Homily – June 11, 2017

June 11th, 2017

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity. This is a mystery basic of our faith as Christians – this is the mystery that separates us from the great faiths of Judaism and Islam. They too believe in the one God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we believe that the “ God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loved the world, loved us, so much He sent His Son to the world – not to condemn the world – but in order that the world might be saved thru him. We believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sent the Holy Spirit to us at Pentecost to complete the work of Christ on earth and bring us to the fullness of grace.

. As you know a mystery is not something of which we can know nothing, a mystery is something of which we cannot know everything. Even when we see God face to face and know God as God is, we will still be dealing with mystery. Our limited intelligence cannot comprehend the immensity of God.

What this feast celebrates and teaches us is that the inner life of God is a life of relationships. The Father speaks the Word and the Holy Spirit binds Father and Son together in a relationship of love. One author put it this way, ’There is otherness in God’s oneness. God is the beholder and the beheld, the lover and beloved.’

Through the insights of science and thinkers we’ve come to know, if not appreciate, that all creation, the galaxies, the solar systems and Earth reflect the reality of the inner life of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Father, Son and Spirit are not expressions of God, each has their own identity, and they are different one from the other yet live in community, one with the other.

Slowly we’ve come to see our own reality in this way. Last week we celebrate the feast of Pentecost – the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church. The Spirit reminds us of our individual dignity ‘do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you ‘and Spirit reminds us of our oneness with all who share our faith and our common humanity. The Spirit binds us together in a life of love and service. But the reality of our own individuality and our oneness with all others goes beyond our human relationships.

Fr. Thomas Berry, a member of our Passionist Community expressed it this way;’ in reality, there is a single integral community of the Earth that includes all its component members whether human or other than human. In this community every being has its own role to fulfill, its own dignity, its own inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice. Every being declares itself to the entire universe. Every being enters into communion with other beings.’ We are one with, we are family with everything, living and non-living that make up the planet Earth, this life pulsating planet we call home.

We try to recapture that sense of wonder St. Francis of Assisi had when, in his canticles he would sing of Brother Sun and Sister Moon, when he would sing of Brother Wolf and Sister Loon. In his heart he knew he was kin, family to all life on earth. Unfortunately we’ve lost that sense of oneness with the rest of God’s good creation. Through the centuries we’ve made great strides in science and technology and unfortunately we’ve come to see ourselves as masters of creation and see the bounty of Earth’s resources as commodities to exploit and waste. We have come to see Earth and all it contains as a collection of objects, resources to be developed and exploited, not as a community, a family of subjects. We forgot that everything on Earth, from the smallest sub particle to the greatest of whales has its own uniqueness; it is different from every other being yet is a vital part of the community of Earth. We are seldom impressed by the wonder and beauty of creation – we take it for granted. Pope Francis has reminded the world of this reality of oneness in his letter to the world titled ‘Laudato Si’. He gave a copy of this letter to President Trump recently. The President said he’d read it but it is probably being used as a door stop at the White House. The President’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord trashes the message of Pope Francis. Issues such as climate change, the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that feeds us, national issues about the safety of oil pipe lines, oil spills that pollute the oceans, tar sands developments and fracking, are issues we should be concerned about because they have an impact on the quality of our relationship with the rest of God’s good creation. The health and wellbeing of our environment are moral issues because we are dealing with our wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet.

The human family and our relationship with Earth are matters of our faith in God, creator of heaven and earth. Remember the truth, the earth does not belong to us we belong to the earth and what we do to the earth we do to ourselves. We did not weave the web of life; we are strands in the web and what we do to the web we do to ourselves. What goes around comes around.

On this feast of the Holy Trinity made we be bless to know and to live out the reality that as God’s inner life is a life of loving relationships and so too is our life here on earth, when it is lived in a loving, life giving relationship not just with family and friends but with the total Earth community human and otherwise. May we all be blessed to know and live life in this reality.

Bulletin – June 11, 2017

June 10th, 2017

CONFIRMATION

Congratulations to the following young people of our Parish who were confirmed on Sunday, June 4th, 2017. The Sacrament was administered by Most Rev. Robert Kasun CSB, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto.

