We’re about to celebrate Canada Day! I’ve lived in Canada now at three different points in my life: as a seminarian in the 1980s, teaching at the Faculty of Theology of the University of St. Michael’s College in the late 2000s, and now this period, first as a teacher at St. Joseph’s College in Edmonton, and now in the privileged assignment here at Assumption. Recently my application for permanent residency was called up, and last month I submitted the required paperwork. Now I wait. I should receive an appointment for an interview within the next few months. If all goes well, before too long the process will come to an end and I will receive my card indicating that I am a permanent resident of Canada. Once I am officially a resident, I am entitled to apply for citizenship once I have been on Canadian soil for three years within a five-year period. Except for aboriginals (and we of Assumption remain ever grateful to the Huron Wyandot people for their gift of land to the parish.), every person here is either an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants. People have come here from all over the world—most seeking a better life. When the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption was 100 years old, the Confederation of Canada officially came into being. Although this country is far from perfect—like any other human institution—people have looked to Canada for a place of welcome. I am thankful that the tradition continues, and that many people continue to find this to be a land of welcome and of opportunity.
And after the Great Seasons of Lent and Easter, we have returned to Ordinary Time, which will now continue through the rest of the Church year, until we reach Advent. Our gospel readings are taken from what biblical scholars call the “second discourse” in Matthew’s account. They are sayings that tend to be addressed to the disciples sent out in mission—and to the Church in its evangelizing role. Some of the sayings are comforting, others challenging. All of them lead to life. And all of them are reminders that God invites us to find him in every circumstance of our lives.
Beginning next week and continuing through the summer, we will be publishing a bulletin only every other week. During this time, pray for Canada, and work for the reign of God.