MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS
HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL,
MELBOURNE, ON EASTER SUNDAY, 20TH APRIL 2014 AT
Brothers and Sisters
The message ‘Christ is risen’ shows us
that there is hope for us; we are no longer in the power of sin, that the mercy
of God always triumphs.
Pope Francis challenges us when he
says: “Accept the risen Jesus into your
life. Even if you have been far away,
take a small step towards him, he awaits you with open arms.”
When Mary and the disciples went to
the tomb they were truly surprised to find it empty, that Jesus had risen. Jesus’ rising from the dead shows that he
wants to bring newness into our lives.
If we think we are burdened by our sins or are unable to cope, let us
not close our hearts because there are no situations which God cannot change. There is no sin which he cannot forgive if
only we open our hearts to him.
Today an age of grace is
proclaimed. Jesus reigns victorious from
the highest heavens. He commissions us
to spend our lives bringing the joy and grace of heaven to earth, to our
families, neighbours and friends and even to strangers. Notice that Jesus calls us not servants, but
friends. A giver of life comes to touch
millions of people because God has changed human existence.
Notice that when the women saw the
empty tomb they did not even have the courage to look, but when they heard the
message of the resurrection they accepted it in faith. They were reminded of what Jesus said while
he was still in Galilee and this changed everything.
So what is important is encounter with
Jesus through prayer, remembering his words, his actions, his life.
Dear friends, let us stop and think
what things God has done in our life; the opportunities we have had, the grace
of living in a peaceful country as we remember those suffering so much in the
Ukraine, in Syria, in Egypt and Venezuela.
Let us remember the abundance of food, education and the economic riches
of our country. Yet one thing counts and
it is love. As we look and see that
Jesus is not dead, we see that he has been moving the life of each one of us
all these years, making us a new creation.
Let us place Jesus in our hearts.
Remember that just as he arose on the
first Easter Sunday, so too he is living to give us grace and light and
hope. As Catholics we bear a responsibility
to our community to witness to life, to truth, to the values of family life, to
lift up those who are poor and suffering and to see that all in our community
are treated with respect. May our
prayers and deeds on this joyful day go to see how we must be witnesses to Jesus,
the same Jesus who says if we feel timid, do not be afraid. Do not be afraid, Jesus will give the light
and the grace for us if only we trust him.
May he live in our hearts forever.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE