Homily – April 2, 2017

April 2nd, 2017

Let’s look at the very humanness of this Lazarus event. Jesus was a close friend of Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary. He often visited them with his disciples. We remember the time when Jesus and his friends crashed at Lazarus’ home and caused a bit of a family squabble, Martha complaining about having to do all the work of preparing a meal while her lazy sister Mary sat and listened to what Jesus had to say.

Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was very ill. They expected him to come right away. They knew Jesus had cured sick men and women before; surely he would be there for his friend Lazarus. But things didn’t work out that way. Jesus and his companions showed up four days after Lazarus’ burial. His body had already begun to smell.

When Martha, who always spoke her mind, went out to meet Jesus she rightly complained to him, ‘if you had been here my brother would not have died.’ In other words, ‘after all the hospitality we’ve shown you and your friends, where were you when we need you? Martha and Mary must have had conversations about how disappointed they were with Jesus’ absence in their time of grief because Mary made the same complaint when she met Jesus,’ if you had been here our brother would not have died.’

Martha and Mary shared the same conviction, ‘I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ In other words, all is not lost.

And we are told that Jesus wept, he shared in their grief and in the sadness of the whole scene. As Jesus told his disciples when word reached about Lazarus’ health, ‘this illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of Man may be glorified through it,’ In other words, there’s more to this than meets the eye.

Jesus goes to the tomb and in loud voice he calls Lazarus to come out. To everyone’s astonishment Lazarus comes out wrapped in his burial shroud. We can only imagine the shock and the astonishment of all who were there that day and how swiftly the news spread about what Jesus did.

One thing in this wonderful event that sticks with me is the justifiable complaint of Martha and Mary, ‘if you had been here our brother would not have died.’ That complaint might make us wonder whether or not we have been there for family members and friends when they most needed us. There can be times in a person’s life when he or she can be so overwhelmed that they feel their very life has gone out of them. Emotionally they are as good as dead. They’ve just been told they have cancer or some debilitating disease that will change their life completely. They may be tortured by anxiety or swamped by depression. They may have been let go from their job. They may be faced with the shock of separation or divorce. They may have discovered a son or daughter in trapped in an addiction. The list could go on and on, but their lives will never be the same.

Jesus was there for Martha and Mary and his presence, his words made a difference. Are we there for those who need us? We can’t make the pain go away but our concern, our presence our words can make a difference. We can ask the question; ’is there anything I can do’. We can let them know we are praying for them. Do we appreciate the fact that a visit, a phone call, an email might make a difference and let them know they are not alone? These gestures may not be appreciated but at least we tried.

There is a song titled ‘where were you when I needed you’? Jesus was there for Martha and Mary. Can he inspire us to be there for those who might appreciate our presence, our prayers or our words of encouragement? As Jesus called Lazarus to life, our little gestures might call our friends to new life, new hope. It’s something to think about.

Bulletin – April 2, 2017

April 1st, 2017

LENT: Moving to Resurrection and Light – The Passionist Mission in Haiti

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 7:30 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church
Fr. Bernard McEachern CP

Fr. Bernard just came back from his visit to Haiti and the Passionist mission there. Many of us who have met Fr. Rick from his 2014 Advent visit to St. Gabriel’s are touched by his work. He and Fr. Enzo continue to do wonderful work there, accompanying the Haitian people in their joy and sorrows.

Good news! Fr. Bernard will be sharing his experience of Haiti as Lenten reflections at the parish this Wednesday, April 5th at 7:30 PM. He will talk about what he saw and felt, as well as his reflections. Please join us on that evening if you can.

THANK YOU!

Dear Parishioners of St. Gabriel’s,
I wish to express my sincere thanks to Fr. Brando and to all of you who supported my mission through your various donations over the past two weekends. I am grateful especially to members of the Development and Peace Committee of St. Gabriel’s who helped throughout with the logistics of the collection.

