Archive for the ‘Homily’ Category

Bulletin – January 3, 2021

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

The Wise Still Seek Him

The Epiphany of Christ is a shining light set at the turning of the year to illuminate all that has gone before and to guide us through the year ahead

FROM THE DESK OF FR. BRANDO

THANK YOU!

With this Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, we close our celebration of Christmas, 2020 and we look forward to a better, healthy New Year.

Sincere thanks to all parishioners who continued to support the parish even though they could not attend Mass at this time. Your generosity was overwhelming. Thank you also to everyone who supported our various outreach programs.

You are truly wonderful people!

ANNOUNCED MASSES

January 4th to January 10th, 2021

MONDAY – CARL LEFEBOUR – Requested by Yvonne Lefebour
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY – MINERVA ELIZON – Requested by Maria Bloom
FRIDAY – WAH LEE – Requested by Calvin Li
SATURDAY – LISA CALLAHAN – Requested by Patti & Pat Callahan
SUNDAY – 10:30 AM –
SUNDAY – 12:30 PM –

MINISTRY FOR MATURING ADULTS

Stay tuned….

We are excited to announce several programs that parish Ministry with Maturing Adults Committee will be starting in the next two months. All sessions will be offered virtually. Please watch this space for further information.

  • Writing Circle – for those who attend the Life Story Programme members that was offered in January and February 2020. We will meet once a month and will run for the next several months.
  • Ways to Pray – For those who might be interested in deepening their prayer life via different ways or methods praying such as Lectio Divina; Centering Prayer, Taize Prayer, praying with mandalas, Divine Office, Mission Rosary, etc.
  • Scripture Programme – For those interested in deepening their understanding and praying with the Sacred Scriptures. This will run once a month
  • Technology – learn how to connect with others virtually and via social networking apps safely and with ease.
  • Milk Bag weaving – Learn how to weave milk bags into mats via virtual workshop or training session which will be conducted by Sharon Gusz and other members of the MMA Team.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

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

With so many out of work and struggling at this time, your food donations are more important than ever. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Please no fresh or frozen foods. Thank you for your generous support!

NEW BEGINNINGS PRESENTS

Online Bereavement Introductory Program
Wednesday January 13th, 2021 at 7:00 PM

Online Separated/Divorced Introductory Program
Thursday January 14th, 2021 at 7:00 PM

There is no charge for these programs.

People from all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds are welcome.

For more information about these programs and to register please contact: Arcangelo Limanni, MRE (416) 921-1163 ext. 2225 alimanni@cfstoronto.com

VIRTUAL PRAYER SERVICE TO CELEBRATE THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

Sunday, January 24th, 2021 at 4:00 PM

The Annual Week of Prayer Service will be held virtually on Sunday January 24th, 2021 at 4.00 PM. The link on Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/agincourtcommunitychurch

Join His Eminence Cardinal Thomas Collins, the Sisters of Life and wide representation of Christian leaders to pray for the restoration of full visible unity willed by Jesus for the Church. Our host this year is the Salvation Army. The homilist is David Wells (General Superintendent of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada).

OFFERTORY ENVELOPES

Offertory envelopes for 2021 are available at the parish Office. If you would like to pick yours up, please call before coming so that we will have them ready for you.

REMEMBERING THE PARISH IN YOUR WILL

Your parish has been there for you and your family during the most important moments of your lives. Help you’re your Catholic community active and alive for years to come.

Please consider your parish in your will or through a planned gift. A bequest is a beautiful way to express your faith and gratitude for a lifetime of blessings – a lasting legacy of love that will help the Church continue with its many ministries.

For more details, please call the Parish Office at 416-221-8866 or contact Peter Okonski, Manager of Planned Giving and Personal Gifts at 416 934 3400 Ext. 519 or by email at development@archtoronto.org.

All calls are confidential.

Homily – December 6, 2020

Saturday, December 5th, 2020

Isaiah was active in his role of prophet about 550 years before the birth of Christ. The 70 years of exile of the Jews to Babylon were coming to a close. The Persian Empire was on the rise.

The Jewish people were struggling to re-establish themselves in their own land. Isaiah pleads with God, comfort oh comfort your people oh Lord, speak tenderly to Jerusalem.