Sara Maritza Alvarez Blasquez
John Kenneth Aguila
Einsten Augustine
Tyra Barcallon
Xavier Brooks
Crysteen Joecel S. Calica
Cristina Caetano Macdonell
Meghan Cammerson
Janner Castellfort
Brendan Chan
Olivia Chan
Ashley Choi
Denelle Coelho
Eileen Cooke
Jody Genevieve Francis Connors
Elissandra Cosico
Chloe Anne Mae Cusi
Isabel Dantzer
Mikaela De Pinto
Bridget Doherty
Gloria Freire
Isabel Gilmour Penney
Edward Golshenas Rad
Emiliano Golshenas Rad
Seo-Youn Allie Jeon
Joshua Joseph
Ashley Kim
Alyssa Stephanie Lazzer
Alzena Lee
Yunjee Chloe Lee
Christopher Leung
Leon Li
Luis Joseph Limgenco
Stella Marie Ashley
Luke Rachel MacKinnon
Michela Marie Marra
Adam Medwecky
Sasha Medwecky
Vicente Amaro Maturana Toledo
Aria Shania
Noronha Onyinyechi Oguamana
Diego Pachas Ramos
Olivia Perras
Sebastian Roccatani
Bernadette Roque Sarmiento
Darcy Sheldrick
Alejandro Socas Alayon
Connor Sparkman
Estela Victorine
Emily Yue Zhang

Let us pray for them as they continue on their journey of faith guided by the Holy Spirit.

PARISH PICNIC

Sunday, July 9th after the 12:30 Mass

The Parish BBQ Picnic will be held on Sunday, July 9th after the 12:30 Mass in the parking lot. There will be hot dogs, games, face painting, lucky draws, music and more…..

Tickets are $2 each.

Please bring your families, friends and neighbours to enjoy a summer afternoon with your parishioners. We need volunteers to help and make this event happen.

Please sign up by putting your name and phone number on the sheets at the back of church. For more information, you may call Linda Law at 416-918-8029.

GARDEN MINISTRY

The Building Maintenance Committee is currently working with a landscape designer on a new vision for our gardens. If you are interested in participating in the planting and maintenance of the new gardens as well as learning about the plants and their care, please call or email Heather Bennett at 647-774-9742 or heathermjb@gmail.com.

MEMBERS NEEDED FOR VOLUNTEER SCREENING COMMITTEE

St. Gabriel’s Volunteer Screening Committee is seeking two committee members. The Screening Committee interviews and screens parish volunteers. If interested, please visit the parish office and ask for a copy of the position description. To speak with a committee member, leave your name and phone number with the office staff. A committee member will call you. The Screening Committee has also been tasked to plan and deliver St. Gabriel’s 2018 Volunteer Recognition. To achieve committee gender balance, male applicants are encouraged.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

June 12th – June 17th, 2017

MONDAY – YVAN MARKIET – Requested by Jacques & Denise Dussault
TUESDAY – MIGUEL & GERTRUDES REGO – Requested by Maria Da Silva
WEDNESDAY – RODENSA CHEUNG – Requested by Minnie & Alice
THURSDAY – LEONARD MARCHIE – Requested by Teresa Marchie & Family
FRIDAY – BERNIE CABRERA – Requested by Olivia Cabrera
SATURDAY – JOHN & CHRISTOPHER DI LALLO – Requested by Val Palazzo

CHILDREN’S FAITH PROGRAM

Registration forms for the Children’s Faith Program are now available in the parish office. This program is for children of the Parish who attend other Catholic schools, public or private schools. Classes are held at St. Gabriel’s School every second Sunday beginning September 10th, 2017.

Please note that a separate Sacramental registration form is required if your child will receive the sacraments of First Communion, Reconciliation or Confirmation during the 2017/18 year. These forms are also available in the Parish Office.

SHARELIFE

Living the Gospel by helping young families to succeed…

When Amber found out she was going to be a mother, she was afraid and uncertain about who to turn to and where to go. After a friend told her about Rose of Durham, Amber arrived looking for help preparing for the arrival of her son. After one session with her counselor, she felt very safe and welcome, and her anxiety about becoming a parent begin to decrease. Amber took advantage of all the programs and services Rose of Durham had to offer and as a result, her self-esteem drastically improved, along with her parenting skills. Amber admits she would not be the parent she is today if it wasn’t for the help and guidance she was offered at ShareLife-supported Rose of Durham. Last year, over 1,270 young parents received the care, counseling and educational support they needed to care for themselves and their new families.

