Homily – October 19, 2014

October 19th, 2014

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. This has nothing to do with the separation of Church and State. It has a lot to do with how we live our lives as Christian men and women in our society. We are finally coming to the end of this too long a time of campaigning for the election of a mayor and councillors. Our Christian faith and values should have an influence on the decisions we make at the ballot box even on this local level. Do we question where a candidate for public office stands on such things as social housing, social welfare? Do we try to find out what they will try to do for the homeless of our city or what they will try to do to stem the tide of these senseless shootings we’ve heard of recently? What are they willing to do to find jobs for unemployed young people? How will they help the families who use food banks? What programs do they have to help immigrants to our city? There is more to life in Toronto than gridlock and subways.

When politicians promise to cut taxes, that means some services will have to be cut as well and those services are mostly the ones that help and support the neediest among us. It is important we take our Christian conscience into the ballot box. On October 27th we encourage all of you to ‘render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Vote.

Every day of the year we are to render to God what belongs to God. When Jesus asked for the coin of the realm he asked the Pharisees whose image was on the coin and they answered Caesar’s. Every day we rub shoulders with men, woman and children who bear the image of God and bear the image of Christ. Remember Christ’s words – whatever you do to one of these the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do to me. When we accept and respect other people as they are and for whom they are, we accept and respect Christ. When we reach out and support the least and the needy who come into our lives, we support Christ. When we rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn we are one with Christ in the joys and sorrows of others. When we reject good men, women and children out of our lives, out of our consciousness – they are not even there – because of their different nationality, different social statue, different life style, different religious beliefs, we are rejecting Christ. This truth is so basic to our Christian faith. Yet it can be so difficult to live. We’ve received our prejudices and narrow mindsets from our mother’s milk, from the home atmospheres in which we grew up. There was a line from a musical – you have to be taught how to hate and to fear – otherwise we would grow up accepting other people just as they are.

Every day we struggle with Christ’s new commandment – love one another as I have loved you and some days we win and some days we fail but hopefully every day we try. We try to see in all we meet the image of God – a brother or sister in Christ and reverence that image with the reverence that is its due.

Bulletin – October 19, 2014

October 19th, 2014

ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS FEAST DAY – OCTOBER 19th

St. Paul of the Cross was the founder of the Passionists (1720). Born in northern Italy in 1694, Paul experienced conversion at the age of 15 and began a lifetime of devotion to prayer life as a soldier, but left after one year. Six years later, having had several visions, he determined that his vocation was to found an order dedicated to the passion of our Lord. Officials declared the visions authentic and Paul withdrew to write a rule. He was joined by his brother, who remained with him for the rest of his life. By 1747, the Passionists had three houses and were preaching missions throughout Italy. At his death in 1775, Paul was establishing a congregation for Passionist nuns.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE COUNTED!

Cardinal Collins has requested that a weekend Mass attendance count be conducted annually in all parishes and missions of the Archdiocese. This year the attendance count will take place on the weekends of October 18/19 and October 25/26. The purpose of the count is to have a more accurate assessment of the number of people attending Mass on a weekend.

As with last year, when you come in for Mass during those two said weekends, you may notice a few “counters” clicking on tally counters at the doors of the church. The counters will be doing their jobs in a way as discreetly and non-intrusively as possible. Thank you for your support.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

October 20th to October 25th, 2014

MONDAY – ROMULO CHRISTIAN GONZALEZ – Requested by his Parents
TUESDAY – KENG OWYONG – Requested by Helen Owyong
WEDNESDAY – VINCENT HA – Requested by Laura, Sylvia & Valerie Ha
THURSDAY – JOHN YEUNG CHUN KUN – Requested by Agnes Wong
FRIDAY – SYD SEDGWICK – Requested by the Family
SATURDAY – JUAN M. VILLAFRANCA – Requested by the Family

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION MEETING

Wednesday, October 22nd, at 7:30 PM

There will be a meeting for parents of children who will be receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:30 PM in the Gabriel Room.

THE NEW STORY – A DISCUSSION OF THE WISDOM OF FR. THOMAS BERRY

Tuesday, October 21st at 7:30 PM or
Thursday, October 23rd at 10:30 AM

The Church has had many great thinkers over the years, including St. Augustine in the 5th century and St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. In our time, we have great thinkers too, one of whom is the Passionist priest, Fr. Thomas Berry, 1914 – 2009. He introduced us to seeing God’s creation in a new way and our role as humans within it. He called it “The New Story”.

