Homily – November 26, 2017

November 26th, 2017

The most powerful image we have of Christ our King is the one we have from the gospel of Matthew. Pilate found Jesus innocent of the charges the authorities brought against him but had Jesus whipped. After his scourging Jesus was brought before the crowd. He has been beaten; he was wearing a purple horse blanket and a crown of thorns. Pilate mockingly presented the bloodied Jesus to the people – behold your king – only to be told by the mob – we have no king but Caesar.

Today we celebrate the feast of Christ our King. A king of truth and life, a king of holiness and grace, a king of justice, love and peace.

It is a requirement of our faith that we see Christ, we honor Christ, we love Christ, we accept Christ in every person who comes into our lives. It is a requirement of our faith that we faithfully keep the new commandment; Love one another as I have loved you.

Today’s gospel doesn’t pull any punches. It doesn’t say a word about saying daily prayers, going to Mass on Sundays, receiving the Sacraments. All these things are very important in the living of our faith lives. But this gospel tells us we will be judged by who we were and how we were to every person who came into our lives.

I know a man who was asked by a religious friend, ‘are you a Christian?’ His answer was, ’Ask my neighbour.’ That’s a powerful answer.

Do we feed the hunger of a family member, a friend or a stranger who hungers for acceptance or respect or forgiveness? Do we quench the thirst of a family member, a friend or a stranger who thirsts for refreshing waters of friendship and acceptance? Do we welcome into our hearts men and women and children who come from away to start new lives in Canada. Do we welcome new people into our neighbourhood? Do we take time out of our busy lives to make a phone call, drop a line or visit people we know to be housebound, people who go for days with no one to talk with? Do we clothe with respect, even reverence every person we meet – knowing that they are a son of daughter of God, just as we are? Are we there to lift up the weary, people who struggle with depression and anxiety?

These are challenges that come our way in so many ways and on so many days. We all have our own worries and struggles and we look for a listening ear, a helping hand. We know how grateful we are when someone is there for us. Are we willing to be there for others?

We all bear the presence of the Most High, no matter how diminished of devalued we may seem to ourselves or others. We are the bodies of Christ. However we treat others is how we treat him.

As we continue to celebrate our Eucharist we pray for ourselves and each other that all is over and the Son of Man comes in all his glory, none of us hear the dreadful words ‘depart from me’ but only the welcoming words, ‘come blessed of my father.’

Bulletin – November 26, 2017

November 25th, 2017

LIVING POPE FRANCIS’ VISION OF THE CHURCH
THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL – ADVENT RETREAT

Saturday, December 2nd from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church

Please join us for the Advent Retreat. It will be a wonderful way to prepare our minds and hearts for Christmas. The retreat will be preached by Father Robin Ryan, a Passionist priest and theologian. Father Ryan teaches at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is author of numerous books, articles and recordings on theological and spiritual topics, and a much sought-after retreat director.

Among his work are Catholics on Call: Discerning a Life of Service in the Church (Liturgical Press, 2010) and God and the Mystery of Human Suffering: A Theological Conversation Across the Ages (Paulist Press, 2011). Pope Francis is calling all baptized Christians to renew their relationship with Christ and the Church. In this parish retreat, Father Ryan will explore with us the vision of the Church that Pope Francis presents and reflect on its implications for Christian living.

For more information, please call Parish Office at 416 221-8866, or email Fatima Lee at fatimalee@bellnet.ca.

YOUTH GROUP ADVENT WREATH SALE

This Weekend – November 25th and 26th

The St. Gabriel’s Youth Group has decorated Advent wreaths which will be on sale this weekend, November 25th and 26th after all the Masses. Money raised will go toward sponsoring the youth group activities. Please support our Youth Group!

