of the realistic situation,

similar to one about the wheat and the darnel

from previous Sunday, about the Christian

sense of time and the separation process at

the end of time. Here perhaps the church

quietly explains the existence of people both

good and bad. The first and second parables

are in effect saying that to know God and to

live according to the Gospel are the most

precious things in life. Through Jesus and the

Gospel we come to know and understand

what the real meaning of life is and what the

most important things in life are. The

comparison here is based on obtaining

something of extremely high value. The

dynamic described is that nothing will get in

the way of obtaining an object of extremely

high value if one desiring it feels it must be

acquired at any cost. Both the parables

demand renunciation, risk and commitment.

The emphasis is not so much on the pain of

renunciation as on the supreme value of the

reward they will obtain. Jesus advocates the

total reversal of the past in order to gain a

wonderful future. Are we willing to accept this

challenge?

 

MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

Dear friends, the parables in this passage of today tend to emphasize the mysterious ways in which the kingdom grows. Especially highlighted is how something can begin very tiny and end up very big. Here we have three images or parables of the Kingdom at work among us. The first is the parable of the weeds among the wheat that explains about the judgment and who makes it. The wheat sown in the field is understood to be good and weed sown by the enemy is bad. The Householder’s slaves judged the weed to be bad and wanted to cut them down which is logical. The owner surprisingly says no and mandates that they should be left to grow together. Judgment will be rendered at the end and then only by the owner and not the slaves. A second point is that final judgment can be made only by the owner. In the meantime, we all have to learn to live together patiently and without judging one another. The parable stresses the final judgment when the son of man will deliver the final verdict which will condemn the children of the evil one namely the weeds and extol the children of the kingdom namely the wheat. The Kingdom of God clearly calls people to attain the highest ideals and greatest generosity. It also calls for a great measure of tolerance, patience and understanding in seeing the Kingdom become a reality. The conversion of our societies into Kingdom-like communities is a very gradual process.Let us work strenuously for the coming of the kingdom of God.

 

 

THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

 

Is celebrated on 16 July. It draws our attention to theway in which she is manifested to the Carmelite Orderand the way in which Carmelites see her. We know that the hermit brothers on Mount Carmel dedicated an oratory to St Mary early in the thirteenth century. Inmedieval times that was the equivalent of theirdeclaring that she is their Patron who will look afterthem, and whom they in turn will serve.Later when the Carmelites came to Europe and joinedthe ranks of the mendicant friars, other images of Mary arose among them. They took of course the notion of Mother common to all Christians of the East and West. They also saw her as Sister, and honoured her as the Most Pure Virgin, that is the Virgin of undivided heart. From this time too, Carmelites were much taken by the beauty of Mary, so that a favourite invocation was “Mother and Beauty of Carmel.”A significant Carmelite devotion to Our Lady is through the Brown Scapular. The Brown Scapular ofthe Carmelite Order has been very popular since the fifteenth century.The scapular is a symbol, that is, a sign that carries adeeper meaning. In a letter to the whole CarmeliteOrder, the Superiors General, J. Chalmers and C.Maccisewrote in 2001: “reflection on the Scapularsymbolism implies that we think out and make our ownthe fact that Mary is our Patroness, who cares for us asMother and Sister. Our Mother nurtures the divine lifewithin us andteaches us the way to God. Our Sisterwalks with us in the journey of transformation, invitingus to make ours her own response: ‘Oh let it what youhave said be done to me’ (Luke 1:38). Butpatronage isa two-way relationship. We receive Mary’s care;in turnwe are called upon to imitateher and to honour herthrough fidelity to her Son.”This year, the feast day is Tuesday July 16,and masswill be celebrated at 9 am and the Scapulars will beblessed and distributed. If you are not able to attendthis mass, scapulars will be available afterwards.

 

 

THE WORD OF GOD

 

Dear friends, Fifteenth Sunday readings tell us that the Word of God is compared to seed that sprouts and brings forth new life. All of our life, entire creation is groaning in anticipation of being all we can become. God’s spirit is infused within human beings where it brings forth divine fruits. The farmer is aware that he has to prepare the ground, weed it and water it to produce good fruit. We are invited to sow the seed of the Gospel with our lives. In the Gospel of today we have the parable of the sower. The farmer goes out to sow the seed and it is placed in varying types of soil. A person who hears the word of God and understands it reaps a rich and fruitful harvest. In the first reading Prophet Isaiah speaks of the power of the word of God. It is like the rain that comes to the earth to make it fertile and fruitful by germinating the seed for the sower and bread for the ones who eat, so also the word of God is meant to bear plentiful fruit in men’s heart. It brings life and joy where there was only death and sorrow. In the second reading Paul refers to the fact that all humans and all creation suffer because of sin and he assures us that the present sufferings are nothing compared to future glory. Material creation though subject to corruption, will eventually share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.