Please make a sacrificial gift to ShareLife through your parish, or at www.sharelife.org

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL – MARYGROVE CAMP

Weekend of June 17th/18th

There will be a second collection for Marygrove Camp for Girls next weekend, June 17th /18th at all the Masses. Marygrove Camp is a residential camp situated on 39 acres of beautifully treed grounds and a quarter mile of Georgian Bay waterfront near Penetang, Ontario. This summer, 1,100 girls from less fortunate families will be attending camp. Please support this important work of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Each and every child’s camping experience is fully subsidized through this collection. Thank you for your support! Envelopes are in the pews.

JUST COFFEE

Weekend of June 17th/18th

Fair Trade organic coffees will be on sale after all the Masses on the weekend of June 17th/18th.

Regular ground coffee: $5.50
Decaffeinated: $6.00
Whole Beans: $5.50
Chocolate Bars: $4.50 incl. Taxes
Hot Chocolate and Cocoa: $6.00
Teas: $5.00

Please note that there are no Fair Trade coffee sales during the months of July and August.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month the food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre. We encourage you to continue bringing non perishable foods during the summer months. During July and August, food donations tend to drop off. Your donations of canned foods, cereal rice and other non perishables are more important than ever as families
struggle to make ends meet. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your generous support.

DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE – 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Did you know that in 2001, following the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, Development and Peace (D&P) expanded its program in the Middle East? Participation of the most excluded, including women, was encouraged. In Afghanistan the main focus of our program is to support citizen participation in the development of this young democracy, improve societal conditions for women and to promote peace at all levels of society.

To find out more about the work of D&P or to become a member or donor, visit the website at http://www.devp.org/en/get-involved

COLLECTING EYEGLASSES

We are continuing to collect eyeglasses for the Lions Club. Throughout the year, the Lion’s Club volunteers collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to regional Lions Recycling Centres. There volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses. Recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in low and middle income communities where they will have the greatest impact. Please place them in the baskets provided outside the office.

CAN’T HURRY LOVE – SERAPHIM CHOIR

Friday, June 16, 2017

St Gabriel’s Church

With winter in the past and summer approaching, there is no better way to celebrate than by joining the Seraphim Men’s Chorus this June for our Can’t Hurry Love concert Series! A concert fit for all ages, with a great mix of Broadway, classical gems, pop songs both old and new, and Disney favourites! Please join us at St. Gabriel‘s Church on Friday, June 16th at 7:30 PM. . Advanced tickets on sale online at www.seraphimandcherubim.ca or at St Gabriel’s after Sunday Masses. See you soon!

TCDSB STAFF ARTS INTO THE WOODS

June 15th and 17th

Theatre at Cardinal Carter
Toronto Catholic District School Board Staff Arts is pleased to present Into the Woods at the Theatre at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, 36 Greenfield Avenue, North York.

June 15th and 17th at 7:30PM. Admission is $25. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit the website: www.tcdsb.org/staffarts or call 416-222-8282 ext. 2787.

ANNUAL MASS FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Services, Archdiocese of Toronto wishes to invite all families within the Archdiocese of Toronto to participate in the Annual Mass for the Faithful Departed on Wednesday, August 16th, at 7:00 PM.

Mass at Mount Hope Cemetery will be celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Robert Nusca. In the event of rain, Mass will be celebrated at St. Monica’s Church, 44 Broadway Avenue.

Mass will be celebrated by His Eminence, Cardinal Thomas Collins at Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill. In the event of rain, Mass will be celebrated in the Mausoleum.

CHURCH BULLETIN ADVERTISING

Liturgical Publications will be setting up the advertisements for our church bulletin. The advertising will begin in September 2017 and supports the bulletin service. Please support the bulletin and advertise your product or service. Call Liturgical Publications at 905-624-4422

Homily – June 4, 2017

June 4th, 2017

This is a feast of empowerment and enlightenment. The image of a mighty wind swirling around the upper room tells of power. The tongues of fire settling on Mary and the apostles tell of enlightenment. Enlightened and empowered the gifted apostles boldly unlocked the doors of their room and went out into the streets to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior of all people. In tongues they never knew before they proclaimed the mighty works of God.

The Holy Spirit enlivens and enriches the church, men and women in every age with the Spirit’s gifts of wisdom and understanding, the gifts of courage and fortitude and a sense of awe before the Lord. These are not personal gifts meant to be kept to oneself, they are gifts given to enrich the whole Christian community.