The children in Karni, Ghana will greatly benefit from the openness of your hearts. Your generosity is a sign of the love and goodness in the hearts of so many. Thank you for your participation in this worthy endeavour to educate those less fortunate. “Educate a girl, build a nation.”

You will hear from me and see pictures of the women and children of Karni who are the beneficiaries of your generous donations. Thank you again!

Sister Janis Gbiel, FMM

ANNOUNCED MASSES

April 3rd – April 8th, 2017

MONDAY – ALLAN PERSAUD – Requested by the Persaud & Goldenburg Families
TUESDAY – TERESA GEIB – Requested by Pat & Reg Prower
WEDNESDAY – SISTERS OF OUR LADY IMMACULATE – Requested by Jeanne Robinson
THURSDAY – PARISHIONERS OF ST. GABRIEL’S – Requested by Mark DesRoches
FRIDAY – SYDNEY WOOD – Requested by Don & Marie Harris
SATUR DAY – STEPHEN TSAO – Requested by Renee Young

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Stations of the Cross will take place each Friday evening during Lent at 7:30 PM. We also encourage your attendance at our daily Mass throughout Lent.

LENTEN AND EASTER SCHEDULE 2017

Stations of the Cross
Friday Evenings at 7:30 PM

Individual Confessions
Wednesday, March 29th
From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Reconciliation Service
Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 PM

Palm Sunday
April 9th
Masses Sat., 4:30 PM
8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM

Holy Thursday
April 13th
No 9:00 AM Mass
7:30 PM Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Followed by Adoration until 10:00 PM

Good Friday
April 14th
10:00 AM Morning Prayer
3:00 PM Solemn Passion of Our Lord
7:30 PM Stations of the Cross

Holy Saturday
April 15th
No 4:30 PM Mass
8:00 PM Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday
April 16th
Masses 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM 12:30 PM

Easter Monday
April 17th
No 9:00 AM Mass
Office Closed

EXTRA PARKING AT ELKHORN PUBLIC SCHOOL

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – FIRST FRIDAY

Friday, April 7th from 9:30 AM to12 Noon

FIRST COMMUNION INTERVIEWS

Interviews for children who are preparing to receive their First Communion are now being scheduled.
Please call the Parish Office at 416-221-8866-to book your appointment with Fr. Brando or Fr. John as soon as possible.

Those children attending the Children’s Faith Program, private schools or others are asked to choose one of the following dates: April 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st.

Children from St. Gabriel’s School are asked to choose one of the following dates: April 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, May 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th.

SHARELIFE

Living the Gospel by supporting ShareLife…..

“The ShareLife campaign provides for the needs of our social service agencies, helps to evangelize the Gospel to brothers and sisters in Christ across the world, and supports the education of our clergy. It is important that we continue to support the ShareLife appeal, to provide for the needs of the marginalized both here in our communities and around the world. Sometimes the results are obvious and sometimes they’re invisible but, always they make a tangible difference in the lives of the people we are helping. Please prayerfully consider how you can be supportive today on ShareLife Sunday.”

—Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto.

Today is ShareLife Sunday – April 2ND, 2017
Please give generously!

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month the food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre.

Rosalie Hall assists young parents and their children to realize their potential through the provision of a wide range of child development, community, residential and educational services.

Good Shepherd provides hot meals and shelter for the homeless in our city as well as a chance to start again through the Resettlement or DARE Programs.

Your food donations are more important than ever as the numbers of needy people continue to increase. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your generous support.

COLLECTING EYEGLASSES

We are continuing to collect eyeglasses for the Lions Club. Throughout the year, the Lion’s Club volunteers collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to regional Lions Recycling Centres. There volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses. Recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in low and middle income communities where they will have the greatest impact. Please place them in the baskets provided outside the office.

LECTO DIVINA

Sunday, April 2nd at 7:00 PM

St. Michael’s Cathedral

All parishioners are invited to join Cardinal Collins on Sunday, April 2nd at 7:00 PM. at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica for Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina is the spiritual tradition of attentively and prayerfully reading the Word of God. On April 2nd, Cardinal Collins will lead us through the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Vespers will be sung at 7:00 PM led by the Cathedral Vespers Choir followed by Lectio Divina from 7:30 to 8:15 PM. For more information, visit https://www.archtoronto.org/lectio.