CYBER SAFETY PRESENTATION

Sunday November 26th at 2:00 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church

There will be a presentation on Cyber Safety here at the Church this Sunday, November 26th at 2:00 PM. It will be led by Peter Sloly, a former parishioner. Mr. Sloly was a member of the Toronto Police for 27 years and the Deputy Police Chief of Toronto Police Services. All are welcome to attend.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

November 27th to December 2nd, 2017

MONDAY – DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE CAGNEY FAMILY – Requested by Joe Cagney
TUESDAY – SOULS IN PURGATORY – Requested by Mary & Ravi
WEDNESDAY – ELIO RANCATI – Requested by his Family
THURSDAY – GIUSEPPINA SMARIGLIO – Requested by Lina Giannotta
FRIDAY – SOULS IN PURGATORY – Requested by Mary & Ravi
SATURDAY – EDGARDO RECANA & CELINA DELFIN – Requested by their Family

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION

Friday, December 1st from 9:30 AM to 12 Noon

WELCOME TO THE NEWLY BAPTIZED

The Parish Family of St. Gabriel’s would like to welcome:
Caryl Hipona Cabanero
Matthieu Chiu
Brady James Hanna
Brendan John Barry Long
Isabel Rosa Mercedes Valdez
Sofia Marie Rose Valdez

These children received the Sacrament of Baptism on November 19, 2017. Congratulations!

PARENT MEETING FOR FIRST RECONCILIATION

Wednesday, November 29th at 7:30 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church, Gabriel Room

On Wednesday, November 29th at 7:30 PM there will be a meeting in the Gabriel Room for parents of children who will be receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.

ECO-SABBATH

Sunday, December 3rd at 11:30 AM in the Gabriel Room

On the first Sunday of each month, the Passionist Centre for Ecology and Spirituality facilitates a 30 minute reflection and discussion prompted by the readings for that Sunday’s liturgy. The guided reflection brings an ecological perspective to the readings. All are welcome.

DAY OF CONFESSION

Wednesday, December 13th

On Wednesday, December 13th, we will all have the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Confessions will be heard from 10:30 AM to 12:00 Noon and from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

ROSARY GROUPS

Chinese: Sunday, December 3rd at 3:30 PM in the Gabriel Room.
English: Saturday, December 9th at 3:15 PM in the Library

For further information, please contact Linda Law at 416 -918-8029.

THE GIVING TREE

Saturday December 2nd to Sunday, December 17th

During Advent, the Society of St Vincent de Paul will have a Giving Tree in the Gathering Space.

The tree will be decorated with gift tags. Each tag will have the gender and age of a child. We invite you to take a tag, buy a gift or a gift card of about $25.00 for that child and return the unwrapped gift, with the tag attached, to the box provided in the Gathering Space. If you are a knitter, there will be mitten tags. Please take one and return mitts to the box in the Gathering Space.

At this time of the year, we are also thinking of the young mothers and babies of Rosalie Hall. If you wish to help, you may choose a “Christmas Stocking” from the tree to purchase pyjamas or undershirts for babies ages 6 months to 4 years.

Unwrapped Items with the original stocking tag attached can be left in the box provided near the “mitten” tree no later than December 17th. Toys for these little ones would also be appreciated.

For the Moms, we are suggesting gift cards from Tim Horton’s, Walmart or MacDonald’s. These can be placed in the envelopes provided and brought to the Parish Office. Thank you for your generous support.

CHRISTMAS TOY DRIVE

Saturday December 2nd to Sunday December 17th

We are having a Christmas Toy Drive again this year for the Catholic Children’s Aid Society. You can help by dropping off an unwrapped new toy for a child newborn to 12 years old. Containers will be set up at the doors of the Church next weekend and will remain there until Sunday, December 17th.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month the food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre. The good people of St. Gabriel’s have been extremely generous in their support of these two important centres.

Rosalie Hall assists young parents and their children to realize their potential through the provision of a wide range of child development, community, residential and educational services.

Good Shepherd provides hot meals and shelter for the homeless in our city as well as a chance to start again through the Resettlement or DARE Programs.

Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your tremendous support!

A THANK YOU FROM REBECCA FERGUSON OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD MINISTRIES

I would like to take this opportunity to thank your parishioners for participating in Good Shepherd Ministries 2017 Thanksgiving Food Drive. With your support it was a huge success.

Good Shepherd currently serves more than 1,300 meals a day and runs the largest free meal program in Toronto. You are helping to provide more that 450,000 nutritious meals to people in need this year. This tremendous feat can’t be accomplished without you. Thank you for remembering people in our community who need our care, compassion and support.