On Tuesdays at 7:30 PM and repeated on Thursdays at 10:30 AM, Mary Landry will lead a discussion about his “New Story”, the wisdom that ensues and the challenge it evokes. We guarantee an interesting discussion! All are welcome.

WORLD MISSION SUNDAY

October 19th, 2014

The second collection this weekend Is for the Evangelization of the Nations, otherwise known as “World Mission Sunday.” This is a worldwide collection for the missionary church. World Mission Sunday is our opportunity to assist at-need Catholic communities throughout the world. Thank you for your support of this important work.

THANKSGIVING FOOD DRIVE

For the Good Shepherd Centre and Rosalie Hall

Thank you to all the parishioners who supported the Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. Food collected was sent to the Good Shepherd Centre and Rosalie Hall. Both organizations are very grateful for your generosity!

CASSEROLES FOR THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Your prepared casseroles (frozen please) will be collected at the Masses next weekend for delivery to the Good Shepherd Centre. More volunteers are needed to help feed the hungry in our city. You may pick up a copy of a casserole recipe and a pan from the Parish Office. Three recipes are also available on St. Gabriel’s web site. Please remember to mark the label on the pan lid with the name of the casserole. For more information, you may contact Irene Albrecht at 416 221-2791.

HOLY CROSS CATHOLIC FUNERAL HOME

On September 3rd, 2014, His Eminence Cardinal Thomas Collins began a new chapter in the Church’s desire to minister to all its faithful with the blessing of Holy Cross Catholic Funeral Home. The funeral home, the first Catholic funeral home in Ontario is located on the grounds of Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Thornhill and is prepared to serve all the faithful in their time of bereavement and need. You may contact the funeral home at 905-889-7467 or visit their website at http://catholic-cemeteries.com.

DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE: SOW MUCH LOVE CAMPAIGN WORKSHOP!

Saturday, October 25th from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM

Development & Peace Office, 80 Hayden Street, Toronto

As part of the Caritas campaign against global hunger launched by Pope Francis, you are invited to join Development and Peace on Saturday October 25th from 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM at the D&P Office, 80 Hayden St., Toronto (5 min walk from Yonge / Bloor subway) to learn about our parish-based ‘Sow Much Love’ initiative.

Small-family farms are vital in the fight against global hunger but are losing access to the seeds they need for planting. Come learn what you can do to help build a global food system that makes sense for people, especially the poor, and for our planet.

RSVP to: Keith Gauntlett at 416-481-1930 or by email to keithgca@yahoo.com.

ST. BONAVENTURE FLEAMARKET

Saturday, October 25th, 9:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

1300 Leslie Street

Great buys on good used clothing, jewellery, china, linens, books, decorations, toys, baked goods and more. Don’t miss it!

24th ANNUAL MASS OF MEMORY

Sunday October 26th at 2.30 PM

St. Paul’s Basilica, 83 Power Street

The 24th Annual Mass of Memory will take place on Sunday October 26th at 2.30 PM at St. Paul’s Basilica, 83 Power Street (Power and Queen St. East). The Mass is dedicated to the Memory of our Irish Ancestors, victims of the Irish Famine of 1847, many who died here in Toronto and were buried in the school grounds just east of the Basilica, formally the old St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery of Toronto. We remember those who died serving the Irish: Bishop Michael Power, the first bishop of Toronto, doctors, nurses, lay people. We also remember members in the Irish community who have passed away in this last year. For information please phone Norita 905- 881 -5012 or email noritasbb@rogers.com.

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2014 – CAST YOUR VOTE!

A municipal election will be held on Monday, October 27th. All Catholics are strongly encouraged to exercise their democratic right to vote. To help us all get to know the candidates for Catholic School Board Trustee, Cardinal Collins has given permission for candidates to distribute literature to parishioners departing Mass on weekends up to October 25th/26th. We hope you’ll take the time to get to know those seeking elected office.

To ensure your vote for Catholic School Trustee, at the polling booth, verify that you are registered as a separate school supporter. If your support status is incorrect ask for an Application to Amend Voters’ List. This form may be completed and submitted at the polling station. Thank you for your interest and involvement in this fall’s municipal election!

