THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER
April 18, 2021
From the Desk of our Rector
Easter is about new beginnings especially after we have found ourselves in moments of fear. We are not unlike the friends and disciples of Jesus after his death. In last week’s Gospel we heard how it was evening on the first day of the week. They were locked behind closed doors, afraid of those in authority. This was in spite of the fact Mary Magdalene brought them astounding news. Peter and John had already rushed to the empty tomb. The word was out that something extraordinary was happening. But fear still had the upper hand in their minds and hearts. It paralyzed them. Then Jesus comes into their darkness and says, “Peace be with you.”
It can be an interesting fact for us that it is mentioned several times that all this happened “on the first day of the week.” I’ll get back to this at the end. A lot has gone on. Like our time of pandemic, it was a stressful and disappointing time. There were moments of apparent failure.
However, at the resurrection, it is as if God hits the reset button. It is the first day of a new creation. Life is born from death and restored to where it should be - peace with God, and peace with all creation. On this new day creation wakes up to a fresh beginning – not unlike forgiveness, mercy and healing. We are always looking for a clean slate and a chance to start over for ourselves and for the people who are dear to us.
How often do we think of Jesus walking into the locked doors and hidden places of your life and mine and breathing new life into us? On that resurrection first day of the week, God gave us a new start and will always continue to do that. This is what we celebrate each Sunday when we attend Mass.
At Mass we encounter the living, resurrected Jesus – through our hearing the Word of God proclaimed and receiving the resurrected Jesus in Communion. We are privileged to touch and be touched by the risen Jesus. Refreshed, we can always start again.
And so, every time we come to Mass this should be an opportunity for us to be given and to accept a greater sense of God‘s mercy working in and through our lives. We have a desire to enter into God‘s love and compassion for the whole world. The incredible gift of a new beginning is not just to be acknowledged but to be lived, celebrated and shared with others. You can always recognize a community or a parish that is growing and maturing. It has the sensitivity for listening to, seeking and remembering its roots. Action and committed service follow.
So once again we have the opportunity to respect and make holy the first day of the week by living every Sunday not so much as the end of the week and an afterthought, but as the starting point once more of my day-to-day-life throughout the week. On Sunday I’m nourished to move through the rest of the week as I should and can. We hear it and other people need to hear it through us – the greeting of peace and welcome of Jesus saying, “Peace be with you.” It is a new day and a fresh beginning. What does a new beginning look like for you?
Fr. Jim Mockler
Peace Be With You
“Our gospel today begins after the two friends of Jesus had met him on the road to Emmaus; ‘the disciples told their story of what had happened to them on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of the bread.’
Having met Jesus they went back to Jerusalem bursting with the good news that he was alive. While they are talking, Jesus appears and repeats the words he used twice in last Sunday’s gospel; ‘Peace be with you.’ Despite Jesus already having appeared to them, they were in state of alarm and fright, thinking they were seeing a ghost.’ Jesus speaks very directly to them; ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts?’ To calm these doubts Jesus invites them to touch him to prove that he is not a ghost. He goes further and shows them the wounds in his hands and feet. While their joy was so great, they could not believe it, and they stood (there) dumbfounded. It is obvious from this that Thomas was not the only one who doubted that Jesus had in fact risen from the dead!
We can only imagine the confusion of the disciples. They had spent three years accompanying Jesus as he preached and healed. They had eaten and prayed with him. They were his closest friends. They were with him when he was betrayed. They knew Peter denied knowing him. They saw him being arrested, condemned and crucified. They knew he had died on the cross and had been buried. Now, here he is standing amongst them, talking to them and showing them the wounds he suffered while being crucified. It is any wonder that they are agitated, frightened, dumbfounded and think that that are seeing a ghost! We can almost feel their fear, confusion and doubt. Their reaction is very human and normal.
It is worth noting that while Jesus asks them why they are agitated, he doesn’t condemn, dismiss or criticising them for their response and reaction to his appearance. He not only accepts them as they are, he also reassures and encourages them with his peace and his presence. As we have heard countless times over the last twelve months, because of Covid 19, this has been and sadly continues to be an unprecedented time for all of us. Our ‘normal’ way of life was abruptly halted; we had to wear masks and maintain social distance if and when we went shopping. People lost their jobs, kitchens became class rooms and many are still suffering because of chronic illness and the painful reality of bereavement. This has been a very difficult year for us. Let us not be too hard on ourselves if we too, like the disciples in the gospel, are also agitated and experience doubts in our hearts and daily lives.
As Jesus stood with his disciples in their anxiety and confusion, Jesus too stands with each of us today. He encourages and strengthens us now with the same look of love and words of support as he says, ‘Peace be with you.’ Jesus appeared to his disciples when they needed him the most; he didn’t abandon or desert them. Now more than ever during this season of Easter, we too are asked to believe that the risen Lord is with us; Jesus has not abandoned nor deserted us.”
Br Michael Moore OMI, Gospel Reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter, 2021
Seeing God in the Noise and Interruptions of this Pandemic Year
“St. Ignatius paved the way for us to adapt how we fit prayer into our busy lives, but also, perhaps even more importantly, to recognize that wherever we are and whatever we encounter in our daily lives, God is already there.