SAINT JOHN PAUL II DAY IN ONTARIO

Sunday, April 2nd at 12:45 PM

Nathan Phillips Square

Saint John Paul II Day in Ontario will once again be celebrated on Sunday, April 2nd. All are welcome to join in a brief flag raising ceremony at the City of Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square (courtesy flag pole) at 12:45 PM.

NATIONAL CATHOLIC MISSION

April 10th and 11th on Vision TV

April 11th and 12th on Salt+Light TV atThe National Catholic Mission this year is inspired by the writings and teachings of Fr. Henri Nouwen. Join Sr. Sue Mosteller and Fr. Ron Rolheiser for this two part Mission that will be broadcast during Holy Week on Salt + Light TV on April 11th & 12th and on VisionTV on April 10th & 11th. Each part of the Mission will be rebroadcast the following day following the Daily TV Mass. For more information e-mail the NCBC at info@ncbc.ca, call them toll-free at 1-888-383-6277 or visit www.dailytvmass.com.

THEOLOGY ON TAP

Monday, April 10th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Boston Pizza, 400 Progress Ave, Scarborough

Our God is Human — A Holy Week Reflection

Faith Connections, the Office of Catholic Youth, and the local parishes invite young adults (ages 19-39) to join us for an evening of thought-provoking theological discussion in a comfortable and relaxed setting, with special guest: Dr. Margaret Lavin, Professor Emerita, Regis College, Toronto School of Theology. Munchies will be provided. There will be a cash bar. Come and bring a friend! For more information call OCY at 416-599-7676 or visit www.faithconnections.ca.

FINANCE CORNER

2016 Financial Statement

Copies of the 2016 Financial Statement is available to parishioners. You may pick one up this weekend in the Gathering Space or from the Parish Office.

Cyber Crime Seminar

There has been considerable interest in the Cyber Crime Seminar. We will be organizing this event in the near future. Please stay tuned for more information.

OFFERTORY ENVELOPES FOR 2017

If you are contributing cash to the Offertory Collection without any identification, you will not receive credit for your contribution. If you are not currently using parish envelopes and wish to have a set issued for 2017, please contact the Parish Office and we will prepare a box for you. This is the most effective way to keep track of your donations.

Homily – March 26, 2017

March 26th, 2017

Just a few words on our first reading for today’s Mass. God is fed up with the sins of King Saul and wants to anoint a new king. He sends Samuel to Jesse who lives in Bethlehem. Each one of Jesse’s sons I presented to Samuel and each time Samuel is impressed with the son Jesse presents to him and each time God tells Samuel, this is not my choice. Samuel finds out Jesse has one more son, his youngest who is just a kid and is doing the mindless job of minding the sheep. He’s brought to Samuel and God’s tells Samuel, ‘anoint him, this is the one.’

We can imagine the tension this caused in Jesse’s family, the annoyance of his sons that their kid brother was God’s choice but that is how David’s journey to kingship began.

So many time God chose what we might call ‘nobodies’ to do great things. Moses was tending his father –in- laws sheep when God called him and Amos was caring for sycamore trees when he was called to be God’s prophet. God ignored Isaiah’s protestations of weakness when God called him to be prophet.

St Paul, who saw himself as the least of the Apostles wrote the Christian community as Corinth, ‘ it is the weak things of this world that God has chosen to shame the strong, and the foolish ones to confound the wise and the ones that are not to reduce to nothing the things that are.’ Christ called Peter, Andrew, James and John, who were mending fishing nets, what could be more boring, to follow him into an unknown future.