We’re in the midst of our second lockdown and have no idea when it will end. There are neither Masses nor funerals. We have no idea if Christmas will be like Holy Week – no celebrations allowed. The needy families we’ve helped through the years with our food drive and toy drive will go without this Christmas.

As a parish family we join Isaiah as he pleads, comfort oh comfort your people o Lord, and speak tenderly to them.

How many people do we know who need to hear words of comfort, words of support and words on encouragement, but especially comfort? The first people who come to my mind are the nurses and doctors and hospital staff who are worn out caring for the victims of Covid 19 and see irresponsible people partying and refusing to wear face masks. Can you imagine their frustration?

Comfort oh comforts your people O Lord, especially those patients in hospitals, who are not allowed visitors, good people whose days and nights are long and lonely.

Comfort oh comfort your people Lord, especially the men and women in retirement homes who are deprived of any social life and family visits. Comfort O comfort your people O lord, especially men and women who through no fault of their own are laid off because the places where they work are closed down,

Comfort O comfort your people O Lord especially those who own a small business and are forced to shut down and face financial loss.

Imagine if you were in any of these circumstances. Maybe some of you are. Wouldn’t your spirits be lifted up and brightened if you got a call from a friend and heard encouraging and understanding words, letting you know you they are thinking and praying for you, you are not alone.

Comfort O comfort your people O lord, especially those struggling with discouragement or depression. Lift their spirits.

Comfort O comfort your people O Lord through each one of us as we write that e mail or make that phone call or write that note or set up that zoom and speak words of comfort in your name.

Homily – November 29, 2020

Saturday, November 28th, 2020

The Jewish people waited for centuries for their promised Messiah, their savior who would restore the Jewish nation to its past glory and Jerusalem would become the centre of the religious life of all nations. At times the prophets could use impressive descriptions of this longed for event. Isaiah pleas that God would tear opens the heavens and come down, the mountains would quake at such an event.

The promised Messiah would be a liberator. The Maccabee brothers have freed the Jews from the Greek occupation but then the Jewish political leaders made a pact with the Romans, trading their independence for Roman’s protection, a protection that became very oppressive. Again the notion that the Messiah would a liberator, a deliverer from oppression became part of the people’s imagination. The people had great expectations of their Messiah.

When Jesus came He was born in poverty in Bethlehem, raised in a little unknown town of Nazareth, trained as a carpenter, a no body. He died a disgraceful death as a common criminal. Death by crucifixion.

Those who followed Jesus and stayed faithful to him believed Jesus to be the Messiah, not the one who would deliver them from the oppression of a foreign power but the one who delivered them from sin and their estrangement from God. Jesus made our peace with God thru his blood on the cross.

The first followers of Jesus eagerly awaited the fulfillment of his promise, ’I shall return to take you with me so that where I am you may be too. We are still waiting. Maybe we expect him to come to us in a moment of prayer or in the practice of a favorite devotion. We look for him as he tears opens the heavens and come into our life blessing us with an intense awareness of his presence. Don’t hold your breathe.

Jesus, our savior, our messiah intrudes into our lives in every person who comes into our lives; the home-bound who long for a phone call. Jesus is that person who wants us to listen as they tell us about their aches and pains, or the person that wants to share with us their personal secret pains. Jesus is that man or woman who makes us face our bigotry or innate racism. Jesus is that homeless person, the street person, the man or woman looking for an ‘out of the cold’ place to spend the night.

All these men and women can be our Messiahs, our liberators, sent to free us from our mindsets of exclusion, bigotry, racism, homophobia, mindsets that hold us back from seeing the good, the bravery, the generosity of other people. They can liberate us to be true followers of our Messiah who liberated each of us and brought us into the family of the church.

Homily – November 22, 2020

Saturday, November 21st, 2020

Today we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. I can’t remember the number of people who’ve asked me if I’m watching The Royals on Netflix. Of all the series it’s supposed to be the best yet.

In today’s gospel our king was hungry, thirsty, naked, a stranger, a prisoner and ill treated. No crown except thorns, no royal robes but naked, no throne but a cross, no jewels but the gaping wounds in his hands and feet and side.

