Weekend Mail

Dearly Beloved,
 
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
 
May 26th, Sunday, after the Feast of Pentecost
 
Epistle Readings: Acts 17:10-15, 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:9
Holy Evangelion: St Luke 7:27-35
17 And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
18 The disciples of John told him of all these things. 19 And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 20 And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” 21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23 And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”
24 When the messengers of John had gone, he began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. 26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is he of whom it is written,
‘Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,
who shall prepare thy way before thee.’
28 I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 (When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John; 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)
31 “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
‘We piped to you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”
 
REFLECTIONS:
God created everything. Though He carefully curated everything that He made and held them all together, nothing could really hold Him. He did not need to be defined by time, space or shape.  Yet, as the infinite eternal one who transcends time and space He allowed himself to be contained within the limits of time and space, to first be contained in a human womb and later within a tomb.
 
Holy Scripture speaks of a God who acts within history. The Lord incarnate disproved many conventional beliefs and practices by being able to be present in different situations and circumstances. While He could have hovered over everywhere or could have chosen to be unseen by people in some situations, when He became incarnate, He chose to reveal Himself while knowing that He was limiting himself to definable dimensions so that He could move among people and they could relate to Him. Until He had arrived, people wondered about the Messiah, but when they came to know him they realized that He lived a life that was quite unconventional for a Messiah’s standards.
 
John and Jesus worked for the same purpose –the Kingdom of God. John was Jesus’ cousin, older to him by only six months. They had connected with each other while in their mothers’ wombs. As they grew up, their ways differed. Before Jesus was seen doing wonderful things and performing many miracles, John was the person who had declared to the world about the Messiah. He was therefore keen to witness and watch Jesus’ approach and acts. But it may not have been easy for him to approve of what Jesus was doing. It was not miracles that John wanted to see as messianic signs. John spent his time preaching about repentance so that people would experience a conversion of minds that would lead to cleansing through baptism. John would have desired for Jesus to be part of his ministry. After all, he had left all luxuries for the Messiah. It was a stumbling block for him to see the Messiah accepting everyone and everything. John couldn’t identify with Jesus’ style of mingling with all kinds of people. John was a strict ascetic whereas Jesus was not that keen with dietary regulations. In the wilderness and among the people John cried, “Repent”. Among the crowd and into their hearts, Jesus uttered “Forgive”.
 
John was filled with the Spirit but he chose not to perform miracles because true to purpose of his mission, He wanted to be the correcting force to transform people’s minds so that they would be ready to accept the Messiah. To his surprise, he could see Jesus walking with sinners, tax collectors, the rich, and those who were not viewed as spiritual. What bothered John was that after declaring Jesus as the Messiah, he couldn’t see Jesus’ ministry progressing as per his expectations. Hence, he had to send disciples to check with Jesus whether He was serious about his mission. He even made them ask whether they had to look for another person. Jesus’ reply to the enquiry summed up his mission for John to understand that he was the Messiah.
 
What did Jesus say about his mission? He wanted John to understand that the miracles He performed were to be viewed as signs of the establishing of the Kingdom. The gospel being revealed to all was the highlight of his message to John. Jesus didn’t want to upset his forerunner who had already witnessed the Messiah after his baptism.
 
In our lives too, people view spirituality and its acts differently. Thus there can be confusion or mysterious exchanges among us causing one to judge the other. It may not be easy to reach a definite conclusion with true conviction. We can then move forward together only by being more accepting, practising humility, being empathetic toward each other while knowing that through inspiration and motivation we can work together for His purpose. This could mean some discomfort and some sacrifice. Every believer’s life could thus be mysterious for suspicious minds. Where human logic ends, there let the Lord’s ways find more meaning in our life. We dare to live that mysterious life hidden to the world and open to faithful minds. May the Holy Spirit guide us in this journey of faith.
 
FEASTS AND REMEMBRANCES:

  • May 20, Commemoration of the 4 Evangelists, All Fathers of the Holy Ecumenical Synod
  • May 24, Golden Friday, Ref: Acts 3:1-10
  • May 26, HH Baselios Marthoma Didymos I Catholicose, 10th anniversary, entombed at Mount Tabore Dayara, Pathanapuram

FUTURE IMPORTANT DATES / EVENTS: Please note in your calendar.