ST. GABRIEL SCHOOL POINSETTIA FUNDRAISER

Order Forms Due Monday, November 27th

Just a Reminder…
The last day to submit order forms for the St. Gabriel School Poinsettia Sale is Monday, November 27th. Completed order forms may be dropped off in the Parish Office where there are also extra forms if needed. Plants will be available for pick up at St. Gabriel School on Friday, December 8th. Funds raised will help subsidize activities and materials that benefit all students at the school. Please support St. Gabriel School.

THE TORONTO CHORAL SOCIETY PRESENTS BACH’S CHRISTMAS ORATORIO

Wednesday, December 6th at 7:30 PM

Koerner Hall, Telus Centre

On the first Wednesday in December at the acoustically magnificent Koerner Hal the Toronto Choral Society, 22 members of the Talisker Players and some great soloists present Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Tickets start at $45 and can be ordered from the website: https://www.torontochoralsociety.org/concerts/2017/12/6/christmas-oratorio-at-koerner-hall.

SERAPHIM AND CHERUBIM CHORUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT

Friday, December 8th at 7:30 PM

St. Bonaventure Parish

Christmas, Christmas time is near! Come join the Seraphim and Cherubim Chorus’ singing the Christmas songs you love as part of their Somewhere in My Memory concert series. A mix of old favourites and twists on classics!

Please join them at St. Bonaventure Parish (1300 Leslie St) on Friday, December 8th at 7:30 PM. Advanced tickets are available online at www.seraphimandcherubim.ca. Proceeds go to support Camp Winston – a camp for children with complex neurological disorders.

FRIARS’ STUDENT WRITING AWARD 2018 –

Win great prizes! Deadline for submissions January 8th 2018

Students aged 14 to 18 are invited to write a 500-word essay on the theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, celebrated January 18th to January 25th, 2018. The Theme is “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power” (cf. Exodus 15:6). Students should read the Scripture passage from Exodus 15: 1-21 and respond to the following question in the essay:

Just as the Israelites sought deliverance from enslavement, in contemporary society the dignity of all people is threatened by new enslavements to poverty, violence, injustice and addictions. In what ways can Christians of all denominations work together to stave off these assaults to human dignity? Explain.

First Prize: iPad Pro (128 GB). Second Prize: Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2. Third to Sixth Prizes: one-year subscription to The Catholic Register and other prizes. Winning essays will be edited and published in The Catholic Register. Deadline for entries is January 8th, 2018. For entry details, please visit http://bit.ly/studentwritingawarddetails.

VISIT THE PASSIONIST COMMUNITIES IN EAST AFRICA

June, 2018

Are you interested in witnessing the work of the Passionist Community in East Africa in June 2018? Travel in a small group and visit some of the Passionist Communities in Kenya and Tanzania. Have the experience of a lifetime on an East African Wildlife Safari.

For more information please contact Steve Carey at carey@travelonly.com or call 416-278-9346.

Envelopes

Please do not use envelopes from previous years since that envelope number may have been reassigned to another parishioner.

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

Homily – November 19, 2017

November 19th, 2017

This parable about the master who handed over his wealth to his servants in trust can be confusing.

We have to remember this parable is not about the stock market or entrepreneurship. It is about the bounty of life itself as well the awesome gifts of life and faith and how we invest these gifts of life and faith in the living of our own lives and the enriching of the lives of others.

Some people who visit here for the first time are struck by the difference between St. Gabriel’s and their own parish church. I try to explain that in planning the church we wanted to make an important element in our parish spirituality is to connect our worship nature and nature with our worship. We try to be aware of the beauty of Earth and the wounded-ness of Earth and we try to work toward the healing of Earth. Every now and then we are reminded to ‘live simply that others may simply live.

In one of the Prefaces we use during the year we pray;”

All things are of your making, times and seasons obey your laws but you chose to create us in your own image setting us over the whole world in all its wonder. You gave us the care of creation to praise you day by day for the marvels of your wisdom. The well – being of Earth has been entrusted to the human family, a family that is one with the family of all life on Earth. Remember the quote I’ve used so often,’ Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth and what we do to the Earth we do to ourselves.

