Weekly Thoughts

Dearly beloved,Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!January 29, Fourth Sunday after the Feast of EpiphanyEpistle Readings: 1 John 4:11-20, 5:10-12, 1 Corinthians 4:6-16Holy Gospel: St Mark 6:1-66 He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense[a] at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.And he went about among the villages teaching. Reflections:Jesus is the embodiment of love and the ambassador of peace. There is no room for violence in him. With compassion and love, He entered the synagogue and marketplace alike without checking their acceptance or refusal. Synagogue was the place where traditionalists gathered. They were led by the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees. The community may have had their commonalities and differences. However, when they gathered, it was the ethos and norms of the leaders that took the common shape of the gathering. Anything that was different from the leaders’ views was looked at with suspicion or indifference. It was in this setup that Jesus’ power of working miracles, His mission of love and healing, and His capability and commitment were being questioned.Jesus’ path of healing was met with a road of hostility. He was keen to bring in Heaven into a world which was rebellious and nonreceptive. The Synagogue and its worshippers found it easier to deal with the law than to dwell in His love. Any attempt to change the order or system that may have been corrupt, even it was meant for the better, was resisted. Change tended to be executed through revolutionary attempts such as riots, violence, wars, etc. with maximum impact. The idea of people who lead such changes is to impact the system even if hurt and hate maybe the byproducts.The Pharisees and Sadducees knew the law by-heart. Jesus wanted them to see beyond the letter. While He made no obvious attempt to transform them, He knew that they were unable to overlook His work. He was keen for a change in their minds and hearts, because the Kingdom of God was meant for all. Their indifference and repulsion never hindered Jesus from attempting works of peace. When they sensed a threat and realized that his popularity would change the society, they decided to silence him. They publicly humiliated him by mocking his family, his parents, and the unbelieving circumstances in which He came to be. They wanted to tarnish his image. Despite their hard-hearted nature, Jesus continued his mission of teaching and healing as He operated through the channel of love. No one was rejected like He was. No one was elevated like Him. History has shown that believing in the Lord can transform lives as in the case of the disciples and even rulers like Emperor Constantine whose salvation transformed an entire country and the world.Our resurrection and our redemption comes from Jesus. In the days following Epiphany, as we enter the days of lents, leaning and learning, let us look to Him – the Lion and the Lamb by whose grace and stripes we are healed and hallowed.  INTERCESSORY PRAYERS & REMEMBRANCE:

  • January 23, Mar Augen the Ascetic
  • January 26, HH Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, 17th anniversary, entombed at Mt Horeb Asram Chapel, Sasthamcotta
  • January 26, HG Paulose Mar Athnasius Metropolitan, 69th anniversary, entombed at Thrikkunnathu Seminary, Alwaye
  • January 29, All the Fathers and Teachers of Faith
  • February 02, Mayaltho, Feast of the First Entry of Infant Jesus to the Temple

CondolenceWe sadly announce the passing away of George Mathew Panicker (76 years), son of Rev Fr Gheevarghese Panicker and Mariyamma Panicker, beloved husband of Mrs. Kunjamma M Panicker (Directory ref: G05), in Toronto, Ontario on 23 January 2023 at 4:30 am. He is survived by children Selvin Panicker and Silvy Panicker. We share the deep sorrow of the family and of all who are connected to him.George Uncle was one of the senior members who contributed a lot to the growth and development of our parish community. He was well-disciplined and kept his faith till his last breath. He loved Christ and Christ loved him too. We thank God for the blessed life he lived and for all the blessings that came to our parish through his involvement. May he find eternal joy and bliss in the Court of the Lord. May the Lord comfort the departed soul.May God grant strength and hope to the family members as they grieve this irreplaceable loss. Please keep the departed soul and family members in prayer.Thanks to all who participated in the prayer offered at the residence on Tuesday 24 January 2023.Address:64 Wilshire Blvd, Woodbridge ON L4L 6X2Friday January 27, 2023Visitation & The 2nd Order of Funeral Service: St Gregorios Orthodox Church of Toronto, 6890 Professional Court, Mississauga, ON, L4V 1X606:00 pm: Visitation06:30 pm: Evening Prayer 07:00 pm: The 2nd Order of Service 07:30 pm: Hymns & Holy Scriptural Readings 07:45 pm: Eulogies 08:30 pm: Benediction Saturday January 28, 2023Visitation & Funeral Service: St Gregorios Orthodox Church of Toronto, 6890 Professional Court, Mississauga, ON, L4V 1X610:00 am: Visitation 10:30 am: The 3rd Order of Service 11:00 am: Hymns & Holy Scriptural Readings 11:15 am: Eulogies by Clergy, Friends and Colleagues 11:45:am: The 4th Order of Service 12:45 pm: Eulogies by Family Members 01:15 pm: Benediction 01:30 pm: Leaving the Church for Interment Interment at Beechwood Cemetery, 7241 Jane St, Concord, ON L4K 1A7 02:30 pm: Incense at the Tomb Burial Site 02:40 pm: Offering of Flowers 02:50 pm: Interment 03:00 pm: BenedictionLivestream link:-Memorial Service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLUf1UtQPmkFuneral Servicehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJJ_c9avEos

For more information please follow this link:  https://mcusercontent.com/4b0245a10b23c3826466d9a97/images/a7811564-702e-f816-3086-d549cda429ab.jpgNineveh Lent (Moonnunompu): Jan 30 – Feb 02

