Holy Cross Chapel
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Your Eminence, Cardinal Lacroix, brother priests, distinguished guests and members of the Salt + Light family.
Jesus, in the Gospel today, speaks of the “little while.” This is the time between his return to his Father in heaven and when he then returns again in glory to claim us. We live in that “little while.”
This is our time, the Ordinary Time in the life of the Church as she – all of us – each generation of disciple awaits the return of the Lord.
We speak about the Second Coming of Jesus. In the third Eucharistic Prayer, we pray: “Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious Resurrection and ascension into Heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again…”
Once on a long flight, I could see from my seat the galley of the plane. The flight attendants were having an animated discussion. At a certain point, one of the flight attendants came back, hunkered down in the aisle and said to me, “You are a priest, right?” To which I responded, “Yes,” although I would have thought the Roman collar would have given that away. She then asked me, “What does the Catholic Church teach about the Second Coming of Christ?” I thought to myself, “Oh my, I hope it has nothing to do with this flight.”
I gave her my thumbnail sketch of the Second Coming which apparently came down on her side of the discussion. She jumped to her feet, thanked me and returned to the galley. I could not see the outcome of that discussion because the man in the seat next to me said, “How did you know that?” I have must have looked puzzled because he responded, “Oh I know you went to school, but how did you know what you told her was true?”
That, brothers and sisters, is why we are so engaged in this communications effort as a part of the mission of the Church and always in concert with our bishops who are in communion with the Holy Father.
We know of Jesus, his Gospel, his saving action and our participation in his death and Resurrection because we have been told so.
It is the Church through her evangelizing members, the evangelizing disciples of Jesus, who tells, over and over again in every generation, the story of Jesus.
The Acts of the Apostles that we have been reading for the past weeks are all about how the Apostles and particularly Saint Paul accepted the challenge of Jesus after his Resurrection in anticipation of his Ascension: “You will be my witnesses.”
What we celebrate in this Communication Broadcast Centre, in this home of Salt + Light, is the continuation of that mission – to tell the story – to pass on the message.
But there is even more. Our connectedness with the Church and her message is our authentication of our teaching, story, message. What we have to say, what Salt + Light presents, is verified by its communion with the teaching of the Church and its identification with the rock that is the touchstone of that teaching.
The Church has always linked Peter and Paul, not just because of their martyrdom in Rome but because they reflect both the dynamism of the Church’s proclamation and the rootedness of it in the Apostolic tradition.
We gather in celebration today of this new chapter in a ministry that carries on the work of Paul – preacher of the Good News – and the ministry of Peter – the authentication of our teaching by our connectedness to and fidelity with the Successor of Peter today – Francis.
The blessing of this Communication Center is a time of excitement, anticipation and eagerness as we look to the future but it is also a time of confidence and affirmation as we confirm our connectedness to Christ and his Gospel through our communion with the Successor to Peter.