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Pastor: Fr. Gigi Philip
Administrative Assistant: Cynthia Livera

Sunday Masses
Saturday5:00 PMEnglish,
Singles for Christ Choir
Sunday9:00 AMItalian
Italian Choir
10:30 AMEnglish,
Children's Liturgy
Organist/Soloist
12:00 PMEnglish,
Couples for Christ Choir
Weekday Masses
Tuesday7:00 PMItalian,
Devotion to Padre Pio
Wednesday7:00 PMEnglish,
Devotion to Our Lady of
Perpetual Help
Thursday7:00 PMEnglish,
Devotion to St. Norbert
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament till 8:00 PM
Friday8:35 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, July 26, 2009

There are very straightforward links between today's First Reading and the Gospel. And, of course, both contain direct references to the Eucharist.

The incident from the Book of Kings is a clear and very early foreshadowing of the Eucharist. The man bearing the bread comes from a town named after a pagan god but he gives his first fruits to the true God by handing them to Elisha, "the man of God".

The normal procedure would have been for the first fruits to be offered in the shrine and then afterwards consumed by the priests. But here Elisha breaks with this longstanding custom and gives the bread to the people to eat. And miraculously the small amount of bread is shared out among a hundred men who all had their fill and more.

It doesn't take a genius to see the links with the Eucharist with its reciprocal sharing of bread. We also get a glimpse of the sheer bounty of God. He feeds his people apparently out of a very small amount and yet there is plenty left over afterwards.

This ancient reading foreshadows not only the Eucharist but more directly the account we are given in St John's Gospel of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Here it is not a pagan man who makes the offering but a small boy - he perhaps represents the People of Israel who have not yet reached their full stature as the People of God.

You will be aware that there is no breaking of the bread or sharing of the cup in St John's account of the Last Supper, instead he recounts the washing of the feet and gives us a long rendering of Jesus' last speech, known as the Farewell Discourse.

Many people see the incident of the Feeding of the Five Thousand as containing all that John had to say about the Eucharist. He has transposed his treatment of the Eucharist from the Last Supper to the Feeding of the Five Thousand.

If we examine the text we can easily see that it contains the principal elements essential to the celebration of the Eucharist: Offering, blessing and sharing.

As in our First Reading, the extraordinary multiplication of the loaves is a sign of God's tremendous generosity. This generosity of God is expressed most fully in the sacrifice of his only Son on the Cross of Calvary with which the Eucharist is so closely connected.

I'd like to focus on the Gospel Reading and see if we can see what is really happening here.

The disciples, as so frequently in the Gospels, don't get it. We should not blame them for this because, in a sense, that is their role. They are not meant to get it. At first, they are meant to react, as we so often do, with the eyes of the world. This is so that Jesus can explain by mans of contrast how things really are.

The disciples, particularly Philip and Andrew, are preoccupied with the way things are in this world. Philip, the pessimist, knows that it is impossible to feed these people. Andrew, the optimist, points out the small boy with the five loaves and the two fish. But bound, as he is, by the laws of this world bluntly states, "But what is that among so many?" He is locked into the law of nature, the physical facts of the matter.

But Jesus is working on another level altogether he intends to illustrate the Law of the Spirit this is not a law of scarcity but a law of abundance. He wants to demonstrate the sheer bounty of God, his unequivocal and unbounded generosity towards mankind.

The people ate and were satisfied and there was a great deal left over. By these means Jesus demonstrates that God provides for our needs and indeed more than we can ever ask for or even imagine. God is all love and his love overflows even so far as to become what we might call wasteful.

One of our biggest problems is that we cannot comprehend the logic behind this extraordinary generosity of God.

I was watching Richard Dawkins on the television the other night. Some veterinary scientists were dissecting a giraffe. He was commenting on how the nerve controlling the giraffe's larynx went from the brain right down to the bottom of the neck and then all the way up again to the base of the throat where it eventually connected with the larynx itself.

He said that this was one proof that there could have been no divine designer. No engineer, he said, would have done a thing so extraordinarily inefficient. According to him it had to be the result of evolutionary accident occurring over a long period of time.

Just like the Disciples, Richard Dawkins doesn't get it. He thinks that God and evolution are opposites, whereas we see that it is God who set the universe in motion and uses evolution and all kinds of other processes to express his bounteous love.

These two ways of looking at things - through the eyes of this world and through the eyes of God - are not in contradiction but simply operate on different planes.

While not ignoring or devaluing what I'm calling "the eyes of this world" Jesus, however, is trying to get us to understand that there is another way of looking at things. He wants us to realise that there is another and more fundamental way of looking at things i.e. with the eyes of God.

The Feeding of the Five Thousand is one of the really great miracles but it is not a miracle of healing. It is, however, a miracle of nurturing. The food that Christ gives us, the bread of the Eucharist, nurtures and sustains us on our journey through life.

It is from the Eucharist that we draw life and sustenance, it is from the Eucharist that we experience Christ among us, it is from the Eucharist that we find hope for the world.

In this great miracle the Laws of Nature may seem to be broken but this is only so that we get a glimpse of the Laws of the Spirit. We who concentrate so much on the superficial are invited by Christ to pull back the veil and to appreciate the fundamental underlying Law of the Spirit by which God operates.

It is this law that makes sense of our faith, makes sense of the sacraments, makes sense of the sacrifice of Christ.

 
Readings of the day:
First Reading:
Second Reading:
Gospel:

Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS - RC Church of Christ the King

   

Reflections are available for the following Sundays:

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2016
2015
2014
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2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007

St. Norbert's Church - Toronto