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September 28 - Job 1: 6-22

for the readings of today's mass, go to  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092820.cfm And you thought you were having a bad day.  If so, then read the story of Job.   The Book of Job begins with with a description of how Job is a righteous and devout man of faith.  But then his circumstances change dramatically, as we hear our first reading.  Satan causes 3 great calamities to happen to Job in a single day, including the death of all his children.  But he refuses to blame God.  Soon after, Satan causes all kinds of boils to appear on Job's body (2:7), causing intense physical suffering.  But again Job refuses to curse or blame God. Three of his friends, hearing of what has happened to Job, come to console him - but for 7 days they cannot speak, so amazed are they at his intense suffering.  Then from chapters 3 through 27 we hear of a series of speeches between Job and his friends, with his friends urging him to repent for he must have done something wrong, and Job justifying himself.  Finally, God speaks to Job, with words of wisdom and chastisement.  Job repents, and he is restored.  Job's journey of faith throughout this book is fascinating.  This is a good man who suffers immensely.  But through his suffering he comes to understand the glory, the majesty and gets a great insight into the wisdom of God.  Job is not a saint of our church, but he was someone who came to know the Lord, in the most difficult of circumstances, and is someone we can learn from.  As Job so brilliantly says in our first reading today, when we encounter times of great suffering, sometimes all we can do is echo his words: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord".

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 28, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
2heart

Sunday September 27

If you are not comfortable attending Mass in the pews yet, join us via livestream. Below you will find some links to help you keep this Sunday holy and draw close to Jesus.  Link to live stream our 11:30am Sunday Mass: Youtube Please Note: Turn up the volume on your computer and/or on Youtube if you need to. And, if you are watching the Mass later on Sunday, please note the first few minutes will be a welcome screen. If you want to fast forward to the start of the Mass, will need to place your mouse cursor on the line just above the play button, and then move the cursor forward where you will then see the beginning of the Mass.  Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer: (You are invited to pray this prayer at the time of Communion during Mass) My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment 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.

Courtney Strom

Sep 25, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
heart

September 25 - Eccl. 3: 1-11

for the readings of today's mass, go to https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092520.cfm Our first reading is a poignant and thought filled reminder of the reality of our lives - that change happens.  Sometimes the change is thrust upon us, like what has happened in the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and sometimes change happens because of a decision we make on our own or with others.  In any case, these changes can lead to times of happiness and joy, and other times sadness, grief and suffering.   I am reminded of this reality on the many Saturdays of my priesthood in which I have presided at a funeral in the morning, and then a wedding in the afternoon.  In the morning I am ministering to a group of people who are in tears and in mourning. In the afternoon I am ministering to a group of people who are embracing and laughing and smiling.  Two groups of people, with completely different reactions, in the same church, separated only by a few hours. Such is the mystery of life.   No doubt Qoheleth, the teacher of Ecclesiates, is reminding us today that at various points in our life we will experience the different emotions and realities he outlines today.  Yes, there will be times of great mourning - but there will be times of joy.  So we treasure those good times and face up up to those challenging times.  In any case, in all those different times of our lives, God is present.  

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 25, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
1heart

September 24 - Eccl. 1: 2-11

for the readings of today's mass, go to  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092420.cfm Today's first reading is the the opening passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes.  The whole book is composed of the teachings of a Jewish man given the name Qoheleth, "The teacher". And teach, he does.  His main concern seems to be a constant reminder of the passing of the things in life - we may chase after all those things that are supposed to be important, like money or power - but in the end, all things pass.  What is important is the journey of life and the acceptance of life's struggles and limitations, and that all that is good in life finds its source in God.  This particular passage we hear that "nothing is new under the sun"  This line evokes the famous teaching that there is nothing new  in history, just the past repeating itself again and again, while under it's own particular circumstances.  But one thing for sure - God is eternal - and God never changes.  Things come, things go, but God remains the same. And we can always rely on that. 

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 24, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
2heart

September 21 - St. Matthew

for the readings of today's mass, go to https://bible.usccb.org/bible/matthew/9?9 Today the universal church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist. A truly holy man.  At, least for the last half of his life.  Because before that, he was a tax collector who worked for the Roman Empire.  He would have been hated by his fellow Jews.  He worked in Capernaum, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, and his position was one that he would have gained by paying the Romans a determined amount in advance, and then on his own collect the money from the people (with no doubt, a healthy "shipping and handling" charge for his own benefit). Truly, amongst the people, he would have been considered persona non grata. But Matthew didn't care - he had soldiers on his payroll who would protect him, as well as collecting the money from the people.  Life was very, very comfortable - until that day in our gospel that Jesus spotted him.  It was then that this life turned upside down by hearing two simple words, "Follow me".  And he did.  And his life took a dramatic u-turn.  There has been a lot of good speculation over the centuries as to why Matthew did drop everything and followed Jesus.  There is an excellent chance he would have been quite familiar with who Jesus was as well as His teachings.  Maybe there had been some stirring inside going on him.  In any case, when the call came, he answered.  Sometimes I wonder what it is that causes people to suddenly change their lives and hand it over to the Lord.  Often it is because they have hit rock bottom.  But whatever it is, praise God for the fact that the call was heard and a response occurred.  Let us pray then for all those Matthews in our world who are on the edge of answering the call.    Ms