In years past the opening prayer for this feast of Pentecost prayed that the Holy Spirit ‘Broaden the horizons of our minds’ so that we may see the dignity and worth of every person who comes into our lives. Broaden the horizons of our minds and enable us to be thankful for the blessing with which we are blessed. Broaden the horizons of our minds and help us to be more sensitive to struggles of the homeless, the under-employed and under-paid men and women living in Toronto. Broaden the horizons of our minds and help us to be more aware of the beauty and the frailty of God’s good creation and work for the healing of Earth. Broaden the horizons of our minds and help us deepen our faith in Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave his life for us.

There are men and women who are in the charismatic movement who sometimes experience the wonder of that first Pentecost, who pray in the Spirit or speak in tongues and heal and prophecy. This Pentecost Pope Francis is greeting a couple of hundred thousand Christian charismatics from around the world to Rome. They held a vigil in praise and prayer last evening in the Circus Maximus. This will be an ecumenical celebration. These pilgrims of Pentecost will be with the Pope tomorrow as he celebrates Mass in St. Peter’s square. I was at a similar meeting back in 1975 when Pope Paul VI met with charismatics from around the world.

There were many songs of praise and much speaking in tongues. It was all very impressive but I have to admit I wasn’t all that comfortable with it. As we say in golf ‘different strokes for different folks.’

I survive with the conviction that the Holy Spirit works in most of our lives by nudging us, a little push now and then to be more patient, kind or understanding towards spouses, children. Maybe the Spirit nudges us to make a phone call, drop a note, or make a visit to a house bound friend. The Spirit gives us the patience we need to be more understanding of aging spouses or parents who forget who they are or even where they are and test our patience with their repeated questions. Maybe we are touched by the idea to pray for people with cancer, especially children. Maybe we are nudged toward a deeper consciousness of the unfairness and desperation that darkens the lives of so many people. Pray that the Spirit bless with an attitude of gratitude for the blessings in our lives. I like to think this is how the Holy Spirit is alive and well in us in the ordinary living of our ordinary lives.

On this feast of Pentecost we pray for ourselves and for each other that the Holy Spirit empower and enlighten us and give us the strength to live lives faithful to the teachings of Jesus our Christ.

Bulletin – June 4, 2017

June 3rd, 2017

DOORS OPEN THANK YOU!

We would like to thank the volunteers who gave up their weekend to welcome visitors and conduct tours of our beautiful church during the Doors Open Toronto event. Your help has made this event a success! Thank you!

GARDEN MINISTRY

The Building Maintenance Committee is currently working with a landscape designer on a new vision for our gardens.
If you are interested in participating in the planting and maintenance of the new gardens as well as learning about the plants and their care, please call or email Heather Bennett at 647-774-9742 or heathermjb@gmail.com.

PARISH PICNIC

Sunday, July 9th after the 12:30 Mass

The Parish BBQ Picnic will be held on Sunday, July 9th after the 12:30 Mass in the parking lot. There will be hot dogs, games, face painting, lucky draws, music and more…..

Tickets are $2 each.

Please bring your families, friends and neighbours to enjoy a summer afternoon with your parishioners. We need volunteers to help and make this event happen.

Please sign up by putting your name and phone number on the sheets at the back of church. For more information, you may call Linda Law at 416-918-8029.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

June 5th – June 10th, 2017

MONDAY – HANNA WISNIOWSKA & FAMILY – Requested by Hanna Wisniowska
TUESDAY – FELIX CHAN – Requested by John Chan
WEDNESDAY – MARTIN FRANK – Requested by Margaret Anne Leckie
THURSDAY – DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE NASCIMENTO FAMILY – Requested by the Nascimento Family
FRIDAY – SOULS IN PURGATORY – Requested by Teresa Marchie
SATURDAY – FRANCIS PEREIRA – Requested by Sophie & Candida Pereira

CONFIRMATION

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated on this Sunday, June 4th at 3:00 PM at St. Gabriel’s Church.

Most Rev. Robert Kasun CSB, Auxillary Bishop of Toronto will celebrate the sacrament.

There are 51 Confirmation candidates. Please keep them in your prayers.

CHILDREN’S FAITH PROGRAM

Registration forms for the Children’s Faith Program are now available in the parish office. This program is for children of the Parish who attend other Catholic schools, public or private schools. Classes are held at St. Gabriel’s School every second Sunday beginning September 10th, 2017.

Please note that a separate Sacramental registration form is required if your child will receive the sacraments of First Communion, Reconciliation or Confirmation during the 2017/18 year. These forms are also available in the Parish Office.

