Weekend Mail

Dearly Beloved,
 
Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
 
July 21, 9th Sunday after the Feast of Pentecost
 
Epistle Readings: Acts 28:11-22, 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
Holy Evangelion: St Luke 14:7-11
 
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host, and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
 
Reflections: 
The one without beginning or end. The alpha and the omega. The leader of every movement who came ahead of everyone and would remain for ever. For those in front, He was ahead of them. For those behind, He was leading them there too. For the one who has been from eternity until eternity, the passage of positions of first, last or anywhere was necessary for Him to share with people so that they would know their place in a societal setting. Jesus did not really need to give this message to the people because there were other topics of more importance to address. But so attuned He was to the emotions people experienced when they were elevated or eliminated that He must have thought it was necessary to address such situations so that His followers would not be let down anywhere.

Every greatness we experience should be viewed in contrast with Jesus’ greatness and might. Whoever takes the front seat, Jesus placed Himself one seat ahead. The disciples were ordinary humans with all their worries and concerns. Jesus wanted them to be models. They had to view themselves differently and had to behave well. They were meant to serve the kingdom of God and had to keep the standard and quality accordingly.

As the disciples performed miracles they were much sought after and were viewed with high regard – nearly like celebrities. They would have had to look for a safe space to rest and be themselves despite being offered the best place everywhere.

Jesus knew of the possible transformation that fame could bring to the disciples’ lives. In order that they would stay on track with their purpose and mission Jesus wanted them to be treated as everybody else and he wanted them to mingle with everyone equally. Falling prey to temporal
moments of glory was a total distraction for them. If they had looked for comfortable and prime seats, they would also tend to develop a fear about losing privileges and facilities of comfort.

In using their service for the betterment of society, the disciples’ voices of concern and correction were to replace ambitious thoughts of more gains.
To the One who sees our innermost being, we pray… “Lord, give us the vision to see what matters to you so that we may choose ways to honour you.”

FEASTS AND REMEMBRANCES:

  • July 15, Commemoration of Marth Yulity and Mar Kuriakose, Mar Abhai
  • July 20, St Elijah

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

  • July 18-19, KCEF Annual Retreat, virtual
  • July 20, KCEF St Thomas Day Celebration, virtual
  • July 25, St Joseph Elders Forum trip to 1000 Islands
  • August 01-15, Shunoyo Fast – Feast of Assumption
  • August 06, Feast of Transfiguration
  • August 17,18 – Feast of St. Mary
  • August 22-25, MGOCSM Toronto Kanesh at Valley of the Mother of God Retreat Centre

Kanesh 2024: Please find the invitation sent by MGOCSM Toronto
This year’s annual KANESH (2024) will be in the summer from August 22nd to August 25th! We are so excited to have you all at The Valley of the Mother of God retreat center. We are very pleased to welcome His Grace Abraham Mar Stephanos as our main keynote speaker. Follow our social media pages for more information coming soon! We can’t wait to have you all!
 
FOR OUR ATTENTION & TO NOTE:
Children, please occupy front benches during our Liturgical Services
We request our parents to send their children to the front rows as they enter the church for Liturgical services. We have our respected Sunday School teachers taking turns to be with the children during the service. We also request our adult members to leave the front rows free for the children and to occupy row 4 onwards from front.
 
Kindly avoid crowding at the back of the church. A few concerns..

  • Due to safety concerns and for assuring an undistracted worship space, we request all our members to proceed to the front rows except those that are reserved for children when we enter the temple. It would be a bit difficult for our volunteers to suggest moving to the front during the service as it would cause distraction and noise. We need to avoid crowding at the entrance and stair areas as this has raised safety concerns.
  • Please be considerate to our senior members to help them find seats or while they try to access the washroom. A slip or a hit should be avoided in any circumstance.
  • Please be watchful at the shoe rack area which is also the entrance to both washrooms.
  • We request our parents to attend our children not to pull the alarm lever at the back wall.

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 Fellowship Event:
Our parish MGOCSM team is hosting a fellowship event at Wildwood Park, near to our church. Registration forms will be sent out soon. There is a fee of $20 per person. There will be fun water games, sports, and food will be served. Details will be communicated to MGOCSM members.
MGOCSM, Holy Liturgy in English on second Saturdays. Next service will be on Saturday August 10 at 08:30 am.
For those who find it inconvenient to attend worship on Sundays or on other days, MGOCSM will be organising the Holy Liturgy in English on the second Saturday of every month. This is open to all. We would also like this to be a space for our young generation to attend the service with minimum time and to engage in a creative fellowship on weekends. This will not replace the English liturgy on fourth Sundays. The service will begin at 08:30 am and will finish by 09:45 am. Please make use of this opportunity. 
 
MMVS:
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. 
Art Exhibition – Scheduled tentatively for Nov 17th, 2024. All interested in displaying their art skill are requested to start preparing for the same. 
 
IN-PERSON MEETINGS: 
July 21, OCYM monthly meeting after refreshment
 
Holy Liturgical Text for this Sunday
We will be using the Taksa of Mar Julius 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