Homilies

Feast of Christ the King and Mass for Centacare

Feast of Christ the King and Mass for Centacare

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART IN SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL MELBOURNE FOR THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING ON SUNDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2009 AT 11 AM. INTRODUCTIONDear Brothers and Sisters,Today we acknowledge that Jesus Christ is King and Lord of the universe.  He is the personal Lord of our life and it is his 'love one another as I have loved you' which inspires our communication and deeds for others.We are united today with many friends of Centacare to thank God for the blessings of this particular work and to pray for its continued outreach of love and compassion into the hearts of the...

Pastoral Associates' Mass

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH FITZROY FOR THE PRESENTATION OF PASTORAL ASSOCIATE CERTIFICATES ON WEDNESDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2009 AT 6PM.

INTRODUCTION
My dear Sisters and Brothers,

Today we come humbly into the presence of our God to encounter the wonders of his mercy and to recognise the studies undertaken by some Pastoral Associates to fit them better for the mission that they undertake in building up the kingdom of God, together with the priests and people of our parishes.

So that we may humbly allow the power of Christ to shine through us, let us call to mind our sins that we will be transformed by the grace of Christ.

HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we are united in God’s church acknowledging one Lord, one faith, and our common baptism.  Along with those whom he calls by ordination other lay people are called to co-operate in the Church’s mission and to bring their gifts as lay people to build up the Church of God.

Back in 1975 Pope Paul VI asked the question of how the people of today are to be brought to encounter the Gospel.  I am deeply aware of the many ways in which Pastoral Associates exercise the mission of presenting the attractiveness of the Gospel to so many other people; by leadership of parish groups, teaching and organising, personal counselling, ministering to people in suffering and distress and bereavement, and in the myriad of ways in which they build up the life of the parish.

Pastoral Associates bear witness to the great truth proclaimed by Paul VI and John Paul II that the top priority of the Church is presenting the attractiveness of the Gospel to the people of our time.  John Paul II even described it as the most important part of the Church’s mission in our time and went on to remind us of six things.


1.    The New Evangelisation comes from a deep personal encounter with Christ.

2.    It is the responsibility of the entire people of God.

3.    It is not just for the foreign missions.

4.    It is directed to individuals and whole cultures.

5.    It is not limited to the presentation of the basic Gospel message.

6.    It calls for a missionary spirituality.

Fundamental to all this is a personal encounter with Christ.  Evangelisation is a clear proclamation that in Jesus Christ salvation is offered to all people as a gift of God’s grace and mercy.  It is not merely a matter of passing on doctrine, but rather of a personal and profound meeting with the Saviour.

He stresses the value of what Pastoral Associates are doing when he says:  “The mission to the nations is carried out in a variety of ways and is the task of all the Christian faithful.”

Many of us would know that it is not merely teaching Christ to those who have never known him, or building up communities which are already strong, but it involves re-engaging those who have walked away from the Church, whether as adolescents or adults, and seeking to present the Gospel to them in a way which is relevant to their lives.

All of this would only be possible if each of us has a personal encounter with Christ and allows him to touch and transform us, to fill us with enthusiasm from knowing that the Gospel is Good News for us, so our desire to share it is so strong that we would invite other Christians to respond with generosity and holiness.

What I would encourage from the generosity of Pastoral Associates is a regular faithfulness to prayer and an enthusiasm and hope in the Gospel.  I have deep gratitude for the multitude of tasks which you perform to support our priests and people.  In many ways you are the lynchpin engaging all in our parishes to work together to know and love Jesus Christ, to witness to him and to present in ever new and attractive ways the call that he gives.

Thank you for your constant gen

Feast of Christ the King

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL MELBOURNE TO CONCLUDE THE PROCESSION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT FOR CHRIST THE KING ON SATURDAY 21ST NOVEMBER 2009 AT 8PM

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In loving reverence for Christ our Lord and our King we have walked in procession coming to this Cathedral, honouring him as the King of all peoples, the Lord of our life, the Master of human destiny, our Redeemer and Saviour.

As we offer this Mass in loving reverence we pledge that our lives will be guided by him, his truth, his love and his hope always.

HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the Gospel we have just read Pilate asks Jesus:  “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Jesus affirms the truth and yet he is much more.  He is the King of the universe, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.  He is the personal Lord of the life of every one who believes in him.

As we progress through life we remember that in baptism we have been incorporated into Christ.  We are Christians.  Gradually, little by little, we come to know the faith that has been handed on to us and make it personal and living.  To me Jesus is not only a God out there in the universe.  He is almighty and eternal, but he is the personal Lord and Saviour of my life.

Each of us knows that God showed so much love and mercy by sending us Jesus that suddenly we would begin to understand how real and attractive God’s love is. 

More than that, taking on the deepest limitations Jesus went to give himself up to death.  Before he did that he gave us the great gift of himself in the Eucharist, where under the veil of bread and wine our God again, today, is present among us, offered to the Father, received by priests and people in Holy Communion.

The Mass for us is an awesome encounter with a God who understands and loves us and who invites our love and imitation.  In response to the question of Pilate: “Who are you?” we might ask ourselves another question.  Who is Jesus Christ to us?  Is he Lord of our life?  Does he direct our actions, guide us according to his truth, challenge us when we waver, give us comfort and consolation when we are uncertain, and make us life in the hope of the glory of which this Eucharist is the pledge?  Who is Jesus to us? 

I can lovingly say he is a real person to whom I can talk in prayer, to whom I listen in my quiet moments, the world’s greatest teacher and leader, the compassionate God who understands me when I fail and forgives me in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

May this Jesus, who is Christ the King, breaking the power of evil, the faithful witness, the alpha and omega, the one who has come in the name of the Lord to save each of us. 

