Thank You

As we enter this rather uncertain summer, I wish to thank the many people whose dedicated effort make the  life of our parish possible. Although we have been on ‘pause’ since mid-March, it remains true that the liturgical ministries, the programs, social events, groups and committees, all kinds of behind-the-scenes work and the (fairly) smooth functioning of the parish happen only because of your willing and capable efforts.  We look forward to these resuming in the normal way. 

My thanks also for all the support you have given the parish, your neighbours, the poor and the larger community during this crisis.

‘Virtual’ ALPHA?

We are working to see if we can offer in September the ALPHA ‘Introduction to Christianity’ twelve-week program as a virtual gathering via ‘Zoom’. Although originally intended for outsiders, many faithful parishioners have found this ‘introduction’ to be a very helpful refresher/ summary of the basics of the faith. 

While the content is the same as before, the style of presentation was completely revised a few  years ago to appeal particularly to younger, modern sensibilities.

Our virtual program would involve everyone gathering via ‘Zoom’ once a week for a few introductory remarks, watching the excellent video for the week, then breaking into small real-time discussion groups before bringing all the small groups together for concluding questions/ remarks.

Consider joining this program from the comfort of your own home. Of course, in this format you would have to provide your own snacks.

As this bulletin must serve for four weeks, I have prepared brief ‘Scripture Notes’.

May you enjoy Christ’s loving care and protection during this season of warmth and growth.

Scripture Notes

Sunday, July 5 – Fourteenth Sunday

The yoke of Christ is love, and by shouldering it we become able to lift burdens beyond our own strength, adding his power to our efforts.

One of the striking characteristics of children is their ability to grow, to learn and to delight in new experiences. If we imagine that we are not ‘little ones’, then we tell ourselves that we no longer need to grow, that there is nothing more to learn. This would be sad, because we would deny ourselves any further experiences of the love of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, July 12 – Fifteenth Sunday

The Word of God is powerful; it brings life in abundance to all who accept it.

On hearing the parables of Jesus, one of the best questions each of us can ask is, “Which one of these people am I?” or “Where do I fit in this story?” Whether we see ourselves as preparing the soil, sowing the seed or being more or less receptive soil, we are reminded that the Word must be welcomed and honoured before it will give life. Because it is God’s Word, we cannot regulate the time or place of a bountiful harvest or even what it must look like. We simply approach the Word in reverent prayer, confident that our faith will bring us to the abundance of God’s life.

Sunday, July 19 – Sixteenth Sunday

The parables that begin, “The kingdom of God is like . . .” point out that this kingdom is quite different from any other. It is organized to be a life-giving treasure to all who seek it, accept it, embrace it.

Today’s main parable is of particular consolation when we are outraged by the injustice in our world or when we are conscious of our own sinfulness. The Lord is patient, always seeking to give everyone a new opportunity to accept his offer of true life.

Sunday, July 26 – Seventeenth Sunday

The greatest and most precious gift is the Kingdom of God. Like many treasures, however, it is found only by those who seek it, and its value is detected only by a keen eye. 

This kingdom is so different, in fact, that Jesus challenges us to take the time to stop and think carefully about what he is saying. Those who are too busy to stop and let his Word sink into their hearts will never recognize the Kingdom, much less its value, even if they were to stumble over it.