Easter Message!

Dear brothers & sisters in the Risen Lord,

In the life of Jesus and his ministry women disciples followed him from Galilee to Jerusalem, playing significant roles, emerging as true followers, understanding his ministry as service and thus proving themselves as true Christian ministers and witnesses. A vivid example is Mary Magdalene to whom the risen Jesus appeared first and who became the first witness of his Resurrection. This woman’s story, first as sinner and then a true disciple, tells us the importance accepting Jesus as Messiah, loving him dearly and proclaiming his message credibly to others.

As John narrates in his gospel, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb alone and finds the stone removed and races to tell Peter and John. Confused she tells them that the body is gone. Both the disciples arrive at the tomb. While Peter sees only the burial clothes, the other disciple believes and then they, oddly, return to their homes. What about Mary? She lingers outside the tomb and keeps weeping (a sign of her great love for Jesus). While weeping, she stoops into the tomb and sees two angels who ask her why she is weeping. Hearing what they say, Mary turns around and peers out of the darkness of the tomb into the dawn. She sees Jesus, but doesn’t recognise him (Is it because of tears, of light, of his glorified body that human eyes find hard to comprehend???) and takes him for a gardener. It is then, the Risen One understands her grief and seeks to help her. So he calls her by name, Mariam. She turns and says, Rabbouni. One can imagine the joy she would have felt when that familiar voice called her name. The experience would have been unforgettable and she would have repeated those words when she recounted the story to everyone she met, probably until the day she died. She finally recognised the voice that called her into wholeness when it expelled whatever demons trouble her, the voice that welcomed her into his circle of friends, the voice that told her she was valued in the eyes of God, the voice that answered her questions, the voice that laughed over a meal, the voice that counselled her near the end of his earthly life, the voice that cried out in pain from the cross. Mary knew the voice because it was a voice that had spoken to her in love. Then she recognised who it was. Because sometimes seeing is not believing. Loving is.

As soon as she recognises that it is Jesus, she wants to hold on to him. But the Risen Lord reminds her of the more urgent task that needs to be done: to spread the Good News. Jesus gives her a mission which she immediately carries out. She races to the disciples to proclaim: “I have seen the Lord”, and recounts all that she has seen. Thus Mary, from being a sinner, female disciple, becomes Apostle to the Apostles – the one sent to those who are sent. She announces the Good News to those who are to announce it.

As we celebrate the solemnity of Easter, Mary Magdalene reminds us that the most powerful tool for spreading the Good News is not knowledge, but experience. Christian scholarship and learning do indeed provide inestimable riches for the faith, but what is more important is a true spiritual experience of Jesus. That is why the true disciple does not say simply, “I have studied Jesus,” but as Mary Magdalene did, “I have seen the Lord.”

Dear brothers and sisters, this is my Easter prayer for all: that each of us may have a profound spiritual experience of Jesus and not to keep it just for ourselves, but to share it with others, as Mary Magdalene did. Happy Easter & the Special Blessings of the Risen Lord!

-Rev Sagayaraj Devadoss, SDB

We are not alone for God is with Us!

Dear brothers & sisters in Jesus,
Every time we celebrate Christmas, it makes us wonder at the mystery of the Incarnation.
God is the Word, the Word that created the whole universe. At “Christmas” this powerful God, Lord of the universe, God of the Exodus becomes like one of us. He really becomes “flesh”,
total weakness, limited, mortal, an element so human that he cannot be poorer and comes
to dwell among us.

What does Incarnation, therefore, mean to tell us then?
It tell us that we are no longer alone. Our flesh is no longer left to itself: someone takes
care of it, makes himself a neighbour, so equal to us as to make us totally equal to him. Therefore, let us ask him, particularly at Christmas, to help us live our weaknesses and to be able to overcome them little by little; to help us to alleviate the loneliness of so many elderly people, who today might only hear “Merry Christmas” from the television announcer. Let us ask him
to bring about healing to the sick, especially afflicted by Corona virus; let us ask him so that
our children may grow in the knowledge of God & our young people in wisdom and
not to bar the doors of their hearts to those who are different from them/us. Let us ask him
to help us all to forgive and forget the evil received. Finally, let us ask him to help us
to understand that our “flesh”, our weakness, is not an obstacle to salvation, but it is the way
to get there, because today, that road, Jesus has reopened it to us.
Let us thank Jesus who has become like us to be with us, because he loves us.
This is why we are not alone in love. God is with us. He is Emmanuel.