The following thoughts are not mine; they are the reflections of Gerald Darring of St. Louis University;

”God our master has left us with the earth, not to do with it what we want but to care for it even as we live off of its abundant riches. God created the land to support living things: What will happen when God returns to find so much land strip-mined, forests strip-cleared, eroded, and burdened with toxic waste?

God created the waters to support living things: What will happen when God returns to find the oceans and rivers polluted with our garbage and chemical by-products? What will happen when God returns and discovers so many species of fish extinct?

God created the air to support living things: What will happen when God returns to find fresh clean air has been replaced with toxic fumes and smog?

God created plants and animals to live on this wonderful earth and revel in its beauty: What will happen when God returns to find so many of them driven to extinction by our destructive practices?

May we learn to care better for the Master’s goods so that when the Master returns, we will hear those blessed words: Well done good and faithful servant you have cared for and respected the world I gave you, enter into the joy of your Master.

We all have a unique responsibility under God to safeguard the created world and that responsibility requires of us that we live responsibly within it rather than trying to manage creation as though we are outside it. We did not weave the web of life; we are a strand in the web and what we do to the web we do to ourselves.

As we continue to celebrate this Mass we pray that we will use wisely and justly the talents, the gifts of creation God has entrusted to us. May we be called good and trustworthy in the way we care for the gifts of nature entrusted to us.

Bulletin – November 19, 2017

November 18th, 2017

LIVING POPE FRANCIS’ VISION OF THE CHURCH – THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL – ADVENT RETREAT

Saturday, December 2nd from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church

Please join us for the Advent Retreat. It will be a wonderful way to prepare our minds and hearts for Christmas. The retreat will be preached by Father Robin Ryan, a Passionist priest and theologian. Father Ryan teaches at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He is author of numerous books, articles and recordings on theological and spiritual topics, and a much sought-after retreat director.

Among his work are Catholics on Call: Discerning a Life of Service in the Church (Liturgical Press, 2010) and God and the Mystery of Human Suffering: A Theological Conversation Across the Ages (Paulist Press, 2011).

Pope Francis is calling all baptized Christians to renew their relationship with Christ and the Church. In this parish retreat, Father Ryan will explore with us the vision of the Church that Pope Francis presents and reflect on its implications for Christian living.

For more information, please call Parish Office at 416 221-8866, or email Fatima Lee at fatimalee@bellnet.ca.

YOUTH GROUP ADVENT WREATH SALE

Weekend of November 25th and 26th

The St. Gabriel’s Youth Group has decorated Advent wreaths which will be on sale on the weekend of November 25th and 26th after all the Masses.

Money raised will go toward sponsoring the youth group activities. Please support our Youth Group!

CYBER SAFETY PRESENTATION

Sunday November 26th at 2:00 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church

There will be a presentation on Cyber Safety here at the Church on Sunday, November 26th at 2:00 PM. It will be led by Peter Sloly, a former parishioner. Mr. Sloly was a member of the Toronto Police for 27 years and the Deputy Police Chief of Toronto Police Services. All are welcome to attend.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

November 20th to November 25th, 2017

MONDAY – MICHAEL BOBYK – Requested by Miroslaw & Alicia Bobyk
TUESDAY – SOULS IN PURGATORY – Requested by Mary & Ravi
WEDNESDAY – ANNA & PETER – Requested by Their Parents Robert & Maria
THURSDAY – SOULS IN PURGATORY – Requested by Mary & Ravi
FRIDAY – GUS CALDERONE – Requested by the Marie Calderone
SATURDAY – MARJORIE SKAZIN, ANITA MARKLE & PATRICK MCGROARTY – Requested by Bill & Carolyn Markle

CONFIRMATION ENROLLMENT CEREMONY

Sunday, November 26th at the 12:30 PM Mass

The Confirmation Enrollment Ceremony for all Confirmation candidates will be held on Sunday, November 26th at the 12:30 PM Mass. All Confirmation candidates must attend.

Candidates are reminded to submit their letters requesting Confirmation to Fr. Brando through the Parish Office by this Sunday, November 19th.