During the second movement of the Exercises, we focus our contemplative lens on events in the life of Jesus, starting with the Nativity. As I entered into a guided meditation on that sacred scene with my spiritual director, I was struck by something I had never noticed before: the noise of the nativity. I heard the hustle and bustle of a city overflowing with people registering for the census — shouts and footfalls, the ancient version of a perpetual traffic jam. In the stable I heard the donkeys’ braying, mingled with the occasional moo of a cow or bleat of a sheep. For the first time I registered the interruption of the joyful shepherds and the Magi, strangers to Mary and Joseph, but vital players in this holy event.
We are accustomed to thinking of the nativity as serene and silent, as the beloved carol goes, but the noise and interruptions have much to teach us about the movement of God in our own busy lives. When I imagine prayer, I think of silence, perhaps a candle burning, or fragrant flowers artfully arranged on an otherwise empty table — a perfectly still scene into which God can enter. But what I have learned in these loud months at home is that God speaks just as clearly in and through the interruptions, the noise and the boisterous clamor of my everyday life as he does in a quiet retreat setting.
The next time your prayer time or daily routine is interrupted, try greeting the intrusion as a magi, a shepherd, an animal noise in the stable — not as something that draws you away from God, but as something that adds to your experience of God. Try thinking of the noise in your life not as a roadblock, but as a doorway, an opening to a new path, a new vantage point, where you can see an aspect of God’s presence in your life that you would otherwise have missed.
Hallelujah for those holy interruptions. Hallelujah for our God of surprises, who grants us the freedom to see the sacred in the everyday.”
Excerpt from How St. Ignatius Can Help Us See God in the Noise and Interruptions of this Pandemic Year, Cameron Bellm (Jesuits.org)
To read the full article, click here.
Celebrating the Easter Season
As we continue our journey in the Easter Season we can once again turn to our friends at Creighton University Online Ministries to assist us with our daily prayer. The Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer is an aid to help each of us listen to the movements of the scriptures for a whole week and to name some desires within us that we can bring to the Lord. This will help let those desires interact with the concrete events of our day.
Click here to access The Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer.
Family Faith Activities
Looking for ideas to help your children learn about their faith in fun and interactive ways? Loyola Press offers many activities, craft ideas, games, and prayers to help you explore faith with your children during the Easter Season and all year long. Click here to access.
Celebrating the Year of St. Joseph
"In these days when we are unsure of what may come next, or where what is happening will lead, or, most importantly, where God is to be found in the tumultuous events we are presently living, we have the example of Saint Joseph and his humble, unfailing trust in the Lord’s goodness, care and compassion for. all his people." Bishop Fabbro, March, 2021
Throughout this Year of St. Joseph we are invited to enter in to more deeply the life of St. Joseph. “With a Father’s Heart” Novena Prayer to St. Joseph invites you into a 9 day journey, using quotations from Pope Francis’s Apostolic Letter Patris Corde for your prayer and reflection. Click here to begin the novena.
Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada
On April 8, 2021 the Catholic Bishops of Canada issued a statement on the Expansion of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada. Click here to read.
Knight’s of Columbus Trivia Night
The Knights’ of Columbus are hosting a Trivia Night on Friday May 7th, at 7:000pm. The event will take place on Zoom (online or by phone). Lots of fun and “door” prizes to be had. More details to follow.
St. Vincent de Paul
During the past month of March, eight teams from your parish's St. Vincent de Paul Society made 72 calls, servicing 94 adults and 10 children by distributing $3490 in grocery gift cards. This was only possible because of your spiritual and financial support. If you can also contribute some time to help in this work, please call 519-434-5235 for further information. We currently are facing an increased number of requests; this month there were 22 people asking for help that we have not previously assisted.
St. Peter's has monthly day parking available in our North parking lot. The cost is $120/month which is substantially below our competitors in the area. Please email or call at or 519-432-3475.
We remember in prayer all those who are sick. We also pray for those who have died; and comfort those who mourn.
We pray for those serving in pastoral ministry throughout our diocese:
Most Rev. Donald Theriault; Catholic Elementary School Teachers; Rev. Leo Walsh, C.S.B.; Rev. Leonard Desjardins; Deacon Leonard Hughes; Rev. David Furlonger, C.Ss.R.;
Rev. David Butler
Requested Mass Intentions
April 21—Wednesday 12 PM
Victoria Villanueva Aratia; Nick Castrilli; Michael Roberts; Wenifreda Cello;
Robert Kenneth Scott Carswell; Amparo Wilkinson
April 24—Saturday 5 PM
For the intentions of the parishioners of St. Peter’s Cathedral
April 25—Sunday 8:30 AM
Kathleen Brunton; Mary Ducharme; Antoliano Torrefranca; Betty Wigfield; George Corbett;
Intns of Fran Dittrich
April 25—Sunday 10:30 AM
Hildiberto Chavez; Monique Van Marwyk; Laurenso Son Tran; Mr & Mrs Dominic Sloot;
Patrocinio Romero; Fr. Stanley McGuire
April 25—Sunday 12:30 PM
Domenico Rondnalli; Nino Abelardo Herrera; Tony Agustine; Velma Bot Alger;
Intns of Lucas Marek & Adam Beaulieu; Intns of Petra & Nick Beaulieu