OPEN HOUSE AT ST. JOSEPH’S MORROW PARK

Wednesday, October 29th at 7:00 PM

3379 Bayview Avenue (just south of Steeles)

St. Joseph’s Morrow Park is holding an information night for students who are entering secondary school. It will be held on Wednesday, October 29th at 7:00 PM. Parents, guardians and students are cordially invited to attend. For further information please call 416-393-5679.

HOLOCAUST EDUCATION WEEK

Wednesday, November 5th at 7:30 PM

St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish

For many years, St. Gabriel’s Parish has participated in the Holocaust Education Week. This year, we will be co-sponsoring the event with the Embassy of Hungary in Canada, the Consulate General of Hungary in Toronto and Joan and Ted Shapero.

On Wednesday, November 5th at 7:30 PM we will present George Csicsery’s documentary film Angel of Mercy. The film tells the story of Sister Margaret Slachta, a courageous woman who defied the Nazis and the communists in her fight for social justice. Her faith and vision led to heroic acts of courage during the Hungarian Holocaust of 1944-45. Mr. Csicsery, the maker of the film, will hold a question and answer session after the screening of the film.

All are encouraged to attend. Admission is free.

CELEBRATE YOUR MARRIAGE WITH A WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER WEEKEND!

November 7th to 9th

Married couples: You deserve a weekend to cherish being together; to rediscover each other and focus on ways to make your relationship even better. A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend offers this opportunity. Consider giving each other or another couple that you know the gift of a weekend away from daily pressures; time to be with each other and with God on a Marriage Encounter Weekend. See www.wwme.org

Upcoming Weekend Date: November 7th to 9th

For further information or registration please contact:
Cora & Mike Bryce at 905-896-2958 or
cora-mikebryce@sympatico.ca

FINANCE CORNER

Weekly Offertory

Our operating expenses average $14,550 per week.
Collection for last weekend:

Envelopes 387 $7,654
Loose Change $994
Weekly Portion of Pre-Authorized Giving 163 $3,057
Total $11,705

Have you considered using Pre Authorized Giving?

If you are moving out of the Parish or have a change of address, please contact the Parish Office at 416-221-8866 so that we can update our records. Thank you.

Homily – October 12, 2014

October 12th, 2014

Feasts were and are important events in both the old and new testaments. In the first reading Isaiah uses the image of a banquet of rich food and fine wine to described the joys and the happiness of heaven. Jesus’ last meal with his friends was the celebration of the feast of liberation – the Passover meal.

This weekend invitations will be going to family and friends to come and share a meal as we celebrate this Thanksgiving weekend. The States celebrate their Thanksgiving in November and it is the busiest travel time of the year, out doing Christmas.

I want you pretend with me for a minute. You are grandparents and you want to host the family thanksgiving dinner this year. You may feel you won’t have the health or the energy to do it in the years to come and you want to make this a special event. You call your sons and daughters and all the grandchildren and their families. You want this to be a special event. On Thanksgiving Day people show up with salads and desserts and flowers and they begin to mix it up and enjoy one another’s company. Near the beginning of the meal a grandson arrives. He is unshaven, unwashed and has an attitude. The tone of the party changes. He is like the elephant in the room, everyone pretends not to notice but he is there. What to do?

You don’t quite know what to do. You are upset, disappointed and confused by your grandson’s behavior. As gently and as quietly as you can would you take him aside and do what the host of gospel story did? Would you let him know his behavior and his attitude is offensive, unacceptable – would you ask him to leave? His appearance and his attitude lets you know he doesn’t want to be a part of this family gathering and you have to wonder why he came. The whole family was invited and welcomed, – but how a person shows up indicates how important or meaningful is the event and the invitation to him or her.

We are all invited to the banquet of life and love that is ours in the family of the church. The question is, are we dress for the occasion. Everyone is invited – but how one shows up indicates how important or meaningful was the event and the invitation.

St. Augustine tells us that the wedding garment we are all to wear is love. St. Paul tells that without love we have nothing at all, no matter whatever gifts with which we are blessed. He writes to the community in Corinth, ‘If I do not have love then I am nothing at all ‘Paul encourages them to be clothed in love. Love requires that we respect and accept the dignity and worth of ourselves and of every person who comes into our lives. Love is dress code for membership in the church. Love is the dress code required of us at every Eucharist.

