THE CAT’S MEOW
St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Port Hope
The Day of Pentecost 31 May 2020
From Fr Randy
Heart Like A River: A Pentecost Reflection
Late that same day, the first day of the week, when the disciples were together behind locked doors…Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you!” he said; then he showed them his hands and his side. On seeing the Lord the disciples were overjoyed. Jesus said again, “Peace be with you! As the Father sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed into them, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit!” —John 20.19b-22
If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. When our hearts are small, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore. We have a lot of understanding and compassion and can embrace others. We accept others as they are, and then they have a chance to transform. —Thich Nhat Hanh WE ARE accustomed to visualizing the Day of Pentecost along the lines presented by Luke in Acts of the Apostles. We think of the noisy rushing wind, tongues like fire resting over the disciples’ heads in the upper room, and the speaking of languages that all in the crowd could understand (Acts 2.1-13). We love a bit of drama, and Luke certainly provides it in his account of the Spirit’s descent. But there is another account, described in John’s gospel, which both in setting and tone is quieter, more intimate and, in keeping with John’s emphasis on incarnation, decidedly more fleshy. Here, the disciples are gathered in the afternoon of Easter Day. They are fearful; the doors are locked. They are unsure of what will come next. Jesus then appears among them and extends his peace to them. “Peace be with you” he says, and breathes into them the Holy Spirit. In contrast with the tone of joyful expectation found in Acts, the Spirit in John’s account is released in an atmosphere of dread. The Spirit enters through locked doors carried within the man Jesus. The incarnate Son himself breathes the Spirit into them, having gently passed through the inmost doors of our hearts, shut tight with fear. We have seen this kind of fleshy intimacy before. At the crucifixion, in a reference to Baptism, the Spirit is released in the water that gushes from Jesus’ side (John 19.34). Here, the deep and seamless unity of God with all us humans is symbolically shown forth. Even as we distrust and hold onto a sense of false estrangement from God, the Spirit is present—blessing all—assuring all that the Lamb of God has indeed taken away the sin of the world. And that it is safe to trust, safe to let one’s heart grow large. Here I see a parallel with Tich Nhat Hanh’s metaphor: the expansion our hearts from cup to river. A heart like a river is one that carries much—it carries joys and sorrows, conflict and harmony. A heart like a river expands with compassion and understanding of others. It forgives the shortcomings of others. It allows others to heal as we ourselves heal. Like the hearts of the disciples ours hearts are opened, no longer shut tight with fear, with lack of understanding, intolerance of other perspectives. Our certainties are brought into question. Our perspective is no longer exclusive. And all this can occur because our heart is no longer a cup, we no longer suffer. Our heart is a river. And here is where the Pentecost of Acts intersects with that described in John. The Spirit indwelling our hearts is the same Spirit that dwells in the hearts of those the world over. In the hearts of “Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia…” (Acts 2.9-12) Of the grumpy neighbour, the fellow parishioner, the one with whom we seem to have nearly constant disagreement. “Peace be with you,” Jesus says to us all. As my heart is like a river, so may yours be also. RM+
FLOWERS THIS WEEK
We will print the dedications for flowers that would have been placed in the church each Sunday.
May 31: In memory of Len and Nellie Van Eyk and brother Leonard from Dorothy Geale and
in memory of John Douglas Burns from Margo Burns
Evensong Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020
Here is the Youtube link for this week’s Evensong:
This week’s service leaflet link is at the end of this issue – the service features cantor Ellen Torrie, with Fr Randy leading the prayers.
Ellen sings all seven voice parts in Franz Biebl’s iconic Ave Maria. The wonders of technology!
Ellen produced this week’s video – thank you to Nora Holmes for sponsoring Ellen’s work.
THIS WEEK’S READINGS
Should you wish to follow the Lectionary at home, here are the readings:
Acts 2:1-21; or Num 11:24-30;
Psalm 104:25-35, 37; 1 Cor 12:3b-13 or
Acts 2:1-21; Jn 20:19-23 or Jn 7:37-39
Through The Cat’s Meow we can gather in the names of those who are suffering in body, mind or spirit at this time and for whom you have a special concern and we can each undertake to lift them up in prayer before God.
Let us pray for the repose of the soul of Sally Dunn. May her family and all who love her be comforted.
Let us have names by next Friday and they will be included in the next issue.
PENTECOST JACOB’S LADDER
This has now been printed and will be in your hands, either electronically or hand-delivered, before Sunday, May 31st.
A GIFT FOR FATHER RANDY
You are invited to consider making a donation in celebration of Fr Randy’s incumbency at St. Mark’s to either of the following charities:
Doctors without Borders
551 Adelaide St. West
Toronto, ON M5V 0N8
Nature Conservancy of Canada
245 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 410
Toronto, ON M4P 3J1
The bills keep coming in, even though we are shut. If you usually use your envelopes to give, please consider mailing in your donation or putting it in the mail box by the parish hall door.
Better still, change to PAR and avoid having to remember each month. It’s so easy!
Our overall financial picture is tenuous at best and we mustn’t become complacent about the real costs of keeping St. Mark’s open as a living faith community, physically and spiritually. Like it or not, we continue to pay for utilities and services of all kinds that keep us in good shape behind the scenes and our givings are simply not keeping up.
St. Mark’s Annual FaithWorks Campaign Has Begun
FaithWorks is the annual appeal of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. FaithWorks has been active since 1996. Ministry Partners provide help and hope to thousands of individuals and families caught up in the seemingly overwhelming challenges of homelessness, domestic violence, terminal illness, or the enormous pressures facing today’s youth, all exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Information packages will be hand-delivered to your home. Please prayerfully consider your ability to help. Thank you!
Second Evensong of Pentecost
May 31, 2020
Presider: Fr Randy D. Murray,
Cantor: Ellen Torrie
Welcome and Opening Sentence
The Preces Smith of Durham
Psalm 122 Tone IV.6
First Lesson Acts 2.1-21
Magnificat Tone VII.6 with Fauxbourdons by Healey Willan
Second Lesson John 7.37-39
Nunc Dimittis Tone VIII.1 with Fauxbourdons by Willan
Then shall be said the Confession of the Faith, called the Apostles’ Creed
I BELIEVE in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.
And after the Creed, further prayers will be sung, then:
OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.
Motet Ave Maria Franz Biebl (1906-2001)
Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Maria dixit: Ecce ancilla Domini, Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Ave Maria …
Et verbum caro factum est, Et habitavit in nobis.
Ave Maria …
Sancta Maria, mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus.
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
The Angel of the Lord announced to Mary
And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Mary said: Behold the handmaiden of the Lord.
Do to me according to your word.
Hail Mary …
And the Word was made flesh And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary …
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.