GIVE IN THE NAME OF GOD

Dear friends, God invites every person to be

close to him, to trust him and love him. From

the beginning God called human persons to

be with him for he is the creator for he has

made every human person in his own image

and likeness and desires to have constant

contact with him. He invites everyone to a

close personal relationship with him and

when they do wrong and go astray; he invites

them to a spirit of repentance to make them

live a life worthy of him. He wants everyone to

observe his commands and be close to him in

obedience and self-sacrifice. God speaks to

us in many ways, particularly through the

word of God. The Sunday scriptural readings

provide useful background. This leads us to

better understand the word of God and link it

with our daily activities of life in a meaningful

way. In the Gospel of today Jesus invites his

disciples to a great sacrifice even death itself

for Christ. He adds that it is necessary to give

and share what we have with others. Every

giving in the name of Jesus involves a

sacrifice and a reward. The first reading too

gives us the very same theme of giving in the

name of God and there will be God becoming

beneficial to the person. In the second reading

Paul invites us to be buried in Christ through

Baptism in order to receive new life. In and

through our Baptism we die to sin and enter

into new life with God.

 

SUNDAY OFFERINGS

Dear Parishioners,

I pray that you are keeping safe and healthy during

this time of pandemic, isolation and social

distancing. Please know that I continue to

celebrate weekday mass and pray for our parish

and for each of you. It is our faith and our sense of

responsibility to protect each other that will help

us get through this.

While our opportunity to gather together for Mass

has changed, we are thankful that technology has

permitted us to still celebrate our Sunday Mass

together through YouTube and our website. We

are all adjusting how we gather and how we

communicate.

While the pandemic continues around us, so too

are we all facing challenges including financial,

mental health, and wellbeing. While we are not at

Mass weekly, our Parish expenses continue and

without our regular collection and donations, we

face a decline in revenue. I ask you to give

consideration to continued financial support for

St. Patrick’s in this time of crisis. We have

established a system to allow contributions

through credit card, as well as through cash or

cheque contributions. Please just contact the

Parish office should you wish to make a one time

or weekly contribution. We are now able to accept

E-Transfer. Please email: jeromeocd@gmail.com or

fatherjeromeocd@stpatrickscaledonia.com

Please know that I am only a phone call away

should you wish to reach out for a conversation or

spiritual or wellbeing support. While we cannot

meet in person, we all recognize the importance of

being there for each other.

God Bless you all

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas ocd,

Pastor

 

MYSTERY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Dear friends, today we celebrate the solemnity of

the Holy Trinity, the feast of the Triune God

manifested in three persons, the Father, Son and

the Spirit. In our practice of Christian Life, the

Trinity is remembered while we begin any form of

prayer. As you see me starting the Holy Mass

invoking the Holy Trinity. Each time we make the

sign of the cross, we say: “In the name of the

Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In

the second reading of today Paul reminds the

people of the Father’s love, the grace that comes

through Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the

Holy Spirit. The intimate relationship between the

Father, Son and the Spirit is described in various

places in the Gospel of John. Even though we

remember the Trinity several times a day, it is

difficult to comprehend the full meaning because

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we invoke

constitute a great Mystery. The Mystery of the

Most Holy Trinity consists of this: The Father is

God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God,

and yet there are not three gods, but only one God

with three attributes. We have Father who is the

creator, Son the redeemer and Holy Spirit the

sanctifier and the counselor. If one were to seek

for a comparison in order to try to grasp a little of

this mystery, the only one that is completely

adequate is that which Jesus himself gave us,

when he said that just as the living Father has sent

him, he is sending out his disciples. They have to

go and baptize all in the name of the Trinity. He

also tells us that he and the Father are one and he

will send the Spirit on the Apostles who will

counsel and guide them in the mission. Even

though the Holy Trinity is a mystery to

comprehend fully, we are invited to unite with the

Trinitarian God.

 

 

FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK

June 3, 2020

 

Dear parishioners, many of you are anxiously

waiting to hear from the Church authorities

regarding the reopening of the churches for public

services. As we are all aware that the premier of

Ontario said the state of Emergency will remain in

effect until the end of June 2020. In line with that

we had a Zoom meeting with our Bishop Bergie

this week. Most likely churches will be reopened in

July2020, he said. Hopefully when Stage 2

happens, churches will be included in this. We will

continue our live streaming Mass on Sundays at

10am. We are also in the process of planning

when it comes to reopening the church how to go

about with new norm. I am looking for volunteers

for each of the Masses. They will be assisting the

priest to disinfect the church after each Mass,

ushering, checking seating arrangements. If you

wish to sign in you can call the church office or

email to me. Many of you have sent your Sunday

offering envelopes to us already. Thank you for

your continued financial support during this

pandemic. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness

towards our community. Daily mass being offered

privately for your intentions and of the world. If

you wish to make confessions, you can make an

appointment.