Working wonders for those who need help in our neighbourhood…

Working with St. Elizabeth HealthCare, ShareLife, through Catholic Charities, has implemented a shared services initiative that has provided support to agencies in the areas of human resources (16 agencies) and financial services (5 agencies). Now in its fourth year of activity, agencies participating in this initiative report that they are able to improve the quality, competency and accuracy of their work in these areas. Some Executive Directors reported on the impact of this initiative to their agency. “It has enhanced our agency’s competence.” shares one Executive Director, “Before I was in way over my head, but trying to do my best. Now, I have expertise at my disposal and feel comfortable.”

Today is ShareLife Sunday.
Thank you for your generosity.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL – MARYGROVE CAMP

Weekend of June 17th/18th

There will be a second collection for Marygrove Camp for Girls on the weekend of June 17th /`18that all the Masses. Marygrove Camp is a residential camp situated on 39 acres of beautifully treed grounds and a quarter mile of Georgian Bay waterfront near Penetang, Ontario. This summer, 1,100 girls from less fortunate families will be attending camp. Please support this important work of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Each and every child’s camping experience is fully subsidized through this collection. Thank you for your support! Envelopes are in the pews.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month the food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre.

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.

Your food donations are more important than ever as the numbers of needy people continue to increase. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your generous support.

DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE – 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Did you know that in 2001, Development and Peace (D&P) became the official Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis, which is a confederation of 165 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations operating in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. Its General Secretariat is located in the Palazzo San Calisto, Vatican City. To find out more about the work of D&P or to become a member or donor, visit the website at http://www.devp.org/en/get-involved.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL BUNDLE-UP COLLECTION

This Weekend, June 3rd/4th

The Society for St. Vincent de Paul is holding their annual Bundle Up Collection this weekend, June 3rd/4th.

Bring your gently used clothing, household linens, shoes and small household goods to share with others.

Appliances, furniture, building materials, dishes, books and video or audio cassettes cannot be accepted.

A St. Vincent de Paul truck is in the Church parking lot to receive donations. The truck is open on Saturday, June 3rd from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday, June 4th until 1:00 PM.

Volunteers will assist with the loading before and after each Mass. The Society will donate, exchange for vouchers or sell these donations to support their outreach efforts. Thank you for your continued support.

COLLECTING EYEGLASSES

We are continuing to collect eyeglasses for the Lions Club. Throughout the year, the Lion’s Club volunteers collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to regional Lions Recycling Centres. There volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses. Recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in low and middle income communities where they will have the greatest impact. Please place them in the baskets provided outside the office.

PLANNING TO BE A CATHOLIC TEACHER?

It is important for you to know that to be hired to teach in any Catholic School Board in Ontario, as part of your application for employment, there must be a letter of reference from your pastor. If you are planning to apply to teach in a Catholic School, a contact with the pastor is highly recommended. Please plan to have a conversation with your Pastor early in the process, well before applications are to be submitted.

TCDSB STAFF ARTS INTO THE WOODS

June 10th, 15th and 17th.

Theatre at Cardinal Carter
Toronto Catholic District School Board Staff Arts is pleased to present Into the Woods at the Theatre at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts,

36 Greenfield Avenue, North York.
June 10th, 15th and 17th at 7:30PM
Admission is $25.

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit the website: www.tcdsb.org/staffarts or call 416-222-8282 ext. 2787.

CANT HURRY LOVE – SERAPHIM CHOIR

Saturday, June 16, 2017
St Gabriel’s Church

With winter in the past and summer approaching, there is no better way to celebrate than by joining the Seraphim Men’s Chorus this June for our Can’t Hurry Love concert Series! A concert fit for all ages, with a great mix of Broadway, classical gems, pop songs both old and new, and Disney favourites! Please join us at St. Gabriel’s Church on June 16th at 7:30 PM. . Advanced tickets on sale online at www.seraphimandcherubim.ca or at St Gabriel’s after Sunday masses. See you soon!

FILM AND TESTIMONY NIGHT: “JERUSALEM”

Tuesday, June 20th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Blessed Trinity Parish Hall, 3220 Bayview Ave.

Watch the inspiring film, “Jerusalem” and view the spectacular vistas sacred to the three monotheistic religions. There will be a sharing of testimonies on the entry into the Catholic Church and reminiscences of life in a Jewish neighbourhood. All are welcome.

For more information please contact Fellowship of St. Joseph of the Association for Hebrew Catholics at ahctoronto@gmail.com.

MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE

St. Gabriel’s Parish
Weekend of September 22nd, 23rd and 24th 2017

A Marriage Preparation course will be offered here at St. Gabriel’s the weekend of September 22nd to 24th. The course will be held Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM. For a registration package please email Marie Deans at deansm@sympatico.ca.

CHURCH BULLETIN ADVERTISING

Liturgical Publications will be setting up the advertisements for our church bulletin. The advertising will begin in September 2017 and supports the bulletin service. Please support the bulletin and advertise your product or service. Call Liturgical Publications at 905-624-4422

Homily – May 28, 2017

May 28th, 2017

This has been a rough week for a lot of people, especially the families of those killed or wounded in the bombing that took place in Manchester, England. It is hard to imagine what goes on in the minds of the people responsible for such horrendous acts. Setting a bomb designed to kill and maim young people enjoying a concert. Speaking of horrendous acts, there was the murder of Coptic Christians on pilgrimage to a shrine. Then there was the signing of an arms deal between the U.S. the Saudis. Think of the destruction to human life and property that will result from such a deal. The lives of innocent men, women and children will be snuffed out, homes and schools and hospitals will be destroyed all in the name of profit and greed cloaked in the robe of national security.

Maybe some of you good people are experiencing your own time of terror, your own time of fright and fear. Pope John 23rd made the observation that behind every front door there is a cross. Maybe you are waiting for test results or you’ve just got results that are not good. Maybe there is the possibility of losing your job. Maybe you just can’t find a job. Maybe you are behind in your rent. Maybe what you thought was a good relationship has gone sour. Maybe your family life is disintegrating because serious conflicts or even separation. Maybe you’ve just discovered a son or daughter is caught in the web of addiction. All these and many other situations can be your own experience of a bomb blast that shatters your life. Our world, personal and social seems to be controlled by evil, greedy and unjust and hateful forces. At times we can find it hard to find the good and the generous and the beautiful in our world. The bright sun seems hidden by the black clouds of immorality and injustice.

Six weeks ago this past Friday we observed Good Friday. Notice I didn’t say we celebrated, we observed, we remembered in sorrow the sufferings of Jesus our Christ. We remembered how evil religious and political men decided it was better for an innocent man to die to maintain their political and religious stability. We remember how Jesus, a man who went about doing good, who called people to have compassion and love for one another was reduced to a victim of mockery and brutality. He was crowned with the mock thorn crown of kingship, declared innocent and yet scourged. We remember his way to the cross, his being nailed to the cross and his painful and lonely death on the cross. We remembered his was wounded for our offences and that by his wounds we were healed.

Today we celebrate the feast of Christ’s Ascension, his being taken up in glory. The resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus cannot be separated; they are separated in order to contemplate the meaning of two aspects of a single, indivisible event. Both feasts celebrate Christ’s vindication, his glorification. Both feasts teach us that the sacrifice of his life on the cross was accepted by the Father. As St. Paul teaches it was for this cause – his acceptance of death – that God has exalted him and given him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus ever knee should bend in heaven and on earth and every tongue should confess that Jesus the Christ is Lord.

These feasts of resurrection and ascension shout out loud that evil and hatred and injustice are not the final words in our lives.

A number of years ago Cardinal Wyszynski of Warsaw visited Auschwitz – the infamous concentration camp where thousands of Jews and Poles were worked and starved to death and finally executed. Auschwitz was the epitome of evil, of hatred. The Cardinal said to those who were with him, you see this place, the barracks are decaying, the barbwire fence is rotting, the ovens and cold and empty – those who ran this terrible place are remembered in shame and dishonor – those who survived this place of death now live new and fruitful lives. Evil does not and will not prevail. Love and life prevail.

The hatred and evil wrought on Jesus did not prevail – Christ has risen, Christ will come again.

The sadness, the anxiety, the hurt you may now be facing will not endure, will not win. God’s grace and love and mercy are with you – whether you realize it or not and you will, with God’s grace, overcome, you will prevail. Christ’s victory is our victory. Where he has gone we hope to follow.

The final words of Jesus in today’s gospel command us to go into our world, however limited ours may be, and by the way we face and endure our own sufferings, we witness to the wonderful truth that love conquers hatred, acceptance of other people into our lives shows the shallowness of bigotry, that is it better to give than to receive, that injustice and greed are a one way street to nowhere. Those who live in love live in God.