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Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

7. August, 2019Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

The Story of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith: “We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.” The pope proclaimed this dogma only after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians and laity. There were few dissenting voices. What the pope solemnly declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church.

We find homilies on the Assumption going back to the sixth century. In following centuries, the Eastern Churches held steadily to the doctrine, but some authors in the West were hesitant. However by the 13th century there was universal agreement. The feast was celebrated under various names—Commemoration, Dormition, Passing, Assumption—from at least the fifth or sixth century. Today it is celebrated as a solemnity.

Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s Assumption into heaven. Nevertheless, Revelation 12 speaks of a woman who is caught up in the battle between good and evil. Many see this woman as God’s people. Since Mary best embodies the people of both Old and New Testaments, her Assumption can be seen as an exemplification of the woman’s victory.

Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul speaks of Christ’s resurrection as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus’ life, it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to believe in Mary’s share in his glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with him body and soul in heaven.


Reflection

In the light of the Assumption of Mary, it is easy to pray her Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55) with new meaning. In her glory she proclaims the greatness of the Lord and finds joy in God her savior. God has done marvels to her and she leads others to recognize God’s holiness. She is the lowly handmaid who deeply reverenced her God and has been raised to the heights. From her position of strength she will help the lowly and the poor find justice on earth, and she will challenge the rich and powerful to distrust wealth and power as a source of happiness.

 

Pentecost – The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost – The Descent of the Holy Spirit

27. June, 2019Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

This feast of the Pentecost is of great importance as it marks the coming of the Holy Spirit. The “Rabulla Gospels” were with the Maronites since the 6th Century. They are one of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts and are based on the Syriac Peshita version of the Gospel. They also contain this icon of Pentecost. The icon invites us to contemplate the scene of the Gospel and live it in your own life.

The large blue arch in the icon symbolizes the heavenly realm. The trees that are growing above the blue represent the Garden of Paradise. The Holy Spirit descends on the Upper Chamber where the apostles are assembled at Pentecost. “Blessed is He who exalted Adam and caused him to return to Paradise.” (from Hymns on Paradise from St Ephrem)

The dove descending is the Spirit of the Living God. It descends from the blue heavenly realm and enters the earthly realm to rest on Mary who is speaking with the apostles. The dove echoes Jesus earlier baptism. This is also reflective of the scene in Acts 2:3 where tongues of fire res on each disciples head.

The inclusion of Mary in the icon is important. Syriac theology has been instrumental in the development of early Marian theology. Mary is not mentioned in the scene in Acts 2, however she is mentioned as being with the Apostles earlier in Acts 1:14. The icon puts Mary center stage in the scene and puts her in a place of prominence. Her dark blue robe stands in contrast to the paler blue of the apostles and her halo is golden in comparison to the violet of the apostles. The icon is depicting the the gathering of Christ’s Church. Christ had ascended nine days earlier and left Mary as the leading Church custodian among the apostles.

Around Mary you can see a concentration of red which is representative of the divine. This is a typological reference to God who in the Old Testament is fire, for example the burning bush at Mt Sinai. The rocky sapphire stones on which they stand are a reference to Exodus 24:10 “and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.” They now see God by way of the Spirit.

Take a moment this Sunday and contemplate the icon. Feel the warmth of the Spirit in your life, it is the link for us between heaven and earth.

rabbula-pentecost1

Summer schedule

Summer schedule

2. June, 2017Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

Summer 2019 Schedule at Our Lady of Lebanon Church

From June 23rd till Sept 1st included:

Saturday Mass: 6:30 pm

Sunday Mass: 11:00 am

From June 30th till Sept 1st included: No mass in Pickering

Winter schedule will Resume on Sept th 2019


OLOL Arabic School

OLOL Arabic School

3. September, 2016Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

Welcome to Our Lady of Lebanon Arabic School.

For more than 25 years, the Toronto Catholic Board has subsidized our Arabic School.

Recently they decided to re-direct students from different local schools to ILE center at St. Gabriel.

Our parishioners expressed their wishes to try and keep the school opened in our church.

We tried, and we will continue to try convincing the School Board to change their mind.

Whatever their response, we are committed to continue with the Sunday Arabic School at OLOL.

However, this means we will have to make some sacrifices and cover the school expenses ourselves.

The students’ parents will have to contribute, and some parishioners generously promised to help.

REGISTER YOUR KIDS NOW.

Contact the teachers for more info.

Let’s keep alive our faith, our traditions and our language!

Address 1515 Queen street West, Toronto
Course schedule: Sundays from 9:45 am until 12:15 pm
Contact: ololarabicschool@gmail.com  or Church office: (416)534-7070 ext 3.

St Charbel Mass every 22nd

St Charbel Mass every 22nd

9. July, 2016Blog, Home, Upcoming EventsNo comments

We invite you to join us, on the 22nd every month, at 7:30 pm*

in Our Lady of Lebanon Church for Saint Charbel Mass.

 

(If the 22nd falls on a Saturday, the Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 pm)