It is a hard dress code to keep as we rub shoulders every day with people who are twisted by bigotry and prejudice. It is a difficult dress code to keep as we are tempted to demonize other people’s faith because the horrible actions of fringe groups in their membership. We may be tempted to slip into the clothing of ‘conditional love’ which allows us to be open and accepting of those who agree with us, hold our theological or political views but annoyed and challenged by those who call us to be more aware of and sensitive to the needs of the hungry and the homeless and the neglected aged within our own community. Wearing our clothing of ‘conditional love’ allows us to be annoyed and wearied with people who remind us of the struggles of the working poor, the under employed, the unpaid interns.

Maybe we could all use a dry cleaning of our wedding garments, especially through a self – examination of our awareness and concern about what is going on around us, within our families, our neighbourhood, our parish. We might rid ourselves of the stains of avoidance of issues, stains of indifference, stains of resistance to be involved in the social issues of our church and community.

Every Mass we celebrate is an invitation to the banquet that celebrates our Father’s love for each of us shown in the passion and death of Jesus on the altar of the cross. The dress code for properly and truly celebrating this banquet is that we be clothed with the same love for others as Christ has for each of us here today. As we continue to celebrate this Mass we can pray for ourselves and for each other that we always be properly dressed for this celebration.

Bulletin – October 12, 2014

October 12th, 2014

O, heavenly Father:
We thank thee for food and
remember the hungry.
We thank thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
that thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.

Mass will be celebrated on Thanksgiving Day, Monday, October 13th at 10:00 AM

ST. PAUL OF THE CROSS
FEAST DAY – OCTOBER 19th

St. Paul of the Cross was the founder of the Passionists (1720). Born in northern Italy in 1694, Paul experienced conversion at the age of 15 and began a lifetime of devotion to prayer and austerity. At age 20 he tried life as a soldier, but left after one year. Six years later, having had several visions, he determined that his vocation was to found an order dedicated to the passion of our Lord. Officials declared the visions authentic and Paul withdrew to write a rule. He was joined by his brother, who remained with him for the rest of his life. By 1747, the Passionists had three houses and were preaching missions throughout Italy. At his death in 1775, Paul was establishing a congregation for Passionist nuns.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE COUNTED!

Cardinal Collins has requested that a weekend Mass attendance count be conducted annually in all parishes and missions of the Archdiocese.

This year the attendance count will take place on the weekends of October 18/19 and October 25/26. The purpose of the count is to have a more accurate assessment of the number of people attending Mass on a weekend.

As with last year, when you come in for Mass during those two said weekends, you may notice a few “counters” clicking on tally counters at the doors of the church. The counters will be doing their jobs in a way as discreetly and non-intrusively as possible. Thank you for your support.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION MEETING

Wednesday, October 22nd, at 7:30 PM

There will be a meeting for parents of children who will be receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:30 PM in the Gabriel Room.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

October 13th to October 18th, 2014

MONDAY – THANKSGIVING DAY – Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 AM
TUESDAY – ROSALINA REMENTILLA – Requested by Mercy & Totie Rementilla
WEDNESDAY – SR. FRANCES ORDWAY I.B.V.M. – Requested by Margaret Anne Leckie
THURSDAY – KAREN HO – Requested by the Family
FRIDAY – JOVINA SURPOS SCHULTE – Requested by Vina Cruz
SATURDAY – JOACHIM FUNG – Requested by the Fung Family

R.C.I.A. AND ADULT FAITH DEVELOPMENT

Meetings in preparation for the R.C.I.A. (Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults) will begin soon. These meetings are for persons interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith. The exploration may lead the candidate to seek baptism, and become a member of the Catholic Christian community; or for Christians already baptized into another Christian denomination, the reception into the Catholic Church. Adult Catholics who have not received the sacrament of Confirmation but who wish to do so are also encouraged to attend these sessions.

As well, these meetings may be an opportunity for “Born Catholics” to deepen their understanding of our faith. Very often, especially for those of us who received our religious instruction at an early age, we tend to grow physically, mentally, psychologically etc., but the understanding of our faith does not grow correspondingly. The RCIA may serve as a good opportunity for us to ask questions and to develop a more adult understanding of our faith.

