All posts by shesselgrave

St George’s Day Tragedy in Toronto

Rob Shropshire, who is a member of the Holy Trinity Refugee Committee, emailed this to members of the  Committee and posted it on his Facebook page, has given permission to share his mindfulness here as well:
Many of us feel shaken by the events in Toronto today. For those we have sponsored, the incident may raise anxiety for a number of reasons:
– it may be a trigger for trauma given what they experienced before coming to Canada;
– it may create fear or a sense that Canada is not as safe as hoped;
– it may spark fears of being blamed for what happened 
– indeed, it may lead to incidents where newcomers find themselves accused of being at blame.

I encourage you/us to reach out to those we have sponsored. Urge them to share any feelings of insecurity them may have and please reassure them that you care for them and they are welcome here.

This is a time for us to stand in solidarity against those who would hurt or divide us, to love our neighbours as ourselves.

We Are A Covenant People (Homily for Lent I)

Readings:   Genesis 9:8-17     Psalm 25:1-10    Mark1:9-15

Starting over. 

Beginning a new chapter. 

Turning over a new leaf. 

Under new management. 

Re-boot. 

Reset. 

Repent.

We have so many different ways of talking about making a fresh start, and as many reasons for wanting or needing to. Disruptive technology puts someone out of a job. Manufacturing moves to a different continent. The market crashes. A Marriage ends. You win the lottery. Continue reading We Are A Covenant People (Homily for Lent I)

Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

Isaiah 64:1-9
Mark 13:24-37

Some of you may be a bit leery of an Advent homily entitled “Anger as Fuel for Hope.” Isn’t ‘anger’ one of the seven deadly sins, I hear you ask? Isn’t Advent the rehearsal for the angelic choirs singing about peace on earth, and the arrival of the Prince of Peace. Why buzz kill the season’s hopeful mood? Why, indeed?

Well, for one reason, today’s scripture readings are reminders of the pain and suffering that humans have inflicted upon one another since forever, and testimonials to an understanding or acknowledgement that it will take a wisdom greater than our own to set things right, perhaps even a transcendent wisdom. “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” the prophet Isaiah cries out. The story of Christmas has become so romanticized, its rough edges filed down, its scandalous message tied with a bow, the rough places steam-rolled, that it could be the work product of Walt Disney. Continue reading Anger as Fuel for Hope: Homily for Advent 1

The Problem of Pain and Suffering (Easter 4 Homily)

Acts 2:42-47     Psalm 23     1 Peter2:19-25     John 10:1-10

This Sunday in the Easter season has long been nicknamed Good Shepherd Sunday, as you may have gathered from the gospel reading and the 23rd Psalm. There is a long tradition of portraying Jesus as the Good Shepherd; there are numerous depictions on the walls of the catacombs of a shepherd carrying a sheep on his shoulders. The Gospel of Matthew records that, “when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” [9:36] What caught my attention this time around, though, was the epistle reading, and its focus on pain and suffering. I was surprised at the number of memories it evoked. In my youth, when I worked as a music librarian, I had a Roman Catholic colleague, who was one of fifteen children. One of the things she heard regularly as a child, when one of them would whine or complain, was, “Offer it up. Our Lord hung on the cross for three hours.” Continue reading The Problem of Pain and Suffering (Easter 4 Homily)