At this point I would like to thank ALL of YOU for being great parishioners of St Dominic Savio. I express my sense of gratitude to all of you – for your prayers, witness, and support.
Let me thank, in particular, Deacon Steven Defer for the role he plays in the parish ministry and Carolyn, the only office staff now, for her hard work. Likewise, I owe much to the PPC, CWL, CFC, Marian Group, Choir Groups, Helpers, Volunteers Group, particularly those help us
these days so that we may stay safe, pray & worship better. May the Lord bless YOU ALL
at Christmas and keep you under his wings of love & protection now & always.
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!
Fr Saga

Faith Formation – Saturday Nights

Faith Formation is starting back up this Saturday from 6-7pm (right after 5pm Mass). Tomorrow Deacon Stephen delves into the Gospel of Mark. Hope you can make it!

As before we will be posting his talk on our website, youtube and Facebook for those who want to attend in Spirit!

An Advent Message & Parish update from Father Saga

Dear Parishioner,
Greetings to you and to your family!
We have just begun the Advent season which helps prepare ourselves to celebrate worthily the Birth of Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
In this time it sounds opportune that I share with you some information on a few parish activities.
St.DominicSavio Parishioner Letter from Father Saga

To this end, I am posting this letter which briefs about some of our activities, initiatives and also requesting your continuous support to the Parish. May the Divine Child Jesus, bring you good health and happiness at Christmas and in the New Year.
God bless!
Fr Saga.

Will we hear from Jesus The King: “Come, you that are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you???”

As the Liturgical Year-A comes to a conclusion, the Word of God of this Sunday of the Solemnity of Christ, The King of the Universe, brings us one of the most consoling expressions found in Ezekiel: “I Myself will search for My sheep”. Yes, Jesus will seek His sheep out, will rescue those who are scattered in clouds and thick darkness, will bind up the injured, will strengthen the weak, will make them lie down to rest. The Lord God, our Shepherd-King, thus, promises to save us. What an encouraging expression!

But then our Shepherd-King also warns that He will judge between one sheep & another, between rams & goats. This clearly reminds us of the two types of Judgements which will be awaiting us all.

The first one – the Particular Judgement – occurs when we cross the threshold of this temporary life into the endless corridors of eternity. At that moment the last opportunity to make of ourselves what we want to be forever has passed. We stand before God with our entire history, of merits as well as failures. And there we are judged by the Shepherd-King of the Universe. This has been pretty well expressed by a couple of Councils, for example, by that of Florence in 1445 and earlier by that of Lyons in 1274.

The second one – the General Judgement (as depicted by Michelangelo on vault of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican), occurs within the context of the Resurrection of the Dead at the end of time. The Sacred Scripture revels this Judgement clearly. In fact, today’s Gospel passage is an example. Besides, belief in the General Judgement is part of the Creed we recite at Sunday Mass.

However, we need to stress that the relationship between these Judgements is especially mysterious. But we know in faith that judgment (mine/yours) will be individual/personal as well as cosmic/universal. To minimize the importance of the particular judgment would be to minimize each person’s individual responsibility before God. Likewise, to play down the general judgement would be to downplay one’s responsibility to find Christ in his/her neighbour and all humankind – a duty dramatically highlighted in today’s Gospel.

Dear brethren, let us not get unnecessarily worried about what is going to happen to us. Instead let us know for sure that Jesus as The King is clearly coming to us in every person in need. He has 6 needs: 3 are external (food, water, and clothing) and 3 are internal (loneliness, illness, and imprisonment). The needy are our own family, our parish community, the neighbour next door, children, youth, widowed, separated & divorced, new immigrants, those without jobs, those addicted, unborn babies, the sick & handicapped & the elderly, and so on. All that Jesus The King wants from us is that we see in the needy persons Him/Jesus and serve Him/Jesus in them. If we do this, then, there is nothing to be afraid of, for Jesus The King will say to us: “Come, you that are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the beginning”. So shall it be!

Happy Feast of Christ The King!
Fr Saga (Pastor).