Generosity of Heart – Msgr. Charles McGlinn

Msgr. Charles McGlinn’s Homily January 12, 2020

“Mahatma Gandhi was not a Christian, but he was one of the most Christ-like persons of the 20th Century.  Of him, Albert Einstein said, ‘People in generations to come will read about him and not really believe that such a man could live.’  Gandhi was most disturbed in India by the Caste system. He said it was a blot on the soul of India. What especially upset him was how people treated the untouchables.  The untouchables were people of no caste and they were forced to live in the slums rather than the cities themselves and to take the most menial of jobs that other people would not take such as working in the sewer system manually and in the countryside they were not allowed to use the public water facilities.  Now Gandhi went from town to town spreading a message on the unity of India as well as his message about the poor of India and he was very widely welcomed into the homes of people. People came out to meet him in droves and usually the head of the town would invite Gandhi to spend the night at his house and there he would have a wonderful meal, he would have a bath and he would have a clean bed to sleep in, but Gandhi always politely refused and he would say, ‘Where are your untouchables?  I wish to stay with them’ and Gandhi would go to the untouchables and he would mingle with them and he would talk with them and he would live with them. He would stay with them, eat their food, play with their children. Gandhi truly wanted to be identified with the untouchables of his society. Well that’s why Jesus stood in the long line of sinners waiting to be baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus wanted to be identified with the sinners and that also means you and me. We are all sinners.  We have all offended in many ways our God, but Jesus came to identify with us and he brought our sins to the cross. There he finds forgiveness for us through his own suffering and death. Jesus is identifying himself with us and he identifies himself with the Church through our faith and through our baptism he is one with us, one with our Church and he has given to our Church his same mission, his mission to bring the Good News to all, his mission to bring salvation to all. How is that done? It is done in our parishes.  The work of the parish continues the work of Jesus and our parish here has many ministries and it reaches out to many people to bring the message of Christ to others. I personally am so proud of this Parish for it’s past and for what it does. It really stands out as a beacon to other parishes in the diocese. Certainly, people at Cure look to Ascension and saw a great sign of God’s presence.

Today is Stewardship Sunday and we listen to how we can continue this work of Christ.  We have a little video at this time about…Ascension and it’s programs.”

From Fr. Tom’s Homily Epiphany Sunday 1/5/20 “We recall the fact that the Wise Men when they came they offered gifts, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  Gold for a king. Frankincense for a priest. Myrrh used in burial recognizing Jesus as the sufferer, that savior through his death and ultimate resurrection and so those gifts express that gratitude of the Wise Men, but we too are called to bring a gift to Christ.  We too have a very special gift to offer to Christ the King and it is not Frankincense or Myrrh, none of those things at all, but rather it is the gift of our life, it is the gift of who we are, it’s the gift of our love that we bring and present to the Christ Child to the savior of us all.  Every time we come to Mass, there’s one gift that we bring to offer in gratitude for all that God does for us and that is the gift of our own love. The one thing that God does not have that we have is the gift of our self and that is the gift that we are called to bring and when those gifts are brought forward at the offertory time, those bread and wine, they really at that point symbolize us.  They symbolize our lives, they symbolize our gratitude, our love and so we need to place ourselves on that paten to make that wine be an expression of the gift of ourself at each and every Eucharist that we share. That’s the beautiful gift that we have to offer.”

Sharon Weems, Business Manager: “What a joy it is to be part of such a generous community here at Church of the Ascension where our parish family so faithfully makes sacrifices and gives back in gratitude for all that God has given us.  

In this past year many activities and fruits of our strong parish life were blessed by the gifts you shared despite challenges we faced in our culture and financial responsibilities.  Thank you to all who serve and offer financial contributions. Our many ministries, employees and leaders at the parish are grateful for the participation, generosity, and faith you bring to the Church and beyond.  We pray for unending blessings and how we can show our gratitude for all that we have in this coming year so that we may continue to joyfully proclaim, celebrate, witness and serve Jesus Christ.”

“Because of your wonderful gifts and response to the call of Christ Ascension has been in the forefront and a wonderful example to other parishes believe me, and the generosity of heart that we see is so important.  This coming week you’ll receive in the mail a commitment card to list your own offerings for this coming year of your time, your talent and your treasure.  There are many ministries here and the Church always needs your financial support. It costs a lot to continue the work of Christ. It does and so we are truly grateful to your gifts, whatever they are, and we know that Christ will bring a wonderful blessing upon you for these gifts which we bring with your heart.”