‘The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world and that which contains all things understands what is said, alleluia.’ Are the words of the entrance antiphon, and how true is that saying for all of us who come here to the Shrine, to nourish ourselves and be refreshed on the beautiful grounds of the Shrine, after celebrating the Eucharistic feast of the solemnity of Pentecost on this day.
This is the same Spirit that drove our founder St. Ignatius Loyola to found the Society of Jesus, and to send many missionaries all over the world to Asia, Japan, China, Latin America, to name a few, but we all owe it to St. Jean de Brebeuf who was instrumental in spreading the faith in this nation, along with our Canadian Martyrs to live here some 400 years ago to work among our indigenous people to give and teach them the good news of a new life through the words of the gospel. It is the same Spirit that gave them the hope and courage to persevere under stressful living conditions among the Hurons.
Let us today, give due thanks to the Holy Trinity and to the Holy Spirit that initiated the works of God on the first disciples, who were encouraged and empowered to continue His Mission of spreading the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, with the assurance that He is with us to the ends of time, to help Him in the mission of Christ bringing about the kingdom of Heaven on Earth, which are often recited in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray in the ‘Our Father’.
This same spirit of Jesus is alive and at work in each one of us here at the Shrine, as we realize through the many miracles that occur on this holy ground. We also realize that we have to be open to this Spirit, that encourages us to love and serve all who visit this place, especially the sick, the suffering, the damaged, those who have lost hope in life through the riches and the attractions of this lovely world. The Spirit of Jesus is very much active here through the intercessions of our Martyrs, who zealously toiled here, and inspires us to walk in their footsteps, and so help us continue the mission of Christ.
Today, we pray for all pilgrims who visit the Shrine, that they may be inspired by the Holy Spirit to offer themselves in the service of the mission of Christ, through the intercessions of the Canadian Martyrs that they be healed in Mind, Body and Spirit, to continue the good work that they have been called to Glorify God by their lives. Have a wonderful celebration of Life. God Bless.
Fr. Patrick Coldricks, SJ