If you are interested in joining the RCIA meetings or if you would like to have more information about it, please call the Parish Office at 416-221-8866. You can also contact Fatima Lee directly at ext. 228.

SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN PREPARING FOR BAPTISM

If you have, or know of, school age children (ages 7 to 14) who wish to prepare for Baptism, please contact the Parish Office, or Fatima Lee directly, at (416) 221-8866. Classes for them will begin on Sunday, October 19th at 10:30 AM.

THE NEW STORY – A DISCUSSION OF THE WISDOM OF FR. THOMAS BERRY

Tuesday, October 21st at 7:30 PM or
Thursday, October 23rd at 10:30 AM

The Church has had many great thinkers over the years, including St. Augustine in the 5th century and St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. In our time, we have great thinkers too, one of whom is the Passionist priest, Fr. Thomas Berry, 1914 – 2009. He introduced us to seeing God’s creation in a new way and our role as humans within it. He called it “The New Story”. On Tuesdays at 7:30 PM and repeated on Thursdays, at 10:30 AM, Mary Landry will lead a discussion about his “New Story”, the wisdom that ensues and the challenge it evokes. We guarantee an interesting discussion! All are welcome.

THANKSGIVING FOOD DRIVE

For the Good Shepherd Centre and Rosalie Hall

Please help the hungry and homeless this Thanksgiving by participating in the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. Urgently needed items include: rice, pasta, pasta sauces, canned tuna or salmon, canned soups, stews, meats, fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, jam, sugar, cookies and crackers, breakfast cereals, tea, coffee, sugar, ketchup, mustard and relish. Please no fresh or frozen foods. We thank you for your generous support!

JUST COFFEE

Fair trade organic coffees will be on sale after all the Masses next weekend.

Regular ground coffee: $5.50
Decaffeinated: $6
Whole Beans: $5.50
Chocolate Bars: $4 incl. Taxes
Hot Chocolate and Cocoa: $4.75
Teas: $4.25

WORLD MISSION SUNDAY

October 19th, 2014

There will be a second collection next weekend, October 18th/19th,for the Evangelization of the Nations, otherwise known as “World Mission Sunday.” This is a worldwide collection for the missionary church. World Mission Sunday is our opportunity to assist at-need Catholic communities throughout the world. Thank you for your support of this important work.

THANK YOU

Thank you for supporting the Holy Land Christian Families by purchasing their Olive woodcrafts. Your support has made a difference to many families in Bethlehem and surrounding areas. Please keep the Christians in the Holy Land in your prayers as you are always in theirs.

NORTH YORK RETIREES CLUB

Blessed Trinity Parish Hall
Tuesday, October 14th at 2:00 PM

The next meeting of the North York Retiree’s will be feature guest speaker Brock Godfrey from the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre. His topic will be Fraud Prevention for Seniors. All retirees are cordially invited to attend.

MOSAIC INTERFAITH PEACE MEAL

Sunday October 19th from 1:00 to 5:00 PM

Temple Har Zion, 7360 Bayview Ave

Mosaic Interfaith invites you to attend the annual Peace Meal on Sunday October 19th from 1:00 to 5:00 PM at Temple Har Zion.. The programme theme is Martin Luther’s “I have a dream speech” – 50 years later how far have we come? Representatives of the different faith traditions will speak. Attendees are asked to bring a dish for the vegan supper – with no meat, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products or alcohol or nuts. Please RSVP to Nora at 416-218-0680 by October 16th or call for more information. See poster on bulletin board.

THEOLOGY ON TAP

Pope Francis; A Pope for the world, a Pope for each of us

Monday, October 20th from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

All young adults (ages 19-39) are invited to an evening of thought-provoking conversation on theological topics! The special guest will be Jack Costello, SJ, President of Regis College. Munchies will be provided and a cash bar is available. Come and bring a friend! For more information contact Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt by phone at 416-467-2645 or e-mail faithconnections@csj-to.ca.

