Homilies

Ash Wednesday Mass at St Francis’ Church Melbourne - 18 February 2015

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT ST FRANCIS’ CHURCH, MELBOURNE, FOR ASH WEDNESDAY, 18TH FEBRUARY, 2015, AT NOON.
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Teilhard de Chardin proposed our Lenten journey as a pattern to live by.  Practices that help us grow in self-awareness and make us more available to others and more open to the other -  the Lord.  Viewed in this light our practices of fasting, almsgiving and prayer become very worthwhile.  Fasting clarifies our mind and reveals the limitations on our liberty, which we accept when we indulge ourselves.  Almsgiving means we are more available to others in a brotherly and sisterly sharing, unhampered by the artificialities of social life.  Prayer makes us more open to God and more aware of how we all depend upon his word and his plan of salvation.

Prayer and fasting go together to focus the mind and heart on God, making this journey with the joy of spiritual longing and in a genuine search to be followers of Jesus Christ.  That is the privilege offered to us in our journey to Easter, as together we begin our Lenten penance with the blessing of ashes.  Our reception of ashes at the beginning of Lent makes us recognise ourselves as sinners.  We ask God’s pardon for his Church and show our sincere desire to change.  Faith in prayer and in the Lord’s word make us pass with him from death to life. 

+ Denis J. Hart,

ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

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