Weekly Thoughts

Dearly Beloved,Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!May 28 – Seventh Sunday after Easter, The Feast of PentecostEpistle Readings: Acts 2:1-11, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13Acts 2.1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Par′thians and Medes and E′lamites and residents of Mesopota′mia, Judea and Cappado′cia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phryg′ia and Pamphyl′ia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyre′ne, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”Holy Gospel: St John 16:5-1516.5 But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince[a] the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.12 “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. Reflections:St Luke the Evangelist wrote the book of Acts in continuation of the Gospel authored by him. In the Gospel, St Luke narrated the life of the Lord from His birth until His ascension. In the book of Acts, he begins with a briefing about the situation of the apostolic community after the ascension of the Lord. They awaited the arrival of the Holy Spirit fully trusting the message that Christ had shared before his parting. He was eager for their upcoming ‘baptism’ in the Holy Spirit. It would happen on the day of the Pentecost. He assured them about the immense power they would receive, through which they would witness Him till the ends of the world. This assurance of a waiting with purpose, of an exit with an expected return in another form made His physical parting from them less painful.After Christ’s ascension, the disciples returned to their accommodation knowing that they had to have a spiritual desire instead of an emotional despair. They must have lived in a dormitory on the upper floor, called the upper room, seems like an attic. Somebody was kind enough to allot them a space in their house where the eleven apostles and Mother Mary found their dwelling. It is likely that Jesus also stayed here occasionally before His crucifixion…that space was witness to their discussions, their waiting, their dining, and it seemed like a place where they could come to rest when in dilemma. Christ the king without a mansion had his heart set on a mission with no time to lose.Luke gives the count of 120 including women who had come together with a quiet resolve. Like a tiny church, they gathered to be together in prayer. How they managed their food and daily expense, we might wonder! All we know is that they were all together in prayer. In a patriarchal community, the freedom and dignity enjoyed by women is surprising. Such togetherness was a favourable ground for the Spirit of the Lord to come. It was from their exemplary coexistence that the early church after Pentecost managed to live a life of sharing of resources and belongings. For them it was only an extension of the existing fellowship and sharing in the upper room. Harmonious coexistence is a prerequisite for the Holy Spirit to be active.On the feast day of Pentecost, they were all together in a room. The concept of a sacred space and singlemindedness as a community is so important for the invocation of Holy Spirit. The place had a moving presence of God’s Spirit. It was akin to the days of Creation, when in the calm, in the quiet, when the creation is in sync with the Creator, in that space of connectedness with the triune God, the Spirit can freely hover and loves to reside. There is power in His meek presence. He came with the rush of a swirling wind but descended on them as tongues of fire, giving each – only what was required, only what they could contain, lest they found His power so overwhelming.The shared experience of the Spirit of God is what we should expect during our Lord’s Day gatherings. It should give a deep profuse feeling of the presence of the Divine in our local space. As the early church had experienced, we should also have the gift of language which brings and keeps us together rather than dividing and scattering though our difference of interests and purposes. The same Spirit of God is here for us to rekindle our inner being and to reinitiate us into the service of God. He will give us the strength and power to do whatever we wish to do. All He needs – is for us to ask and to yield.The gifts of Spirit include the power of forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, transformation, and an uprising from deadly situations. Amidst experiences of decay, darkness, disappointment and dread, with the Holy Spirit, we can find hope and a glorious resurrection. As the Holy Scripture has promised, we will fly high like an eagle to the free sky of God’s love. Even as abandoned stones, we can become the cornerstones in the world. Are we vulnerable enough to express our hunger and desire for the power of His Spirit? FEASTS AND REMEMBRANCES:May 26, HH Baselios Marthoma Didimus I, Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan, 9th anniversary, entombed at Mount Tabore Dayara, Pathanapuram CONDOLENCE:

With profound sadness, we share the grief and loss of the passing away of Annamma Mathew, 93 years, beloved mother of Mathew Planthara, mother-in-law of Gracy Mathew and grandmother of Leslin Mathew, (Dir Ref: M 07) on Monday May 22, 2023                                                                                                                                                     The funeral service shall be conducted at St Thomas Orthodox Church, Pavukkara, Mannar. The date and timing shall be updated soon. Mathew, Gracy and Leslin have managed to travel to India. Our parish community sends deepest condolence to Mathew and family as we pray for the departed soul. May the Lord comfort and strengthen everyone. We remain in the hope of resurrection and in the new life to come.


  1. Feast of Pentecost: Sunday, May 28, Holy Liturgy with prayer at 08:30am, expect an earlier start please.

The days of waiting (Kaathiruppu) concluded on 27 May. We shall gather in unity for the Holy Liturgy to celebrate the feast, to invoke and receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Please come prepared to enjoy His presence. The morning prayer may start a few minutes earlier. 