In today’s gospel Jesus choose a blind beggar, an ignored, un-named man people walked by every day as they went to pray or offer sacrifice to be the opportunity, the challenge to the religious authorities of the temple to come to see Jesus for who he was. All to no avail. They banished this man whom they saw as an ignorant fraud, from the temple and so remained blind to the reality of Jesus, the light of the world. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

We may think we are of no importance, of no influence but God can use our littleness, our limitations to touch the lives of others. We have parishioners helping out at food banks and soup kitchens and meals on wheels. We have people from our parish visiting shut ins. We have little people doing so many little things that seem so unimportant. But, as the song sings, ‘little things mean a lot.’ We shouldn’t underestimate what God might call us to do. To quote Cardinal Newman;’ God has created me to do him some definite service; He committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission. God has not created me for naught, he knows what he is about.

This is true for each one of us. We may not feel very important or powerful or very wise but God has a project for each of us. It may be something important or something trivial but if we don’t do it, it won’t be done. We have within ourselves the power, the ability to act, to encourage, to support, to be there for someone who needs us. We are all given a voice to say ‘I’m sorry’, I forgive, and I am here for you, little words that can make a great difference to other people.

God is in the habit of asking weak and unimportant people to do great things and little things.

Will we have the generosity of the young man Samuel when God called him to service and answer ‘here I am Lord send me, and do whatever God calls us to do, no matter how trivial, how unimportant it may seem to me, it can make a great difference to others.

Bulletin – March 26, 2017

March 25th, 2017

LENT: Moving to resurrection and light – The Passionist Mission in Haiti

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 7:30 PM – St. Gabriel’s Church

Fr. Bernard McEachern CP

Fr. Bernard just came back from his visit to Haiti and the Passionist mission there. Many of us who have met Fr. Rick from his 2014 Advent visit to St. Gabriel’s are touched by his work. He and Fr. Enzo continue to do wonderful work there, accompanying the Haitian people in their joy and sorrows.

Good news! Fr. Bernard will be sharing his experience of Haiti as Lenten reflections at the parish on Wednesday, April 5th at 7:30 PM. He will talk about what he saw and felt, as well as his reflections. Please join us on that evening if you can.

COLLECTION OF GENTLY USED ITEMS TO ASSIST MISSION IN GHANA, AFRICA

MARCH 25th/26th

As was highlighted in the last Parish Bulletin, the parish is collecting various gently used items this weekend. This collection is to assist the ministry of Sister Janis, FMM.

Sister Janis Gbiel is a Ghanaian Sister of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM). When she was young, her father did not want to send her to school because she was a girl. She later found her way to school, and eventually graduated with degrees in Education as well as Biblical Theology. Because of her own experience, Sister Janis has made the education of the needy and the disadvantaged in Ghana, especially women, her mission. She would like to empower them through education.

Sister Janis has just completed her training in spiritual direction here at Guelph. When she returns to Ghana in May, she would like to set up another Senior high school for girls as well as ten basic schools in the poorest region in Ghana.

She is now asking for our help – she is seeking the donation of gently used items to help set up these schools:
computers, preferably laptops, but can take about 10 desktops as well.
Photocopiers – desktop type (3)
Printers (3)
Television sets (5)
Projector
Scanner
Digital cameras
Sewing machines
Math sets
School bags
Gently used summer footwear – crossed sandals, canvas shoes or sneakers.

Lent is a good time to think about sharing what we have with those in need. With spring in the air, perhaps it is also a good time to do some spring cleaning. Please check your basement or garage to see if there are electronics and other items that are still in good condition which could be put to use for a worthwhile cause.

Sister Janis will be in the Gathering Space after all the Masses this weekend. If you have any questions or need further information, you will be able to ask her directly. Thank you for your support!

FIRST RECONCILIATION

Saturday, April 1st at 10:30 AM

St. Gabriel’s Church

First Reconciliation for children attending St. Gabriel’s School and those in the Children’s Faith Program and children attending Private Schools will be held at St. Gabriel’s Church on Saturday, April 1st at 10:30 AM.