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 21, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
2heart

Sunday Sept. 20 - Homily

for the readings of today's mass, go  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092020.cfm Today's homily is one that I have adapted and abridged from the homily Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, asked to be shared on this Stewardship Sunday with the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Toronto.  For the full text of the Cardinal's homily, go to  https://www.archtoronto.org/stewardship/Documents/sunday-2020/stewardship-en.pdf 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time "A"  Mt. 20: 1-16 How generous are you?  With your time, your talents, your financial resources?  Consider God’s generosity.  It is immense. For example, God does not measure out His mercy to us in little tiny amounts. God also acts with great generosity in the way in which He gives to us the grace in our lives, and the blessings with which we are surrounded.  We see this generosity in today’s Gospel. We hear of a landowner who hires people to work in his vineyard. The first that are hired, early in the morning, are given the proper amount for a day’s work at the end of the day. But the landowner keeps calling others to work throughout the day, and even at the eleventh hour, just before the working day ends, he calls more. Those who are called last have only worked about an hour, but also receive a full day’s wage. It is hard not to sympathize with the people who were hired at the beginning of the day. “What is going on here? Did we not work through the heat of the day? Should not we get more – and yet those who worked only an hour got the same amount as we did?” But the master says, “No, my friend, can I not be generous with that which is mine?” But what we need to do is to look at this not from the perspective of the angry early workers, but from the perspective of the generous master. Yes, his generosity is unexpected.  In many ways it is reflective of what we hear God say to us through the Prophet Isaiah in our in our First Reading today (55:6-9), “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” For only someone incredibly generous, like God, would be so generous to those that only worked an hour.  In many ways it makes me think of how the promise of eternal life is offered even to those who only turn their lives around at the final stages of their lives.  Perhaps that is part of the message. Today’s parable has similarities to the famous Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). When the younger son returns, the loving father warmly welcomes him and throws a party for him. The elder brother, like the early workers in today’s Parable says “No, no, how can you do that? It’s not fair. My younger brother does not deserve it.” Which is true. And the father’s reply? “We need to do this - your brother was lost and now is found.” Again the words, “My thoughts are not your thoughts … my ways and not your ways…” are lived out.  For the Father is very generous.  Let’s consider and reflect upon some aspects of the mystery of God’s generosity. First, we are the receivers of His generosity. God owes us nothing, and yet God gives that in abundance, starting with our lives.  He also gives us faith, He gives us grace, He gives us the gift of time as we live our life. He gives us everything – all from the magnificent generosity of God. But we are also called, as His servants, to show to others that same spirit of generosity in the way we share the gifts that we have received. We are not the Master. If we were the Master we would not be as generous as the Master in today’s Gospel. No, we are servants, but not just servants, but also stewards. A steward is a servant who has been entrusted with the gifts received from the Master.  And we are called to use them well, to use them fruitfully, as in the Parable of the Talents (Mt. 25:14-30).  Recall in that parable the Master hands out various talents to 3 servants. Two use them fruitfully, with generosity and creativity. But one buries it in the ground. What a waste.  Unlike that one, we are called to be stewards of the gifts of God. Those gifts are entrusted to us by our generous Master and He calls us to use them well, like the other 2 in the parable. Generously and creatively. Cardinal Collins invites us to think about this especially this weekend which in our Archdiocese is called Stewardship Sunday. It is a time when we are called to reflect upon what is to be a disciple of Jesus –  a grateful steward of the many gifts that each one of us has received from the Lord. Yes, those gifts and talents will vary from person to person – but all of us have been blessed – and all of us are called to recognize them and share them. As we do so, here are a few things the Cardinal invites us to consider.  First, stewardship is an attitude - a profound attitude of gratitude for all the gifts we have received from God, and then a commitment in gratitude to nurture and share those gifts in thanksgiving to God and the benefit of others. Secondly, as a parish community, we need to ask: what are the different gifts that we can see in parishioners around us? If we all begin to fruitfully use these gifts, not burying them in the ground or forgetting them or not recognizing them, but nurturing and sharing them, then our whole community will flourish and grow.  All around us people will say “Look at that parish, so filled with people sharing the gifts of God”! Thirdly, we need to remember that one day we will be held accountable for what God has given us.  Going back to the Parable of the Talents, when the master returns, he asks the servants, what have you done with the gifts I entrusted to you? Likewise, there will come a time at the end of our life when we will be asked by God: how did make use of the various gifts I gave you? What did you do with the gift of your life – all that time you had on earth?  What did you do with the many talents that I shared with you – did you recognize them, nurture and share them? And what did you do with the gift of your treasure?  Did you horde it or did you share it generously?  All of this was given to you to be shared for the glory of God and the benefit of others. To those questions, a true Christian will be able to look the Lord in the eye and give answers that will please Him.  May the Lord bless us all in this sacred mission: to be faithful, creative stewards of the many gifts that we have received from our good and gracious God.