Who are this king’s loyal subjects? Ordinary men and women like ourselves who give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, who welcomed strangers and clothe the naked, who comforted the ill and visited prisoners.

Our king’s kingdom is not of this world, it is not a threat or challenge to the Caesars of our time. His kingdom is “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.” Those who respect truth and life, who live in holiness and grace, and who work to bring justice, love and peace, will “inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the creation of the world.”

When we think of the essentials of the Christian faith we generally associate these with belief in a certain creed, acceptance of various dogmas, adherence to a certain moral code, especially as it pertains to private morality,

Jesus, our king, would add something else. For him, a criterion, in fact the criterion, in the practice of our Christian faith is the exercise of the corporal works of mercy.

Feed the hungry? Give drink to the thirsty. Clothe the naked., be there for the sick, the person in prison, welcomed the stranger to your neighbourhood And remember, faith without good works is dead. Are you getting tired of or numbed by the daily reporting of the victims of Corid 19 or the daily reports of the soap opera south of the border? But these are the realities of our lives. We can’t ignore them. They won’t go away.

The same can be true of the reality of the plight of world’s hungry or the desperation of the world’s countless refugees, the exploitation of the working poor or our avoidance of and our denial of climate change. We can get angry or we get numb. We can ask, what can I do about all this and throw up our hands.

The answer is ‘we be mindful’ of these harsh facts that wound the body of our crucified King and make a mockery of his love for the world.

Pope Francis urges us to avoid the anesthetizing allure of indifference and none involvement. We can’t look the other way, we can’t walk away. When all is said and done it comes down to this – whatever you did to these, the least of mine, you do to me.

An Argentinian folk musician who sang during the time of Argentine’s dirty war put it this way – all I ask of God is that I not be indifferent to sorrow – that death not find me empty and alone without having done enough.

Whatever we do or don’t do is what matters.

Homily – November 15, 2020

Sunday, November 15th, 2020

In a way we can hear today’s parable as a ‘give an accounting of your self. What have you done with the gifts God gave you?

Let’s start with ourselves as members of the human species.

Think on these things;

God our master has left us with the earth, not to do with it what we want but to care for it even as we live off of its abundant riches.

God created the land to support living things: What will happen when God returns to find so much land strip-mined, strip-cleared, eroded, and burdened with toxic waste?

God created the waters to support all living things: What will happen when God returns to find the oceans and rivers polluted with our garbage and chemical by-products?

God created the air to support all living things: What will happen when God returns to find polluting smog and holes in the ozone?

God created plants and animals to live on this wonderful earth and revel in its beauty: What will happen when God returns to find so many of them driven to extinction by our destructive practices?

What answer can we give? What excuses can we make?

Another thing to think about…God graced us with the gift of our Christian faith. St. Paul urges us to grow to grow in our faith to a full maturity in Christ

Years ago Pope John 23rd challenged us with these word’ we are not on earth to guard a museum but to cultivate a flourishing garden of life. This challenge is still vital. At a moment when many good people are preoccupied with keeping the deposit of our faith secure, faithful to the past, this is the way we always thought, Pope John called us to a new venture of openness and dialog with the world in which we live. To use Pope John’s own image, ‘open the windows and let in the fresh air.

In Pope Francis choice of Bishops and Cardinals he’s moved beyond the old practice of choosing places like Paris or Milan, London or New York. He’s gone to the frontiers, choosing bishops who have the smell of their sheep. Pope Francis chooses pastors over administrators.

The Pope promotes, what he call a culture of encounter, he talks with and listens respectfully to people who think differently from himself, so he’s upset many people with his opinions of the LGBTO community and his thoughts on civil unions.

A Jesuit author wrote an article about 80 year old Bob Dylan’s recent album , Rough and Roudy Ways. This Jesuit sees Dylan as a deeply spiritual person whose musical message encourages us to ‘stop spending our efforts on earning God’s, bur to spend our efforts on receiving God’s love.

Something to think about…am I trying to earn God’s love or am I willing to accept God’s love? A love we celebrate right here, right now – this is my body given for you, this is my blood poured out for you – receive!