  1. CCC Annual Governing Board Meeting in Quebec City – Wednesday 24 May – Friday 26 May.

The Council of Churches in Canada had its Annual Governing Board 2023 held in Quebec City at Le Monastere des Augustines from Wednesday May 24 to Friday May 26. About 50 churches were represented. The meeting had various sessions for discussion and analysis of administrative concerns, challenges of indigenous communities, problems with secularisation and religious pluralism and life and faith of various church communities in Canada. There was a session with the government authorities who gave a briefing on currently relevant policies. Interfaith Dialogue: A visit to Islamic Cultural centre was a unique experience. This was the mosque, where in 2017, six lives were lost through gun-related violence. Overall, the sessions were fruitful as it was an opportunity for all delegates to share many thoughts and ideas in an open forum. 

  1. Welcome Newborn

Bibin Varghese and Tintu Jacob (B 18) have been blessed with their third child, baby boy Eihan on Sunday May 21, 2023. Both the mother and infant are doing fine. Evon chettan and Eviah chechy are excited to receive a younger brother to love ad play with. Praises to God for this gracious gift. Hearty congrats to blessed parents and siblings. 

  1. Love our neighbor in need. Great Lent Charity

The money we have saved from the Lenten days can be sent to the parish account for charity distribution. It will be used for helping the needy through the parish charity fund. SPIRITUAL ORGANISATIONS’ UPDATES & UPCOMING EVENTS:

  1. OCYM Journal – ‘Urava’- Volume 4, release on Sunday, 28 May 2023

Volume 4 of the Journal ‘Urava’ will be released on coming Sunday on the Feast of Pentecost. We thank all the literary contributors for sending articles and drawings based on the theme and subthemes. The winner of the cover design contest shall be announced.       Theme: 50th DayCover Design Contest: The cover design is being done by MGOCSM members.Subthemes for Organizations:A. Sunday School: a. Fruit of the Holy Spirit b. Gifts of the Holy SpiritB. MGOCSM: a. Empowered by Holy Spirit b. Seven-fold Easter.C. OCYM: a. Nicene Creed Affirmation b. Second BabelD. MMVS: a. To the Ends of the World b. Spirit of Renewal and RevivalE. Gregorian Seniors Forum: a. Healer, Comforter, and Perfector b. Holy MyronF. Choir: a. Harp of the Holy Spirit b. Epiclesis: invocation of the Holy SpiritG. Acolytes: a. Holy Spirit in the Old Testament b. The Spirit and The Bride say, “Come”! 

  1. Sunergoi: MMVS Canada Region- 8th Conference, Saturday June 03, 2023, 09:00 am – 04:30 pm

The 8th Conference of MMVS Canada Region will be held on Saturday, June 03, 2023, at St Mary and St Abraam Coptic Orthodox Church, Ajax, 360 Westney Rd S, Ajax, ON, L1S 6M7.  The theme will be ‘For we are fellow workers of God’s service (1 Corinthians 3:9). HG Dr Thomas Mar Ivanios Metropolitan of South-West America is the Chief Speaker. The flyer has been posted to all our members. We are keen for us all to be there at the event. Please register soon and do not miss time with Ivanios Thirumeni as it will be worth it. Kindly take efforts to go with your families if possible, since Ajax is not far from here. Please liaise with friends and families to coordinate commute arrangements.

  1. MGOCSM Monthly Meeting, Sunday 28 May 2023

MGOCM will have its monthly meeting on 28 May after the Holy Liturgy. All members are invited to attend the meeting. MGOCSM Kanesh 2023MGOCSM Toronto Region Kanesh will be held at the Valley of the Mother of God, Orangeville from August 20th to 22nd. Our youngsters above the age 13 are welcome to join. Please mark the dates in your diary for ensuring our participation. MGOCSM AlumniIn response to the interest of several MGOCSM alumni who have shown willingness to form an active forum, we are generating a list of members who have had any association with MGOCSM in India or elsewhere and are planning meetings and activities for MGOCSM Alumni.  Please let us know if you have previously worked with MGOCSM. You can either send an email to mgocsm.sgoct@gmail.com copying to the vicar at fr.thomaspjohn@gmail.com or send a message/call to (416) 570 5610. Sincere thanks to all for their encouraging responses. 

  1. SGOCT Parish Library and Book Club

Please donate books or kindly make monetary contributions for the parish library and book club. 

  1. Upcoming Meetings/Programs: In-Person and Virtual
  1. Sunday May 28, Feast of Pentecost, MGOCSM monthly meeting after refreshment.


  1. New Parish Directory – Please send updates.

The new parish directory with latest member updates is in progress. We request our members to visit the Directory counter at the basement to update the details. Also arrange to send a recent family photo. The new directory will be released on Sunday July 02, 2023.We need sponsors. Our members who are willing to sponsor, please contact the parish office. Live-streaming LinkPlease see below the link for Sunday Holy Liturgy Live Streaming       https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDT7tcyQw1yZ1_yCG9AWStA Holy Liturgical Text for this SundayWe will be using the English Taksa of St Dionysius Bar Sleebi this Sunday.May the Gracious Lord keep us from all harm and heal the entire world. Yours in ChristThomas John AchenEmail ID: fr.thomaspjohn@gmail.comMobile: (416) 570 5610