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All are Welcome
 
Pastor: Fr. Gigi Philip
Administrative Assistant: Cynthia Livera

Sunday Masses
Saturday5:00 PMEnglish,
Couples for Christ Choir
Sunday9:00 AMItalian
Italian Choir
10:30 AMEnglish,
Children's Liturgy
Organist/Soloist
12:00 PMEnglish,
Children's Liturgy
St. Norbert Singing Angels Choir
Weekday Masses
Tuesday7:00 PMItalian,
Devotion to Padre Pio
Wednesday7:00 PMEnglish,
Devotion to Our Lady of
Perpetual Help
Thursday8:30 AMEnglish,
Devotion to St. Norbert
Friday8:30 AMItalian
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament till 9:15 AM
Elementary Schools
St. Norbert - 60 Maniza Rd. 416-393-5309
St. Robert  - 70 Bainbridge Avenue 416-393-5297
Secondary Schools
Madonna   - 20 Dubray Avenue 416-393-5506

 
Wheel Chair Accessible

Office Hours
Monday - Friday    8:30 AM - 4:30 PM;
(Lunch break 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM)
Contact
100 Regent Road
North York, Ontario M3K 1H3
Phone: 416-636-0213
Fax: 416-636-9431
office@stnorbertschurch.org
www.stnorbertschurch.org
Confession
Saturdays 4:15 - 4:45 PM and upon request
Sacrament of Baptism
Please contact the office as soon as possible
Sacrament of Matrimony
Please contact the office way in advance
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Please contact the office
Sacrament of the Sick
Please contact the office
Blessings (home, vehicle, workplace)
Please contact the office
Visiting the sick and elderly at home
Please contact the office

Thinking about the priesthood or religious life? Hearing Jesus' call "Come and follow me"? Not sure?

Visit Vocations Toronto at www.vocationstoronto.ca, a resourceful site in answering these questions.

Knights of Columbus
Meetings 3rd Thursday of the month
Please contact the office
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Please contact the office
Youth Group
Please contact the office
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Reflections
for Sunday, August 4, 2019

Last week I celebrated by 72nd birthday. I've gotten to the age that when birthdays come around, I start looking back on life as well as forward. Perhaps some of you may do this too. The question that we might ask ourselves is this: Has my life been a success? Actually, this question cannot be answered unless we can answer a deeper question: What is success? What is a successful life, a successful career, a successful relationship?

Is a person's life successful if he or she is making a good salary? There's a story about a grandmother who pulled out pictures of her three grandchildren, all under two, and showed them to a friend saying, "These are my grandchildren. That one's the rich doctor, that one's the rich lawyer and that one's the chairman of the board of a large corporation."

Is success predicated on salary? Certainly, that is the way that most people calculate success. But are they correct?

How about marriage? What makes a marriage successful? Is a marriage successful because a woman and a man have been together for twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years and have avoided both divorce and homicide? Marriage anniversaries are important, but do they point to the success of a marriage or only to its longevity?

The readings for this Sunday force us to take a closer look at the whole concept of success. In the Gospel reading, the man is convinced that he is a success because he is a rich farmer. What should he do now that he has succeeded in harvesting more grain than he has storage room? Build a bigger barn, of course. The only thing is, the basis of his success is his grain. When he suddenly dies, his success remains here, and he goes on to God empty handed.

The whole mind set that success is predicated on what we own is based on a fallacy that was very clear to the author of the first reading. He is sometimes called Qoheleth, or the Preacher. This book from the Hebrew Scriptures is the very insightful and difficult book called Ecclesiastes. "Vanity of vanities," says Qoheleth, "All is vanity." Qoheleth's point is that the only real values are the spiritual values. The early Christians loved this book of the Hebrew Scriptures because it helped them remain focused on the reason for their existence.

There is a fantastic book of meditations on St. Francis of Assisi written by James Cowan, a lay novelist, who spent some time in Assisi trying to understand Francis. You are all well aware that Francis gave up all his worldly possessions as a radical prophetic action. Cowan writes that Francis recognized that wealth, family, social position and profession confined him in a web of relationships that made it impossible to define himself as a full human being in the image of Christ. Francis lived at the time of the emergence of the middle/merchant class. Before this a person was either a peasant or a noble. The merchant class was so taken up with making money and having the finest things of life that, as Qoheleth predicted, their days were full of labors and their nights were restless. Francis' prophetic action of stripping off his rich clothes in the square in Assisi was a sign that the inner person had to be exposed rather than cloaked in silk and velvet. Francis' action was prophetic, a radical action to help us recognize the entanglements of what the world calls success.

A doctor is successful not if he or she has a prosperous practice but if he or she becomes the healing hands of Christ for the sick. A lawyer is successful not if he or she is part of a profitable firm, but if he or she uses learning, knowledge and talent to protect people and the community, to do good for people and the community, to be just.

Many times an incorrect view of success is based on honors and titles. Is a priest a success if he becomes a Monsignor or a Bishop? Monsignor Guido Sarducci from the old Saturday Night Live boasted that it was really important for him to become a Monsignor because he could get a better cut of veal in Rome. (I haven't tried that yet. I hope he's right.) No, success is not measured by titles. A priest is on the road to success if he can draw closer to God each day of his life while he also draws those he serves to join him on the journey to God.

How can we determine if a marriage is successful? Certainly, longevity does not determine the success of a marriage. A marriage is successful if the man or woman is a better person, a more loving person, because of the marriage.

How about parenting? What are the signs that people are good parents? Success in parenting is certainly not based on what your kids have, but who your kids are. For example, many of our parents have begun shopping for school clothes. Perhaps, some are shopping at Ross, Walmart or Target. Perhaps some are shopping at the most exclusive stores in Tampa Bay. The cost of the clothes that they put on their children has nothing to do with the success of their parenting. The success of their parenting is evidenced in the decisions their children make throughout their lives.

The general concept of success is a fallacy. Success is not predicated on what we have, what honors we receive, what jobs we hold, etc. Success is predicated on how each of us has developed as a person.

Let me take this one step, one infinite step, farther. Success is predicated on our ability to assume the person of Jesus Christ. St. Paul says in the second reading that our lives are hidden with Christ in God in such a way that when Christ appears we appear. The personality of a Christian is so entwined with the person of Jesus Christ that Christ and the Christian, and Christ in the Christian, must be one. That is success.

Therefore, success, true success, is never that which we have obtained. This is a completely different way of considering success. Success is not a present reality, it is a goal, the goal of Christian life. This goal will be reached when every aspect of our lives reflects the Person of Jesus Christ.

That is success.

All else is vanity.

 
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1.2; 2.21-23
Second Reading: Colossians 3.1-5, 9-11
Gospel: Luke 12.13-21

This material is used with permission of its author, Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino, Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL. Visit his website

   

Reflections are available for the following Sundays:

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007

St. Norbert's Church - Toronto