Jesus, take possession of our life, give us hope and strength to continue our journey until we meet with you, not only through the sacramental signs of bread and wine, but in the glorious reality of eternity in that place which God has prepared for those who love him.

+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

Mass for Sunshine aged care facility

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART FOR THE OPENING OF THE AGED CARE FACILITY AT SAINT BERNADETTE’S NORTH SUNSHINE ON FRIDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2009 AT 2 PM.

INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am truly delighted to be with the members of Catholic Homes, the dedicated staff, and the residents of Saint Bernadette’s as we celebrate this Opening Mass.

Your presence in a Catholic institution means that the love of Christ, which permeates this whole facility is the thing which motivates our common belief in God, our respect for the dignity of each other and a sharing in the care which Christ wants Christians to give to each other.  May this place be a haven of peace and goodness where Christians love one another after the pattern of the Gospel.

Let us call to mind our sins that we may grow in Christian love and service.

HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Gospel we have just read illustrates the attractiveness of Jesus and his teaching.  Elsewhere in the Gospel people are reminded that he taught with authority and not like the scribes who were teaching mere legalities.

Our God is the one who has made us from our first beginning.  Here at Saint Bernadette’s we are coming to a new stage in our life where the word of Jesus and his love can be reflected in a wonderfully powerful way.

With thankfulness to God for the work of Catholic Homes and for those who care for us I would encourage everyone here at Saint Bernadette’s to remember that all we have is a gift from Jesus.  The words of today’s Alleluia verse:  “My sheep listen to my voice, says the Lord, I know them and they follow me”, is a great beacon of the common understanding that we have of the power of Jesus in our lives.

When Jesus said:  “Love one another as I have loved you”, he reminded us that he went to the cross as his supreme act of self-giving.  He washed his disciples’ feet as the supreme act of humility and service.  He gave us himself in the Eucharist as the pledge that his love and life-giving power would be with us for all eternity.

Those who are residents here now have a new opportunity to live in God’s presence.  I cannot overestimate the value of a kind word or a smile, of the importance of praying, so that our time of quietness and leisure is not merely a time of emptiness, but a moment when God’s love comes to touch us and give us new hope and light.

Arising from our baptism is the fact that each of us have a special mission.  Cardinal John Henry Newman said:  “God has created me to do him some particular service.  If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve him.  If I am in perplexity, my perplexity may serve him.  If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve him.”

My prayer is that each of us will realise the gift of God in our lives and see this time of life as one given by God with great value so we can thank him for the place in which we are and for the many gifts which he gives us.  May we be to each other in this special place images of God’s love and mercy as we praise him for his goodness.

+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

 

Mass for School Principals

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART FOR THE SCHOOL PRINCIPALS’ MASS AND DINNER AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL MELBOURNE ON TUESDAY 17 NOVEMBER 2009 AT 5 P.M.


INTRODUCTION

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Tonight we gather on the feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who In her short life was exemplary in her charity to the poor and in her readiness to see Christ present and suffering in those to whom she ministered.

As we thank God for the work of another year and place our important task of education under the gentle care of the Spirit of God, let us remember that we are but servants called to a wonderful participation in designs of Christ that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

Let us call to mind our sins.

HOMILY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Gospel we have just read speaks of the practical charity which distinguishes the followers of Jesus Christ meeting whatever they need.  Our particular task as Principals and Catholic leaders is to have a vital part in the mission of the Church.

In this Mass I join you in thanking God for the achievements of the past year and I encourage you to be generous and constant in the engagement that you undertake with our young people to form them to the mind of Jesus Christ.

More than thirty years ago Pope Paul VI spoke of the need to attract people to the Gospel in a way that will touch and challenge their lives.      In 1983 in his Encyclical Letter, “Mission of the Redeemer”, Pope John Paul II said these words:  “The moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a New Evangelisation and to the mission to all people.  No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”

In the midst of our many educational demands, of the burdens of administration, the caring social work that you do with families who are needing special attention and help, this encouraging people to encounter the Gospel has to be the very basis of all that we do.

The Church exists and we as leaders exist in order to draw people to know and love the Gospel.  Let me put to you six things.


1.    This evangelisation is Christocentric.

2.    It is the responsibility of the entire people of God.

3.    It is not just for the foreign missions.

4.    It is directed to individuals and whole cultures.

5.    It is not limited to the presentation of the basic Gospel message, but is a comprehensive process of Christianisation.

6.    It calls for a missionary spirituality.

The most essential characteristic is that our desire to share the Gospel comes from our own deep personal encounter with Christ.  Pope John Paul says:  “Evangelisation will always contain a clear proclamation that in Jesus Christ salvation is offered to all as a gift of God’s grace and mercy.  The New Evangelisation is not a matter of merely passing on doctrine, but rather of a personal and profound meeting with the Saviour.  All of us are involved in that and the example that we give is vital.”

Pope John Paul speaks of three situations:

1.    Of those who have never heard of Jesus Christ.

2.    Of strong Christian communities which need sustenance and building up, and

3.    Of Christian communities where many adults and adolescents have drifted away from the Gospel.

The challenges that are very clear in our Diocese are that people need their faith to be renewed and enlivened.  Others have had little or no training in the Christian faith and need to be given the basic Gospel and to receive formation in faith.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for all of us is that we have a deep personal experience of Jesus Christ and undergo a personal conversion to him.  Because of this we see the Gospel as Good News and we seek to share it with othe

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