Fr Jerome Mascarenhas ocd,

Pastor

 

 

COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Dear friends, today, we are celebrating

Pentecost Sunday, the day when the Holy

Spirit descended on the disciples and the

church was founded. The spirit came upon the

timid disciples in the form of tongues of fire

and transformed them into true messengers

of Jesus. Once they received the Spirit, they

went out boldly and preached to all in

Jerusalem and elsewhere. On this day Jesus

wants us to know the freedom of living in his

Spirit. This feast is the culmination of the

Paschal mystery where Jesus fulfils his

promise of sending the Spirit of the Father

and the Son on his disciples. This feast also

indicates that the Holy Spirit is an on-going

reality, who will be with the church forever

and who will touch our lives every single day.

We celebrate this day to recognize the gift of

the Holy Spirit, realizing that God’s very life,

breath and energy lives in all believers. The

celebration tells us that the same Spirit is

given to each one of us, that we are all

baptized by one Spirit into one body and that

the Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead

will raise us too. All the three readings make

reference to the arrival of the Holy Spirit,

being baptized in the Spirit and being sent

forth to proclaim the Word of God so others

may convert to the living faith. The first

reading gives a graphic picture of Pentecost

with the Spirit descending on the disciples in

the form of tongues of fire and leads them to

speak in many languages as they speak about

Jesus. All are amazed at their teaching. The

Gospel tells us of the happenings immediately

after the Resurrection. Jesus suddenly

appears to the disciples, gives them peace

and gives them the Holy Spirit. With this they

get the power to forgive sins of people and

reconcile them.

 

 

 

ASCENSION OF THE LORD

Dear friends, today we celebrate the feast of the

Ascension of Our Lord. After his resurrection,

having spent forty days with his disciples, our

Lord ascends to his beloved Father. Indeed, this

feast of the Ascension of Jesus to his Father is a

Mystery and not easy to grasp. In today’s Gospel

we have the farewell scenario between the

disciples and Jesus and we read the intimate

moment of separation between them. As he

prepares to depart from the earth he offers them

his parting gifts: the gift of understanding so that

they can now fully comprehend the meaning of the

Scriptures; the promise that they will receive the

power of the Holy Spirit; a final loving blessing

and promise that he will not abandon them but be

with them till the end of times. He gives them the

command to preach the Good News to all nations.

The reaction of the disciples indicates a striking

transformation. Luke tells us that they returned to

Jerusalem with great joy, praising and

worshipping God. They were now certainly

different from that little group of disciples in the

cenacle, hiding from all authorities in Jerusalem,

afraid of them. Now they are new persons,

strengthened with faith, filled with joy and carrying

the hope of the future. The Lord instructed them to

be his witnesses from Jerusalem to the ends of

the world but they were also told to await the gift

of the Holy Spirit. The Heavenly messengers stand

beside the apostles as an evidence of God’s

continued assistance. As we continue to deal with

Corona virus, let God’s spirit illumine our hearts to

overcome from fear.

The Crowning of Mary will take place at the end of

Mass this Sunday

 

PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

Dear friends, the theme of today’s readings is

the proclamation of the Divine Presence of the

Holy Spirit. The origin of this promise can be

traced to the Old Testament Books of

Jeremiah and Ezekiel. In the days of the

prophets, God had promised to make a new

covenant with His people. He promised to put

His law within His chosen people, writing it on

their hearts, that He may be their God and

they may be His people. He promised to put a

new human spirit within His people, to remove

their hearts of stone and to give them a heart

of flesh. The gospel of today tells us of the

concern of Jesus for his church. Jesus is

about to leave the world and return to his

Father as he promises to send them the Holy

Spirit. He tells them that he will not leave them

orphaned but his spirit will be with the church

till the end of time. The first reading begins

with the persecution of the early church in

Jerusalem and yet speaks of the spread of the

church to the surrounding places. Deacon

Philip preaches successfully in Samaria and

the Apostles are called to lay their hands on

them so that the community receives the

Spirit. In the second reading Peter says that

Christ suffered for our sins once for all, the

righteous person for the unrighteous, in order

to bring all people to God. He was put to death

in the flesh, but he was made alive in the

spirit.