  • June 01, Saturday: MMVS Regional Conference at St Thomas Orthodox Church
  • June 08, Saturday: 08:30AM Holy Qurbana (Liturgy) in English
  • June 16-June 30: Fast and Lent of the Holy Apostles
  • June 30, Sunday: Feast of the Apostles
  • June 15 Saturday, 05:30 PM: Choir Nite, at the parish hall. This gathering would be for the parish choir members and their families to join for presenting songs and for enjoying fellowship.
  • June 29, Saturday: MGOCSM Go Karting
  • June 30, Sunday: OCYM Thattukada
  • June 30, Sunday: Release of Urava-Volume 6
  • July 06, Saturday: Church Picnic to Mississauga Valley Park
  • July 14, Sunday: School BBQ Day

MMVS BAKESALE: Kudos to all
We are delighted to announce that we have fetched $ 3600/- from the bake sale. It was everyone’s cooperation and support which made it possible. We thank everyone who brought food and snacks, those who contributed financially, and those who volunteered at the counters. Highly appreciate Mrudula Mary and Elizabeth Abraham, and all MMVS coordinators Anni Varghese, Jitty Chinnikkara Tom, Jaya Soney, Ann Varghese for their hard work and coordination. All the MMVS leaders and members deserve high appreciation. Sincere thanks to the parish Management Committee for all their support and guidance. Grateful to all our members who supported by picking up food boxes and contributing towards this noble cause. Together we can make wonders happen for the best of the whole world. Praises to the Lord for blessing us with His abundant grace in everything we serve.
 
MMVS Secretary would like to thank the following children who supported their moms in cooking and in admin tasks:-
Chris Thomas Vettiyil , Aaron Liju Thakadiyel, Aleena Liju Thakadiyel, Alisha Ann Vargese , Hannah Philips,  Jewel Gijo , Binta Joshua , Catherine James, Rachael James , Johanna Rachel Binu, Ivanna Ann Binu  and, Riya Jeebo Mathews.
 
FOR OUR ATTENTION & TO NOTE:
Hand Waving Machine & Common Absolution Prayer for all communicants
The hand waving machine has been installed at the church entrance for taking count of the communicants. Whoever wishes to take Holy Communion, upon entering the temple, please wave your hand once at the machine. Please be aware that after the Nicene Creed, the machine shall be disabled.
 
SPIRITUAL ORGANISATIONS’ UPDATES & UPCOMING EVENTS:
MGOCSM, Holy Liturgy in English on second Saturdays.
For those who find it not convenient to attend worship on Sundays or on other days, MGOCSM will be organising the Holy Liturgy in English. This will be open for all; however, we expect this to be a reconnecting space for our young generation to attend the service with minimum spending of time and to engage in a creative fellowship on weekends. This will not replace the English liturgy on fourth Sunday. The service will begin at 08:30 am to finish by 09:45 am. Please make use of this opportunity.
 
MMVS:
MMVS 9th Regional Conference:
Date: Saturday, June 01, 2024
Venue: St Thomas Orthodox Church  
Address: 23 Brownlea Avenue   Toronto , ON , M9P 2R5
Time: 8.45 AM to 3.30 PM 
Keynote Speaker: H G Gee Varghese Mar Yulios Metropolitan (Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kunnamkulam)   
Theme:  Power of Resurrection  
MMVS 2nd Annual Regional meet:
Scheduled for Oct 19, 2024. There will be a Talent show in addition to Bible Study. It will be hosted by our parish. 
Talent Show Skit:
Our parish MMVS is planning to do a skit as part of the Talent show. Hence calling in MMVS talented Script writers. Theme will be discussed later. Please reach out to Mrudula Thakadiyel latest by April 20, 2024.
Art Exhibition:
Scheduled tentatively for Nov 17th, 2024. All interested in displaying their artskill are requested start preparing for the same.
 
OCYM:
Urava-Volume 6, Release Date: Jun 30, 2024 / Theme- Pillars of the Church
Based on the Apostles’ lives, the next volume of Urava is scheduled for release on Sunday, June 30, 2024. OCYM invites all to take part in this edition as in previous volumes of the journal. We anticipate two articles per organization. Requesting the secretaries to communicate the below sub-themes to their respective groups. Please post the subthemes associated with your organization only. Sub-themes chosen for each organization are:

  • Sunday School – Apostle Etymology
  • MGOCSM – My favourite apostle (100 words)
  • OCYM – Significance of #12
  • MMVS – Women and apostolic ministry
  • Seniors Forum – Ministry in the current age
  • Choir – Apostles by nature or nurture
  • Acolytes – Sacraments and Ministry

The articles are expected to reflect the theme “Apostles”. Last date of submission will be May 20, 2024. The articles are to be emailed to ocymtoronto@yahoo.com with the subject line ‘URAVA Vol 6 article – Organization name’. There will be a contest for Choir members to design the cover page. OCYM invites drawings for the inner pages which is open to all members.
For any questions or clarifications, kindly contact OCYM Secretary, Liju Thakadiyel: ocymtoronto@yahoo.com or (647-227-4667)
 
IN-PERSON MEETINGS:
Sunday, May 26th, MGOCSM monthly meeting after the refreshment.

LIVE-STREAMING LINK:
Please see below the link for Sunday Holy Liturgy Live Streaming      
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDT7tcyQw1yZ1_yCG9AWStA
 
HOLY LITURGICAL TEXT:
We will be using the English Taksa of St John Chrysostom this Sunday.
 
May the Gracious Lord keep us from all harm and heal the entire world.
 
Yours in Christ
Thomas John Achen
Email ID: fr.thomaspjohn@gmail.com
Mobile: (416) 570 5610