Lourdes Day Mass Saturday 7 December
MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART FOR THE LOURDES DAY AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON SATURDAY, 7TH DECEMBER 2013 AT 10.30 A.M.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We come to this Lourdes Mass because we are aware of the prayers of Our Lady, which are powerful for healing and uniting us with Jesus.
At the special Marian day for the Year of Faith on Sunday, 13th October, the Holy Father had the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought to Rome and at the conclusion of the Mass the Holy Father entrusted the world to the protection of the Mother of God. Both Lourdes and Fatima are wonderful places of Marian prayer and intercession and of healing.
In the special Marian celebration in Rome the Holy Father emphasised that prayer, in union with Our Lady, is an essential component of our faith and brings powerful, loving strength to the exercise and witness of that faith.
On that special occasion Pope Francis reminds us that God surprises us, asks us to be faithful and he is our strength. In the words of Pope Francis we know that the experience of Our Lady was that she did not hide her surprise at being told she is to be the Mother of God. In response she simply put her trust in him: “I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) If we are surprised by God, do we let him into our life?
We also have an invitation to be mindful of Jesus Christ and to persevere faithfully in following him because he is the faithful one. This is the challenge; to remain faithful to our decisions for God in whatever our state of life is, to say yes to him as Mary did. Any number of times she uttered a yes at moments of joy and sorrow, culminating in the yes she spoke at the foot of the cross. She shows the full extent of her faithfulness; a faithful woman still standing, utterly heartbroken, yet faithful and strong.
For all of us in this cathedral, the real journey is to walk with the Lord, even at moments of weakness, in fidelity. God is our strength and like Mary, who set out immediately she knew she was to be Mother of God to visit Elizabeth, the strength that God gives us brings us to reach out to others so that aided by Mary’s prayers we may embrace what he has called us to be.
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.