In his homily, LaValley reminded attendees that 33 years ago at the Olympic Center, the “miracle on ice” took place when the young U.S. hockey team triumphed over the heavily-favored veteran Russian team.
“When our savior was about 33 years old, he performed the miracle of all miracles — that last and holiest of suppers when he gave his body and blood to his closest friends and told them to go out and do likewise in memory of him,” the bishop said.
He also told the audience that an “absolute and unconditional readiness to change” should be the basis of one’s spiritual life.
“I must have a glowing desire to become a new person in Christ, a passionate will to give myself over to Christ,” LaValley said.
In many ways, he continued, today’s world requires little personal involvement or passion from within.
“Society operates as if God does not exist — religion is relegated to only the private sphere,” LaValley said. “My friends, if our faith does not engage us, it is lifeless. If we are not daily tending to our soul, if we are not growing spiritually, our faith will die.”
The Church community, he added, must believe with passion and conviction, share its experiences with God and encourage others to do likewise.
“My sisters and brothers, this Year of Faith has provided you and me with the renewed vigor, the earnest desire to deepen our encounter with Jesus Christ, seeking to reflect that relationship in our lives outside the church building, to the poor, the vulnerable, the hurting.”
Later in the service, Viganò delivered the Eucharistic Prayer, as well as the solemn blessing at the close of the Mass.
The archbishop thanked LaValley for inviting him to such a beautiful part of the county and for showing him Whiteface Mountain.