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 20, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
1heart

Sunday September 20

If you are not comfortable attending Mass in the pews yet, join us via livestream. Below you will find some links to help you keep this Sunday holy and draw close to Jesus.  Link to live stream our 11:30am Sunday Mass: Youtube Please Note: Turn up the volume on your computer and/or on Youtube if you need to. And, if you are watching the Mass later on Sunday, please note the first few minutes will be a welcome screen. If you want to fast forward to the start of the Mass, will need to place your mouse cursor on the line just above the play button, and then move the cursor forward where you will then see the beginning of the Mass.  Act of Spiritual Communion Prayer: (You are invited to pray this prayer at the time of Communion during Mass) My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment 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.

Courtney Strom

Sep 18, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
1heart

September 18 - Lk. 8: 1-3

for today's readings, go to  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091820.cfm This very short passage contains some very important information.  First, Jesus had quite a group of people supporting his mission.  Secondly, while the 12 apostles were a big part, in this passage, Luke outlines something that must have been quite a surprise to the people of his time - that women played a very large role in Jesus' work.  We hear of Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Susanna, and many others. Thirdly, some of the women needed healing from Jesus - this is another indication that those Jesus chose were not ordinary people with strengths and weaknesses.  The inclusion of women in Jesus' followers would have been a surprise and viewed by many as a scandal - for the work of any religious group in Judaism at that time would have been strictly considered as "Man's work" - this was not something for women to be part of.  Not only that, but women were also financially supporting Jesus and the 12. How Jesus was providing for a new model of leadership in faith communities! 2000 years later, while many things have changed, but some things have remained the same - for example, the fact that women are still generously giving their time, talents and treasures in supporting, sustaining and providing leadership for the work of the church - perhaps now even more than ever.  I thank almighty God for the countless women, lay and religious, who I have encountered in the life of the Church and our parishes, and I bless them for all that they have done and continue to so devotedly and graciously do.  And I also trust that God will not forget the countless good things they have done.  

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 18, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
2heart

September 17 - Lk. 7: 36-50

for the readings of today's mass, go to https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091720.cfm Today's gospel speaks of a woman who anoints Jesus' feet after bathing them with her tears and drying them with her hair.  But there is something about this story that St. Luke does not speak about is so glaring to me.  And that is all she had  to do to get in there.   First, no woman would be invited to such a dinner.  But she manages to get in - whether she barged in or snuck in or coerced her way in - we don't know.  And then she climbs behind him and gets to work - no doubt there were more than a few who watched with their mouths wide open - all the while the host looks on in contempt.  And then, we hear what Jesus has to say - including her need for forgiveness and that forgiveness being granted.  A few questions for us to consider - how aware are we of our need for forgiveness from our God - and how far are we willing to go to get it?  That woman went to all kinds of lengths to do so - and she got that forgiveness.  Truly, is a model of faith for all of us to consider.  

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 17, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
1heart

September 16 - Psalm 33

for the readings of today's mass, go to  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091620.cfm Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be His own.  I have many memories of this response to Psalm 33 being sung over the years.  The setting and the words of the response seems to be permanently glued in my memory, with its rather bouncy and somewhat corny melody.  Which brings up a thought - are there certain verses or phrases of the Bible permanently glued in your memory?  I do hope so.  For the Bible truly is the living Word of God, active and inspirational and educational and food for the soul, the heart, and of course, for our faith.   I find those verses or phrases that are glued in my memory are touchstones for me in times of struggle.  But when I really think about it, these phrases are touchstones for all the circumstances of my life - not just the difficult moments - but the joyful moments, the ordinary moments - all moments.    So, again, what are those phrases or verses of the Bible that are permanently glued in your memory?  Today, recall them, pray them, and cherish them.  

Fr. Michael Machacek

Sep 16, 2020 • Nativity of Our Lord
1heart