Pastor’s Desk

Call to Conversion

Dear friends: God’s call is personal. It is an invitation to enter into His holiness with an attitude of faith and total trust in the Divine. We encounter a God who speaks to us and we are called upon to listen to Him and respond to Him. During the Season of Lent, He invites us to convert ourselves and become like Him as He prepared Himself to the mission of His Father. As we now enter the Second Week of Lent, our task is to continue to examine our hearts and change ourselves in order to be worthy of His glorious paschal mystery. God tells us that our thoughts are not like His thoughts and our ways are not akin to those of His choice. As human beings we do not like change and we resist any change as much as we can. However, change is a part of our life and we cannot just depend on our past glory and achievements. We know that we are pilgrims on a journey to a more permanent dwelling place, a place of total union with our God of Truth and Love. The readings of today invite us to reflect on the paradox of our Christian faith that we belong here and we do not belong here. It is in this world and through this world that we are to find our God. That is the goal of living and we need to keep it constantly before our eyes. Whatever we do on earth has its consequence in our life to come. While we are expected to be fully involved in our life here, contributing to the fulfillment of the Kingdom, we are reminded that our final citizenship is in Heaven.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Lenten Prayer

Dear friends: Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a time of fasting, prayer and penance which leads us through the forty days to Jesus’ resurrection. Symbolically the forty days remind us of Jesus spending forty days in the desert praying and fasting. By observing prayerfully the days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days and at the same time contemplating His suffering, death and resurrection. Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice. Ashes were used in ancient times as a sign of mourning. The liturgical practice of applying ashes on one’s forehead during the Lenten Season goes back as far as the eighth century. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. They are signs that we are sinners and we are called to repentance. It is an invitation to look into our hearts and make the ancient prayer our own: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Change Comes From Within

Dear friends: In our gospel today, Jesus asks us to search as carefully as possible our own faults as we do for the faults of others. When we are aware of our own weaknesses and strive to overcome them, knowing that we also have faults, we are slow to judge and swift to give the benefit of the doubt.

In the second reading, Paul invites Christians to be firm, steadfast, fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord their labour is not in vain. The hard work of the Christian is not a waste because the Christian is “in the Lord” who has already won the victory. In the first reading, the Book of Sirach helps in shaping the faith of the Jewish people and equips them to remain steadfast in their belief.

Dear friends, March 6th we begin the Season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. During Lent, we will have the Stations of the Cross every Friday after the 7:00pm Mass. Our Lenten Penitential Service and retreat will be at the end of March 30/31. I invite you to come and join in these preparatory liturgies for Easter. Our Holy Father Pope Francis’ message for Lent is try to do good to others and that will be the best way to prepare for Easter.

 

Fr Venil, our associate priest’s birthday falls on Ash Wednesday, but we anticipate a celebration on Monday March 4th after 8.15am Mass in the parish centre, so we can eat sweets and don’t need to worry about fasting. I invite you to come, join us in wishing him many blessings.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Prayer of Forgiveness

Dear friends: The love of God is a forgiving, sacrificial love. He loves all and in Him there is no partiality. He has created everyone and everything and in His image and likeness He has created them. The key theme that runs through today’s readings is one of love. In the first reading, David shows how a Christian should respond to the challenge God has given him by not killing the enemy. In the gospel, Jesus speaks about loving their enemies and sincerely praying for their persecutors. He tells them that the reason for this is that the Father in heaven is caring, loving and merciful. He is kind to those who are ungrateful and wicked. Let us pray that we may have the courage and strength to forgive our offenders.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

True Blessing Comes From God

Dear friends: The theme of today’s readings is centered upon hope in God, who invites us to stay close to Him and heed His guidance. In today’s gospel, we have the images of abundance and scarcity, blessings and woe, time and eternity, and all these make us reflect on our ultimate destiny. The words of Jesus show how startling the Gospel message can be. In fact, it is just the opposite of the wisdom pervading our consumer society. Woe, says Jesus to the rich, the satisfied, those financially secure and blessing to those who are poor, suffering and the hungry. How can this be real? On reflection we see that material satisfaction can isolate us, but a lack of it can take us beyond ourselves. Our poverty, hunger and sorrow can lead us to greater riches as it takes us close to the divine. The true blessing comes when we empty ourselves, make a room for God and realize His plan in our life.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