PARENT MEETING FOR FIRST RECONCILIATION

Wednesday, November 29th at 7:30 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church, Gabriel Room

On Wednesday, November 29th at 7:30 PM there will be a meeting in the Gabriel Room for parents of children who will be receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time.

SHEPHERD’S TRUST COLLECTION

This Weekend, November 18th/19th

As members of our Catholic community, we regularly benefit from the tireless service of our priests. Called by God and ordained to care for His people, our priests serve our families, in churches, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, missions and on the streets.

This weekend, there will be a second collection for The Shepherds’ Trust. The mission of The Shepherds’ Trust is to help ensure that elderly and disabled priests are provided with sufficient financial resources to lead a dignified life after many years of ministry. Your generous gift will help our priests to maintain a modest but active and independent lifestyle in their retirement years. For priests who are ill or otherwise infirm, the Trust ensures they have access to nursing home facilities and medical care. Thank you for your support of this important work.

THE GIVING TREE

Saturday,December 2nd to Sunday, December 17th

During Advent, the Society of St Vincent de Paul will have a Giving Tree in the Gathering Space.

The tree will be decorated with gift tags. Each tag will have the gender and age of a child. We invite you to take a tag, buy a gift or a gift card of about $25.00 for that child and return the unwrapped gift, with the tag attached, to the box provided in the Gathering Space. If you are a knitter, there will be mitten tags. Please take one and return mitts to the box in the Gathering Space.

At this time of the year, we are also thinking of the young mothers and babies of Rosalie Hall. If you wish to help, you may choose a “Christmas Stocking” from the tree to purchase pyjamas or undershirts for babies ages 6 months to 4 years.

Unwrapped Items with the original stocking tag attached can be left in the box provided near the “mitten” tree no later than Sunday, December 17th. Toys for these little ones would also be appreciated.

For the Moms, we are suggesting gift cards from Tim Horton’s, Walmart or MacDonald’s. These can be placed in the envelopes provided and brought to the Parish Office. Thank you for your generous support.

DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE

Development and Peace has launched a new campaign “Women at the Heart of Peace”. This campaign invites Canadians to learn more about the vital role women play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. To learn more, visit devp.org/campaign.

CHRISTMAS TOY DRIVE

Saturday, December 2nd to Sunday, December 17th

We are having a Christmas Toy Drive again this year for the Catholic Children’s Aid Society. You can help by dropping off an unwrapped new toy for a child newborn to 12 years old. Containers will be set up at the doors of the Church from Saturday, December 2nd until Sunday, December 17th.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Your prepared frozen casseroles 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. Three recipes are available on St. Gabriel’s website. Printed copies of the recipes are also available in the Parish Office. 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.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month the food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre. The good people of St. Gabriel’s have been extremely generous in their support of these two important centres.

Rosalie Hall assists young parents and their children to realize their potential through the provision of a wide range of child development, community, residential and educational services.

Good Shepherd provides hot meals and shelter for the homeless in our city as well as a chance to start again through the Resettlement or DARE Programs.

Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your tremendous support!

ST. GABRIEL SCHOOL POINSETTIA FUNDRAISER

Weekend of November 18th and 19th

St. Gabriel School is holding a poinsettia fundraiser this year. Order forms are available after all the Masses this weekend, November 18th and 19th in the Gathering Space or from the Parish Office. Plants will be available for pick up at St. Gabriel School on Friday, December 8th. Funds raised will help subsidize activities and materials that benefit all students at the school. Please support St. Gabriel School.

FRIENDS OF THE STREET

Wednesday, November 22nd from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM

St. Margaret Parish Hall

Friends of the Street is a group in St. Margaret of Scotland Parish that prays for those who have been pushed to the margins of society through drug use or their lifestyle. Each month we hear from people who have lived on the street, or from those who support them downtown.

The next meeting is on Wednesday November 22nd from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM in the parish hall at 2134 Avenue Road, Toronto. The speaker will be Kelly who will talk of her life of addiction and her journey to recovery.

