Homily – July 2, 2017

As you know I begin each Mass asking you to recall the many blessings by which God has enriched all our lives. This is the first reason we are all here, to thank God for God’s many blessings. Eucharist means ‘thanksgiving’. We may come with a list of our needs, but first and foremost we are here to say ‘thank you’. That’s why we call to mind the many blessings by which God has blessed our lives.

This weekend we will be celebrating the 150 anniversary of Confederation, an event that established us as a nation.

We know we have a lot for which to be thankful. When we look around the world we see our brothers and sisters victims of civil war and religious strife. Millions of displaced families are living in refugee camps, in Yemen thousands are dying from cholera. There is little of anything we can do about all this except that we protect ourselves from the global indifference toward our suffering brothers and sisters and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

We have to admit our Canada has its own problems too. The living and health conditions of our First Nations people are a blight on our image as a land justice and equality. These good people still live with the effects the residential schools had on them. They still fight for rights guaranteed by the treaties they signed as nation to nation with the Crown. Our history books have ignored their histories as the first peoples of this land and their role in the building of Canada.

For all our openness and generosity toward refugees from countries of the Middle East we still have to face the racism and bigotry that periodically surfaces among us.

When we look south of the border we have to be thankful for our public health system and our welfare system that care for our seniors and infirm – there may be flaws but it helps so many good and needy people.

The gospel talks about giving a cup of cold water to a person in need.As a parish family you good people can be proud of your response to appeals such as Share Life, the Good Shepherd Refuge, St. Vincent de Paul, Justice and Peace and Rosalie Hall and your willingness to support our several refugee appeals. As the gospel tells us ‘you will not lose your reward.’ This has been your way of saying ‘thanks’ for living in a country like Canada.

We continue this Mass giving thanks to God for so many blessings, the blessing of our faith, the blessing of this Eucharist and the blessing of living in the beautiful land of Canada.

May we all be blessed with a wonderful Canada Day.