New Knights of Columbus Council-17194

It is exciting news for all of us as new knights of Columbus council has been formed at our parish. The first council meeting was held on Monday February 4th in the parish hall. I thank all the members of the council and their families for their generous willingness to serve the Lord. The council will meet on Thursday s at 7.30pm in the church hall. Congratulations to all the office bearers. Upcoming events as follows-

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING: February 21, 2019 7:30PM IN PARISH HALL

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW WOULD LIKE INFORMATION ABOUT THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS OR ARE INTERESTED IN JOINNING

PLEASE CONTACT: TIM RUNSTEDLER

1-226-988-2620 OR EMAIL: tma­­_runstedler@hotmail.com

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Called to Love

Dear friends: The theme of the liturgy of today is the prophetic call from God given to each individual personally. Through this call God communicates His message of love to all. John tells us that God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son for our sake that we may have life through Him. This is the sacrificial love and a caring love. It is love that enables us to be compassionate, understanding, patient, forgiving and accepting others. Love sustains us with courage, with power to endure and carries us confidently through every challenge. Jeremiah, in today’s first reading, is directed to give a prophetic witness to God, whose saving justice and compassion yearn to steer a wayward, stressed-out people away from impending disaster. Warned about the obstacles he will face, Jeremiah is instructed by God to stand firm. Jesus, as prophet in today’s Gospel, challenges His own people to a new way of living, a new way of seeing things. However, the people while they are expecting the newness through the messiah, reject the very means to reach the wholeness, freedom and peace they have been seeking. They stubbornly resist the prophetic invitation of Jesus. Today this call comes to us through His word, scriptures.

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

God’s Invitation

Dear friends: God’s love for humanity is outstanding as we see it in creation and redemption. He also invites every person to respond to His personal love. From the earliest of times, God has called human persons to be with Him for He is the creator who has made every human person in His own image and likeness and desires to have constant contact with Him. He invites all human persons to a 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. Repentance means to turn around, and go in the opposite direction, change one’s way of thinking, change one’s values, change the mind and heart, change desires, and more importantly change the direction of life. It means that there is an invitation for a total conversion and a complete transformation in the person. However, there comes a time in the life of every child of God to respond to His invitation to follow Him closely and participate in His mission.

Jesus testified to the public that His mission is to do the will of God. Do we take His invitation seriously?

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

God feeds us with His abundant blessings

Today we begin the ordinary season of the year. Today’s readings tell us about the identity of Jesus, who He is and what His mission is. The readings of today reveal to us that God is generous to His children and He rejoices in them. In the joyful hymn of Isaiah we see how God prepares for His chosen people, the ones who had remained faithful to Him, with good gifts, and most particularly His own presence. Paul, in the second reading, tells us that all gifts come from God but with a purpose, so that we may proclaim His glory in His kingdom. These gifts may be diverse but they all proclaim God’s own glory. The Gospel presents to us the first miracle performed by Jesus at a wedding. A wedding is a time of abundance and celebration. From the food and wine that are served, to the music and dancing that follow, weddings overflow with the goodness of life. At a deeper level, weddings speak about love, compassion and unity. The wedding feast in Cana is a sign of God’s love and compassion. Here Jesus takes care of the family who is about to be pushed into a state of embarrassment. At the same time, He accepts the word of Mary to do a good act and present the family things in abundance. The abundance of the wedding is a taste of what God provides for us at the Eucharistic table.        

Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Baptism of the Lord, presence of the Trinity

Dear friends: The celebration of the Baptism of Jesus, brings to an end the Season of Christmas. The Baptism of Jesus is one event recorded in the gospel when all three persons of the Holy Trinity are present. The voice of the Father is heard proclaiming Jesus as His son, Beloved. Jesus Himself, on being baptized comes up out of the water. The spirit comes down on Him like a dove. This even takes place when we are baptized as babies, or adults. God the Father calls us His beloved children. With Jesus we emerge from the water having died to sin. The Spirit descends on us empowering us with His gifts of grace to continue the mission of Christ. How truly blessed we are. It’s our responsibility to begin to proclaim the message of Christ to all the nations. Let the triune God be our guide.

Fr.  Jerome Mascarenhas

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