FACULTY OF THEOLOGY 8TH ANNUAL MEAGHER LECTURE – THEOLOGY IN THE CHURCH

Tuesday, November 21st at 7:00 PM

Madden Hall, 100 St. Joseph Street, Toronto

Please join the Faculty of Theology, University of St. Michael’s College as Professor Emeritus Dr. Michael Vertin presents the 8th annual Meagher Lecture, a talk entitled Theology in the Church. The event takes place at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 21st 2017 in Madden Hall, at 100 St. Joseph St., Toronto. Admission is free, and no registration is required

BLESSED TRINITY CWL PRESENTS

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Tuesday, November 28th at 7:00 PM

Blessed Trinity Parish Hall

Please join Blessed Trinity CWL for an evening with Dr Andrea Levinson, Psychiatrist in chief. Health and Wellness, University of Toronto. This talk will provide an overview of the continuum from mental health to mental illness. Issues pertaining to the impact, stigma, gender differences, key signs and symptoms, common illnesses and ways to access help will be covered. Refreshments will be provided and a $10 donation would be appreciated. For more information, please contact Kay Booker at 416-357-5378.

THE TORONTO CHORAL SOCIETY PRESENTS BACH’S CHRISTMAS ORATORIO

Wednesday, December 6th at 7:30 PM

Koerner Hall, Telus Centre

On the first Wednesday in December at the acoustically magnificent Koerner Hal the Toronto Choral Society, 22 members of the Talisker Players and some great soloists present Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Tickets start at $45 and can be ordered from the website: https://www.torontochoralsociety.org/concerts/2017/12/6/christmas-oratorio-at-koerner-hall.

FRIARS’ STUDENT WRITING AWARD 2018

Win great prizes! Deadline for submissions January 8th 2018

Students aged 14 to 18 are invited to write a 500-word essay on the theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, celebrated January 18th to January 25th, 2018. The Theme is “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power” (cf. Exodus 15:6). Students should read the Scripture passage from Exodus 15: 1-21 and respond to the following question in the essay:

Just as the Israelites sought deliverance from enslavement, in contemporary society the dignity of all people is threatened by new enslavements to poverty, violence, injustice and addictions. In what ways can Christians of all denominations work together to stave off these assaults to human dignity? Explain.

First Prize: iPad Pro (128 GB). Second Prize: Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2. Third to Sixth Prizes: one-year subscription to The Catholic Register and other prizes. Winning essays will be edited and published in The Catholic Register. Deadline for entries is January 8th, 2018. For entry details, please visit http://bit.ly/studentwritingawarddetails.

Homily – November 12, 2017

November 12th, 2017

About this same time last Sunday a group of about 50 men, women and children gathered at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas. As we do today so they did a week ago, they gathered to worship and praise Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Their gathering of worship and praise was turned into a blood bath as a mentally disturbed man shot and killed 26 of them and wounded many others.

Can you imagine how traumatized our parish family of St. Gabriel’s would be if such a similar thing happen within these walls? What might be the lasting effects of such a horror?

How will this small faith community in Sutherland Springs survive their senseless tragedy? They are supported by the other faith community in their small town and the prayers of people across the land. They will survive and live their faith lives more deeply because they believe, as we believe, the words of Paul in today’s Mass;’ we do not want you to be uninformed about those who have died, so that you do not grieve as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus; God will bring with him all who have died.

The survivors of that tragedy in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas will move on and live on and love on. They will not grieve their great loss of family and friends like people who have no hope, men and women who see their death as an entrance into nothingness. These good people believe, as we believe, that Jesus Christ, through his death and resurrection is the Lord of life and the conqueror of death. They believe as we believe that death is not the end of life, it is the beginning of new and endless life.

This month of November with its many sunless days is the month of the Holy Souls. We remember those family members and friends who have died. We often see death as something that separates us from those we loved but the truth is that those who die in grace go no further from us that God and God is always near. They are with us as God is with us. They are with us as we remember, make present the past, what they said, what they did, their faults and failings, the good things they said and did. They are with us.

As we continue to celebrate this Mass, we make present the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, that great event that assures us all of endless life with God, we remember our faithful departed and especially we remember and pray for the men, women and children of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas who died one week ago today. We pray too for the healing of body and mind of those good people who survived that awful day.

May a tragedy like last Sunday’s help each of us to appreciate the gifts of faith and life with which we have all been blessed.