LENTEN AND EASTER SCHEDULE 2017

Stations of the Cross
Friday Evenings at 7:30 PM

Individual Confessions
Wednesday, March 29th
From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Reconciliation Service
Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 PM

Palm Sunday
April 9th
Masses Sat., 4:30 PM
8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM

Holy Thursday
April 13th
No 9:00 AM Mass
7:30 PM Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Followed by Adoration until 10:00 PM

Good Friday
April 14th
10:00 AM Morning Prayer
3:00 PM Solemn Passion of Our Lord
7:30 PM Stations of the Cross

Holy Saturday
April 15th
No 4:30 PM Mass
8:00 PM Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday
April 16th
Masses 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM 12:30 PM

Easter Monday
April 17th
No 9:00 AM Mass
Office Closed

EXTRA PARKING AT ELKHORN PUBLIC SCHOOL

ANNOUNCED MASSES

March 27th – April 1st, 2017

MONDAY – FR. PETER WATTERS – Requested by Jeanne Robinson
TUESDAY – ELIZABETH CHIN – Requested by Michelle Tan
WEDNESDAY – DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE DOAN, NGUYEN & VU FAMILIES – Requested by the Nguyen Family
THURSDAY – JOHN YEUNG – Requested by Agnes Wong
FRIDAY – LOUIS FUNG – Requested by his Family
SATUR DAY – CHARLES WILSON – Requested by Kathleen Olden-Poewll

WELCOME! BAPTISM

The Parish Family of St. Gabriel’s would like to welcome:

Alexander David Andrade
Thomas Michael Chan
Schyler Gabriel Ducasse-Salesman
Franco Chavez Valdez

These children received the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, March 19th 2017. Congratulations!

ROSARY GROUPS

Gabriel Room
English: Saturday, April 1st at 3:15 PM
Chinese: Sunday, April 2nd at 3:30 PM

For further information, please contact Linda Law at 416 -918-8029.

ECO-SABBATH

Sunday, April 2nd at 11:30 AM
Gabriel Room

CHING MING MASS OF REMEMBRANCE

Saturday, April 1st at 2:00 PM

Holy Family Mausoleum, Holy Cross Cemetery

The 2017 Ching Ming Mass of Remembrance will be held in the Holy Family Mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill on Saturday, April 1st at 2:00 PM. For further details please see the poster on the bulletin boards.
On Sunday, April 2nd, the Passionist Centre for Ecology and Spirituality will facilitate a 30 minute reflection and discussion prompted by the readings for that Sunday’s liturgy. The guided reflection brings an ecological perspective to the readings.

All are welcome.

FIRST COMMUNION INTERVIEWS

Interviews for children who are preparing to receive their First Communion are now being scheduled.

Please call the Parish Office at 416-221-8866-to book your appointment with Fr. Brando or Fr. John as soon as possible.

Those children attending the Children’s Faith Program, private schools or others are asked to choose one of the following dates: April 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st.

Children from St. Gabriel’s School are asked to choose one of the following dates: April 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, May 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th.

RECONCILIATION SERVICE

Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 PM

This is an opportunity to spend some time in peace and quiet, to reflect upon how we are responding to our call to be sons and daughters of God.

Recognizing the fact that we are “good people”, we also accept the fact that good people can sin.

Through an examination of conscience we face those sins, admit them and are reconciled to God. For those who wish, individual confessions will be celebrated after the service. We encourage you to take advantage of this celebration

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – FIRST FRIDAY

Friday, April 7th from 9:30 AM – 12 Noon

SHARELIFE

“Living the Gospel” locally and around the world…

How do we “Live the Gospel” toward others when our daily lives are so busy? For some it is volunteering at a soup kitchen, or it may be caring for an elderly relative. If we do not have the time to actively participate, we can support the many ShareLife funded agencies within our community that bring the hands of Christ to those in need. Our annual appeal provides resources to 42 agencies, bringing much needed programs and services to those both here in our communities and around the world. Next Sunday is the first ShareLife collection. Over the next week, consider your ability to “Live the Gospel” by helping those who are vulnerable and in need, and make a contribution to ShareLife

Next Sunday, April 2nd 2017 is ShareLife Sunday
Please give generously.

