A couple of days ago an American friend of mine sent me an email from the U.S., with his observation that he was finding it “very weird” to be watching a game of hockey played in Edmonton in the middle of a summer heat wave. Weird, indeed. We know the reason, though. Edmonton, along with Toronto, has been chosen as one of the two “hub” cities for the completion of this pandemic-year’s NHL season.

The choice of venue was determined by a number of factors, not the least of which was the capacity of the host city to create a bubble within which the players, officials, etc. would be safe from infection by COVID-19. Hockey fans living in Edmonton can testify that this bubble is so far proving to be very effective as a deterrent, at least against them! Some people simply cannot resist the temptation to head downtown to where the hockey action is taking place to see if they can get even a glimpse of the players. No luck. That bubble is impenetrable.

A hub, as we know, is a centre of activity or of a network. Action rotates around it and radiates out from it. The Christian Gospel proclaims that the hub of all things is the Cross of Jesus Christ. All historical activity rotates around it, because God has made the death and resurrection of His Son the centre of salvation history. All hope radiates from it, since the paschal mystery is that wondrous event through which God’s love most clearly and decisively bursts into our lives with brilliant clarity.

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