That Saints were ordinary people like you and me? The Catechism tells us that a Saint is the “holy one” who leads a life in union with God through the grace of Christ and receives the reward of eternal life. In the classrooms we talk about how the Saints act as “role models” to us, each in their own way. The Saints inspire us, in our own little way, to be the hands, feet, eyes and voice of Christ in the world. Is this easy? Not all the time. It is at these very times that we rely on the graces that we receive in the Sacraments. The Saints were
young and old, from all over the world, and have been recognized by the Church for their service to others. We too are called to serve others, and to share our gifts to continue Christ’s work. I encourage all of us to look up some of the lives of the Saints, and to be inspired by their lives and service to others!
That there is nothing “ordinary” about ordinary time? Bishop Bergie recently pointed out that for some “ordinary” implies a liturgical season that is uneventful or even unimportant. As we know this is far from the truth. The term “ordinary” is an English translation of the Latin word ordinalis which
refers to numbers in a series. Here we find the origins of the English word “order”. So Ordinary Time is really “ordered time” which reminds us that God has ordered all things beginning with bringing order to chaos as found in The Book of Genesis. Let us use this period of time prior to Lent to order our parish life toward God and our Blessed Mother Mary. In this way we will be doing
something “extraordinary” during Ordinary Time.
That the feast of the Baptism of the Lord closes off the Christmas season in the Church? I am in awe at how fast the season has flown by, and also in awe when I ponder the question “Why did Jesus need to be baptized?” When we think of Baptism, usually we think of the Sacrament that washes away sin and begins our new life in Christ. Jesus doesn’t need either, since He is Christ, and He never sinned… yet He chooses to be Baptized anyway. At first it may seem a little odd that He does this, so the Catechism offers some insight: Our Lord voluntarily submitted himself to the baptism of St. John, intended for sinners, in order to “fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus’ gesture is a manifestation of his self-emptying.” (#1224). Jesus’ self-emptying action is a central part of all that He came to do. It’s a humbling action, echoed by many other things Jesus would do to demonstrate self -giving, summed up beautifully in the words of consecration at Mass: “This is my body, given up for you.” We are invited to step through the waters of Baptism and live a life like Jesus lived: a life of self -emptying for the sake of God and others.
As I pause to reflect on the beauty of our Christmas celebrations here at St. Julia there are so many people that I wish to thank: our director of music Dr. David Holler and our wonderful choir for drawing us into the mystery of Christ’s birth through song; to Sophie Timmins, Bolu Fowler, Jennifer Enns Modolo, Brielle Kaminsky who shared with us their vocal gifts; Isabella Goveia
on violin and Oreoluwa Fowler on piano; our decorating team, with special thanks to Rebecca Alfieri and Annette Mastracci for the sharing of their time and talents; Peter and Marianne Van Beurden of Westland Greenhouse for the donation of the gorgeous poinsettias; the Liturgy of the Word with Children
team, with special thanks to Liz Wood and Margaret Ricciuto, and to our children who acted out the Christmas story of Jesus’s birth; our ministers of the Word, ministers of the Eucharist, and ushers; our altar servers and in a special way the new servers who accepted the invitation to serve at the altar; our caretakers Mary McNamee and Jim Salmon for the preparing of our Church for our liturgies; to our office team, Chris Buckley and Cheryl Wood, for their dedication to our parish and for always going above and beyond; the collection counting team, for their time and accuracy; to Deacon George and Deacon Brian, for their commitment to our community and for assisting me. And most importantly, to each of you, the faithful family of St. Julia, for your presence, with your families and friends at our Christmas celebrations, and for the generosity extended to me, a big thank you for the many cards, gifts and goodies, I thank you for your kindness, love, and most importantly prayers. Thank you to all for making my first Christmas here at St. Julia a most
memorable, joyous, and special occasion. It is my honour to serve here as your pastor. May God bless each of you and those that you love, today and always!
That the Epiphany is the feast which celebrates the manifestation to the world of the newborn Christ as Messiah, Son of God, and Saviour of the world? We read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that the feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East,
together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast of Cana in Galilee. As we begin this new year, we (including me) must remind ourselves to slow down, and take the time to adore our Lord and Savior Jesus. This may be in the form of attending our Benediction on Wednesday evenings in our parish, or just taking a moment after mass to offer a prayer of Thanksgiving for the gift of the Eucharist, that spiritual nourishment that helps us get through our days. And so we pray together…oh come let us adore him…each and every day of the year!
From Our Pastor