The shortest but the most effective Nineveh Lent will begin on January 30, Monday to conclude on February 02, Wednesday. There will be Holy Liturgy on Wednesday February 01 starting with evening prayer at 06:30 pm followed by the Holy Qurbana. Let us be keen to observe the lent with fasting and prayer. MMVS Canada Region will be conducting a Nineveh Lent virtual vigil from Monday January 30 evening 06:00 pm- Tuesday January 31 evening 06:00 pm. Requesting MMVS members to look for the sign-up sheet to participate.Great Lent (Fifty Days): February 20- April 09‘Valiyanompu’ will begin on February 20, Monday to conclude on April 09. Nompu is about complete submission to God’s Will and the transformation it could bring to our life situations and to our personality. As in previous years, there will be a telecast of the Noon Prayer with 40 prostrations. Members can join online from their homes or workplace. Evening Prayer will be conducted at the church followed by Lenten Devotional Talk by our members. A Google sheet is prepared by OCYM for interested participants to sign up for the talk. We request all our organizations to encourage our members to come forward to sign up. Please plan ahead to switch to a vegetarian diet, Lenten prayer, 40 kneeling down, fasting, minimalism and thinking about how we can reach out to those with various needs. Detailed programs shall be made available soon.January 26, India Republic DayLet us pray for India, the Nation and all the States, Governments and various agencies, the land and its peoples, the environment and culture, for peaceful co-existence and harmony, for the overall progress and development.SPIRITUAL ORGANISATIONS’ UPDATES & UPCOMING EVENTS:

  1. Organizations- New Office Bearers for the year 2023

Gregorian Seniors Forum:Vice President: Ben Varughese Nellithara, General Secretary: George M George, Treasurer: James Vaidhyan. OCYM:Vice President: Binu Koshy, Secretary: Jemy Anna Jose, Joint Secretary: Ansu Thomas, Treasurer: Ritty Pappachen MMVS:Vice President: Susan Benjamin, Secretary: Beena Mathew, Joint Secretary: Mrudula Mary Philip Thakadiyel, Treasurer: Anni Varghese, Joint Treasurer: Siju VargheseArea Reps: Omana John (Scarborough), Jincymol K Philip (Brampton), Tintu Koshy (Mississauga) MGOCSM:Vice President: Eva Mathew, Secretary: Chris Varghese, Treasurer: Lian Gijo, Senior Advisors: Philip Philips & Nikhila ThomasSincere thanks to the former office bearers:Vice President: Sandra Shaji, Secretary: Emil Mathew, Treasurer: Sam Abraham, Committee Members: Linda Cherian, Ann Maria Philip, Eva Mathew. Their hard work and leadership brought more activities, fellowship, and growth to our parish unit. More members joined MGOCSM which increased our strength and unity. God bless them and lead them further in their future endeavors. Parish Choir:Choir Master: Liza Thomas 

  1. MMVS Blood donation drive 2023

MMVS is planning to organize a Blood Donation Drive. A group booking for Blood donation has been arranged at Mississauga Heartland Blood Donation Centre (765 Britannia Rd W, Mississauga) on Saturday, March 4. All spiritual Organizations are invited to join MMVS for this Event during the 2023 Great Lenten Season.Interested donors can select the time slot in the google sheet that has been made available in all Spiritual organizations groups.Please contact the MMVS office bearers for more details. 

  1. OVBS – 2023

OVBS 2023 will be conducted in person during the school spring break from March 15 to March 17, in our church with the concluding program on March 19 Sunday after the Holy Qurbana. Email for the registration has been sent by the Sunday school office, the completed forms to be submitted on or before January 25, 2023. The cut-off date is critical as we will need time to prepare study and song materials for OVBS. There will be an OVBS registration camp this Sunday after Holy Qurbana. Parents can bring the registration fees, complete the form and submit at the registration kiosk. For those who have made the payment, they can complete the registration at this camp. Requesting all parents to register their children to this OVBS. For those of you who have transportation issues, please contact the Sunday school office or the OVBS Co-coordinators Santy Binu Koshy & Blessen Sam. 

  1. Urava OCYM Journal – Volume 3

Volume 3 of the Journal is available on Sundays.  Please grab a copy if not done by now. 

  1. MGOCSM Alumni

In response to the interest of several MGOCSM alumni who have shown a 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

January 29, Sunday, Sunday School after the H Qurbana, 12:00 – 01:00 pm Vicar’s Travel to IndiaThe Vicar has traveled to India on Wednesday January 25th and will return on Friday February 17th, 2023. Rev Fr Liju Varghese shall be offering Holy Liturgy on Sundays and other occasions including Nineveh Lent. To arrange a priest for any local pastoral or sacramental needs, please contact Biju Mathew (Treasurer) on (647) 986 5122 or Gijo Peter (Secretary) on (647) 778 2119. For any pastoral assistance, prayer needs, the vicar is reachable through WhatsApp on (416) 570 5610 or Email: fr.thomaspjohn@gmail.com. Shall be holding you all close in my prayer. May the Lord keep you all safe and peaceful. Please see below the link for Sunday Holy Liturgy Live Streaming        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDT7tcyQw1yZ1_yCG9AWStAHoly Liturgical Text for this SundayWe will be using the Taksa of Mar 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