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Monday 27 April 2020

Consecration of Canada to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary

On May 1, 2020, each bishop in Canada and the United States of America will consecrate their diocese individually to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to seek her protection for all the faithful, from the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Priests, deacons, members of communities of consecrated life, families and individuals, are all encouraged to join their prayers in union with that of their bishop, in this consecration.

In the Archdiocese of Toronto, Cardinal Collins will be praying the Consecration to Mary on May 1 at the end of his 7:30 a.m. livestreamed Mass, before the final blessing. All are invited to join Cardinal Collins in praying the Consecration to Mary at the same time, as they view his livestream, available at: www.stmichaelscathedral.com/live
Alternatively, the prayer may be said at any other time of the day on May 1.

The statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on this matter can be found at: www.cccb.ca – the conference has indicated that the prayer will be posted in the coming days and we will also post this information on the Spiritual Resources tab on our website at: www.archtoronto.org/covid19

Monday 20 April 2020

Divine Mercy Sunday

Our ancestors in the faith did what we still do—devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, meeting to pray and celebrating “the breaking of the bread.”

The Apostles saw the Lord as he stood in their midst and showed them his hands and sides. They heard Jesus’ blessing and received his commission—to extend the Father’s mercy to all peoples through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We walk by faith and not by sight; we believe and love what we have not seen (2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet the invisible realities are made present for us through the teaching and liturgy that the Apostles handed on and the early Church Fathers developed with guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The risen Lord in today’s Gospel is described in a way that evokes the Mass. Both appearances take place on a Sunday. The Lord comes to be with his disciples. They rejoice, listen to His Word, receive the gift of His forgiveness and peace. He offers his wounded body to them as they re-present the one final and complete Sacrifice worshipping Christ the author of our salvation. This is the Divine Mercy of God come to us in the life-giving Body and Blood of our Lord.

Thomas’ confession is a vow of faith in this new covenant sealed by the blood of the Lamb of God. As promised long before, in the blood of Jesus we know the Lord as our God and are known as the people of God (Hosea 2:20–25).

This confession is sung in the heavenly liturgy (Revelation 4:11). At every Mass we renew our covenant and receive the blessings Jesus promised for those who have not seen but have believed.

In the Mass, God’s mercy endures forever, as the Psalmist affirms. This is the day the Lord has made; the victory of Easter is again made present and it is wonderful in our eyes.

Monday 6 April 2020

Cardinal Pell finally receives justice.

Thanks be to God. Cardinal Pell has finally received justice with his exoneration from the preposterous charges of abuse that had been cooked up by a very evil cabal of the Australian press and SJW activists.

Saturday 4 April 2020

Palm Sunday, A.D. 2020 (in time of pandemic)

In the Church’s liturgical year we approach the peak of salvation history. All that has been anticipated and promised is fulfilled through the Passion of the Christ.  

In a stark metaphor, the world today is reaching a peak in the infection models that are depicted everywhere in the media. These grim predictions come even as, collectively, we go through a valley of human dread – "the valley of the shadow of death" as the world confronts the Coronavirus (COVED-19), an evil and unseen menace which threatens millions.  

The Passion of Christ comes to pass in fulfillment of what the prophets had foretold as Jesus, himself, tells us in the Gospel according to Matthew (26:56).  

The work of our redemption is accomplished; the new covenant is written in the blood of Jesus’ whose broken body hangs upon the cross at the place called the Skull, an all too vivid image of human frailty and mortality.

During his Passion, Jesus is “counted among the wicked,” as Isaiah had foretold (Isaiah 53:12). He is revealed definitively as the Suffering Servant. The prophet announced the long-awaited Messiah whose words of obedience and faith ring out in today’s reading from Isaiah: "I was not rebellious, I turned not backward, I gave my back to those who struck me."

The taunts and torments we hear in these readings punctuate the Gospel as Jesus is beaten and mocked (Matt 27:31).  His hands and feet are pierced, even as enemies gamble for his clothes (Matthew 27:35). His enemies dare Jesus to prove his divinity by saving himself from suffering (Matthew 27:39–44).

Jesus remains faithful to the will of God. He does not turn back in his suffering for us and so today is with us in our fear and suffering. Jesus gives himself freely in submission to his torturers, confident as he expresses confidence in the words of the Prophet: “The Lord God is my help. . . . I shall not be put to shame.”

Having fallen into sin and death as children of Adam’s disobedience, we are set free for holiness and life by Christ’s perfect obedience to the will of God even as he faces the starkest of human suffering. (Romans 5:12–14, 17–19)

God greatly exalts Jesus as the conqueror of sin and death and so those baptized into his suffering and death are given the gift of salvation, resurrection and communion with God and his saints.

Following the example of Jesus in humble obedience in the trials and crosses of our lives, we know that we will never be forsaken. We know, as the centurion acclaimed: "truly [Jesus] is the Son of God." (Matthew 27:54)

Isaiah 50:4–7
Psalm 22:8–9, 17–20, 23–24
Philippians 2:6–11
Matthew 26:14–27:66