FINANCE CORNER

2016 Financial Statement

Copies of the 2016 Financial Statement is available to parishioners. You may pick one up this weekend and next in the Gathering Space or from the Parish Office.

Cyber Crime Seminar

We would like to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about cyber crime, how it can affect us all and tips to protect ourselves. We will only proceed with hosting this event If there is enough interest shown. If you are interested, please sign up in the Gathering Space after each Mass on March 25th/26th and April 1st /2nd weekends.

OFFERTORY ENVELOPES FOR 2017

If you are contributing cash to the Offertory Collection without any identification, you will not receive credit for your contribution. You must provide your full name and address. If you are not currently using parish envelopes and wish to have a set issued for 2017, please contact the Parish Office and we will prepare a box for you. This is the most effective way to keep track of your donations.

Homily – March 19, 2017

March 19th, 2017

Can you remember how refreshing a nice glass of cold water tastes on a hot summer day? Think about for a second. It’s nice and cold and it is so refreshing. It really perks you up.

In Toronto we take water for granted. Lake Ontario is part of the greatest fresh water systems on Earth. The peoples of our First Nations called the Great Lakes the Sweet Water Seas.

Hopefully we are pained by the news reports of thousands of men, women and children from different countries displaced by ravaging droughts destroying their food supplies and their herds of goats and sheep. We see them in the thousands pouring into refugee centers in order to survive.

Today’s gospel tells us of the story of the woman at a well and her encounter with Jesus. In the towns of that time there were two important places: the market place and the community well. The men got together in the market place and gossiped about town politics. The woman went to the common well twice a day and gossiped about their husbands. The well was far more important than the market place. A dry well meant no water, no water meant no town.

In their conversation Jesus, who was at the mercy of this woman because, as she tells him the well is deep and he has no bucket. Jesus confuses her by telling what she already knows, ‘whoever drinks of this water will be thirsty again.’ Jesus promises her water that will quench her thirst forever. Jesus promises water that gushes up to eternal life, a water that does away thirst forever. Sir give me this water.

Hopefully we all thirst for a deeper relationship with God. Our relationship, our bonding with God begins with water, the water of baptism. Blessed with this water we come to life with God and begin the life long process of growing in the likeness of Christ, God’s Son, so that God can look at each one of us and say, ‘this is my beloved son, my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.’ That’s why we might pray every day the prayer of the woman at the well, ‘sir give me this water’ so I may grow into a deeper relationship with God as God shares His life with me. That’s why we pray, give us this day our daily bread, Christ our bread of life who strengthens and nourishes our relationship, our bonding with God.

Hopefully we all have a thirst for God and for God’s refreshing life and love for us. But do we ever think about God’s thirst for us? Do we ever give a thought about God’s eternal thirst for our faith, our trust, our love? God’s thirst for us is the central mystery of our relationship with God. Christ’s call from his cross, ‘I thirst’ expresses in human words God’s eternal thirst for our love in return for God’s for each of us. God loves us with an everlasting love and thirsts for our love in return.

Are we willing to quench God’s thirst, Christ’s thirst for us by living as best we can the way Christ taught us to live by his words and example? Are we willing to quench God’s thirst, Christ’s thirst by a cup of cold water, a cup of kindness to those who have wronged us, a cup of cold water that brings us closer to those we love, a cup of cold water offered to a stranger, a cup of cold water that refreshes those who feel unwanted, unloved, a cup of cold water to the homeless and unemployed, a cup of cold water to a friend living with the hurt and the loneliness of separation and divorce, a cup of cold water to a family member or friend in a nursing or retirement home, a cup of cold water of welcome to the refugees who come to our land?

As one spiritual writer wrote; our thirst for God is insatiable. But that is only half the story. More vast than the furthest reach of our hunger and thirst to be known and loved is the God who longs to be our bread of life, our living water. Are we willing to quench the thirst of God?