24th ANNUAL MASS OF MEMORY

Sunday October 26th at 2.30 PM

St. Paul’s Basilica, 83 Power Street

The 24th Annual Mass of Memory will take place on Sunday October 26th at 2.30 PM at St. Paul’s Basilica. 2.30 to 3.00 PM: Prelude of Sacred /Celtic Music by the Irish Choral Society. 3.00 PM: The Mass of Memory. A reception will follow in the church hall.The Mass is dedicated to the Memory of our Irish Ancestors, victims of the Irish Famine of 1847, many who died here in Toronto and were buried in the school grounds just east of the Basilica, formally the old St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery of Toronto. We remember those who died serving the Irish: Bishop Michael Power, the first bishop of Toronto, doctors, nurses, lay people. We also remember members in the Irish community who have passed away in this last year. For information please phone Norita 905 881 5012 or email noritasbb@rogers.com

MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2014 – CAST YOUR VOTE!

A municipal election will be held on Monday, October 27th. All Catholics are strongly encouraged to exercise their democratic right to vote. To help us all get to know the candidates for Catholic School Board Trustee, Cardinal Collins has given permission for candidates to distribute literature to parishioners departing Mass on weekends until October 25th /26th. We hope you’ll take the time to get to know those seeking elected office.

To ensure your vote for Catholic School Trustee, at the polling booth, verify that you are registered as a separate school supporter. If your support status is incorrect ask for an Application to Amend Voters’ List. This form may be completed and submitted at the polling station.
Thank you for your interest and involvement in this fall’s municipal election!

FINANCE CORNER

Weekly Offertory
Our operating expenses average $14,550 per week.
Collection for last weekend:

Envelopes 405 $8,428
Loose Change $1,070
Weekly Portion of PAG 164 $3,077
(Pre-Authorized Giving)
Total $12,575

Homily – October 5, 2014

October 5th, 2014

I suppose many of you have been down to Niagara on the Lake and seen or visited the many vineyards down there. The lines of grape vines seem to stretch for miles. When these vineyards first started the owners cleared the land with modern earth moving machines. Modern techniques were used for planting the vines and staking them. Modern techniques are used for harvesting and crushing the grapes and aging the wine.

Imagine the backbreaking labor intensive work it must have been to start a vineyard back in the days of Isaiah and Jesus. Breaking the soil, turning it over, clearing it of rocks, planting and staking the vines, building a stone fence and a watch tower and a wine press must have taken years of work and a lot of investment. Whether we think about the vineyard of Isaiah, which represents the people of Israel or the vineyard Jesus describes, which represents those who so strongly opposed the person and teachings of Jesus, we hear that both owners of the vineyards – for all their labor –were rewarded with wild grapes and murderous tenants. It was all thrown back in their face. God’s love for his chosen people, Christ’s great desire to speak and show the Father’s love for all God’s people, both were rejected. Both owners could say, ‘what more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done.?’

We can just imagine the frustration and disappointment of the owners of both these vineyards – all their work, their love goes for nothing. We’ve all know the word ‘entitlement’. It is a mindset that is so real in our times. I have a right, I am owed, I deserve. The chosen people, the religious leaders at the time of Jesus were convinced they were special people and had a right to the gifts of God. People today suffer from this same delusion. I have a right to a better job, better opportunities, a better home a better life style than my parents. Things are supposed to be bigger and better.

It is a hard lesson to learn that we are not an entitled people we are a gifted people. St. Paul asks in one of his letters,’ what have you that you have not received and if you have received it, if you have been gifted, why do you carry on as if had earned it or were owed it? We are here because we were gifted with the gift of faith, a gift that enables us to know that before the world began God chose us as God’s adopted sons and daughters. We are gifted with a faith that assures us God love our world so much he sent his only son as one of us, and the son loved us so much he died on the cross for us. We are gifted with a faith that enables us to know bread is more than bread and wine is more than wine – they are the body and blood of our crucified Lord.

We are gifted to know that we are our brothers and sisters keepers and that Christ comes into our lives in every person we meet. Our gift of faith is meant to grow and produce – as vines are meant to grow and produce choice wine.

We all know there is so much, too much selfishness, racism, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, economic injustice and exploitation in our city and country. Life is too unfair for too many people. As gifted members of God’s vineyard, in the ordinary living of our ordinary lives, we are meant to produce the choice wine of love for others, the choice wine of reconciliation with those we have harmed or those who have harmed us, the choice wine of acceptance and respect for the faith and life situations of friends and strangers, the choice wine of working for social justice, fair immigration laws, affordable housing, just wages, the choice wine of loving others as we have been loved.

As we continue this Mass we pray for ourselves and for one another that by God’s grace we gifted people that we are, will produce the choice wine of a well lived life.