Soul Health CII
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
In this Sunday's Gospel we meet Zacchaeus, whom St Luke points out "was a chief tax collector and very rich." He is by no means the only tax collector mentioned in the Gospels - in fact, they are brought up nine times in Matthew (himself a tax collector!), three times in Mark, and ten times in Luke. They are often bracketed with sinners, robbers, and enemies of the Jewish people.
Undoubtedly, even just mentioning tax collectors has conjured up a certain image in our minds, and not a very flattering one at that.
To understand the significance of Jesus' interaction with Zacchaeus, we first must understand the root cause of this unflattering image of tax collectors. In Jewish society of Jesus' time, the tax collectors were seen as traitors to the Jewish people: they worked for the occupying Romans using heavy-handed tactics, enforcing multiple forms of unreasonable taxation, and in the eyes of Jewish society, selling their services to make a profit at the expense of the Jewish people.
Knowing this cultural context (and possibly even sharing a similar attitude towards those in the tax profession at the end of the modern fiscal year), we can see why people would complain about Jesus associating with Zacchaeus: "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner" is their gripe. So narrow is their focus on Zacchaeus' sinfulness that we might wonder if they even heard Zacchaeus repent, and if they heard Jesus forgive him and say, "The Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."
This reading challenges us to ask ourselves how often and how quickly we point out the sinfulness of others, forgetting just as this crowd did that we too are sinners and that God's love and salvation was meant for all? How often do we pass judgement on others and hold their past grievances against them, even when they are seeking to make amends?
Furthermore, Zacchaeus' story can deepen our self-examination. How willing are we to seek out the Lord and connect with him by any means possible? How often do we complain that we cannot see him, and fail to also see the sycamore tree next to us? How many times have we promised something to the Lord, and not followed through?
And now that we've asked ourselves these questions: what are we willing to do to improve our responses to them?
Our beloved and faithful Deacon Bernie is recovering well from open heart surgery. He appreciates your prayers.
November 1st is All Saints' Day, a major solemnity! Attending Mass on this day is a wonderful way to celebrate all the holy men and women who have gone before us.
Regular Liturgy Schedule & Intentions, October 29 - November 4
Saturday, October 29: For All Parishioners
Sunday, October 30: Bertha, Frances, and Joseph Blases by Richard & Flo Davies
Tuesday, November 1 (All Saints' Day): Mr. and Mrs Vincenzo Nudo by Their Family
Thursday, November 3: For the Intentions of Jasper Corcoran for his 4th Birthday by His Parents
The Sanctuary Lamp
Bill & Peggy Rowe and Elaine Rowe Burles by Their Family
As our Mass intentions are booked far in advance, the Sanctuary Lamp can be lit in memory of your loved ones or for intentions. The candle is lit for the week for a suggested offering of $20.00. For more information and to book a specific week please contact the office.
Book of Remembrance & All Souls' Mass
This weekend is your last opportunity to add the names of your beloved departed to the Book of Remembrance, as Father Robert will be bringing it to the All Souls' Mass at Birks Chapel on November 2nd.
50/50 Returns to St Thomas More!
October's 50/50 Draw takes place on Saturday, October 29 after the 4:30pm Mass!
There will be more chances to win in November and December!
- Ticket Prices: $2.00 each, 3 for $5.00 and 7 for $10.00.
- Ticket Sales: After all weekend Masses
Coffee Break Catechesis
#AskFrJosh: Does praying for politicians even make a difference?
God's will is for all "to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth" (1 Timothy 2:1-4), and as disciples we are tasked to not only bring the truth of the Gospel to others, but also to pray for everyone - even (and especially!) politicians. Focusing on this section of St Paul's 1st Letter to Timothy, Father Josh from Ascension Presents breaks down this duty of all disciples and shows how necessary it is that we embrace it.
- Night Prayer with the Newman Chapel Choir
The Newman Chapel Choir invites you to Compline at the Grand Séminaire of Montreal Chapel on Thursday, November 3rd at 7:30pm. Click here for more information.
- The Journey with The Chosen continues in November
See Jesus in a new light, through The Chosen’s fresh look at the Gospel. Consider the challenges of living as a chosen disciple right here and now. How can we create a church which goes out to “the peripheries”, encountering Jesus in all our brothers and sisters, in all God’s creation?
When: Friday November 4, 11,18, and 25th at 7:00pm, led by Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, Episcopal Vicar. To register please email at email@example.com or click here.
- Spiritual Support for Separated or Divorced Persons
A path of healing and reconciliation for those who want to rebuild themselves in Christ. Free, online sessions, starting Saturday, November 5. Click here for more information and to register.
Put Your Faith, Hope, and Love into Action!
- The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund
- The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund was established to accept donations from 73 Catholic entities across the country, and to advance healing and reconciliation initiatives. It seeks to support projects that are determined locally, in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners. Learn more and support this Catholic commitment to healing and reconciliation at https://www.irfund.ca/
- Pastoral Home Care
- Be a living bridge to Christ for the sick, elderly, and isolated in our city! The Pastoral Home Care ministry of the Archdiocese will provide formation in October for newcomers to this important ministry. For more information visit https://bit.ly/3CixW4q
- CAPP was founded by Pope St. John Paul II to advance the principles of the social doctrine of the Church: the dignity of the human person, solidarity and subsidiarity. Learn more at https://www.cappcanada.ca/ and watch the replay of September's virtual launch of CAPP-Canada at https://www.cappcanada.ca/launch
- Catholic Action Montreal
- Motivated by our faith, Catholic Action Montreal empowers its community through a network of gifted individuals, partners, and organizations, enabling them to respond to an expressed need, resulting in profound changes in the community. Learn more and get involved at https://catholicaction.ca/
Yours in Christ,
Father Robert Assaly+