Mass at Corpus Christi Church, Glenroy, Sunday 7 June 2015, for the 60th anniversary of the parish
“I am the living Bread from heaven, says the Lord, whoever eats this Bread will love forever.” (John 6:51-2)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today’s Gospel from Saint Mark speaks specifically about the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday. Because of his impending passion, by which Jesus would give himself for the redemption of the world, the Church has instituted today’s special feast of the Body and Blood of Christ so that we could ponder the further implications of his giving himself in the Eucharist and on the cross.
Saint Paul himself said, “I live now not I, but Christ who lives in me.” Mahatma Gandhi, though himself not a Christian, said almost shocking words, “If Christ ever comes to India he better come as bread.” Gandhi of course was referring to the human hunger and poverty. We can refer equally to the hunger for God and for meaning, the poverty that exists without God. When we receive Christ and allow him to transform us, Christ truly lives in us and what the Eucharist offers us is the dynamism, the new found energy to live out the command to become “my flesh for the life of the world”.
Father Justin McCarthy named this parish Corpus Christi because of his own great love and personal devotion to the Eucharist and his desire that the Eucharist would be the foundation of all that was done in the parish. As we look back over these years we think of countless Sacraments celebrated in this church, of the love of God flowing from it in the care of the sick and elderly, in the wisdom and grace which permeates the parish school and helps our young people to see the presence and activity of Jesus as central to the whole life of the parish and community.
I do congratulate you all on what has been achieved, on the wonderful goodness and loyalty of the people of Glenroy, of your obvious close, practical Catholic faith and of the grace which has carried you forward through all these years. A sixtieth anniversary is a significant milestone. It is not merely a means of looking back and congratulating ourselves for the achievements, but particularly for the way in which the parish has cared for its people in many spiritual and material ways has helped people to be supported in their times of need and has reminded them of the constant, abiding presence of God who dwells as Jesus Christ always in this church, the place of prayer and holiness. I thank you for all that you have done.
I urge you to keep this church as a special holy place for conversation with God and listening to him. Other conversations belong at the entrances and in front of the church and beside the church, so that the church is in the centre of all that we do in our life. I urge you to continue the great tradition of generosity and hope which is the watchword of this wonderful parish.
Saint Teresa of Avila said it best in these words: “Christ has no body now but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. You are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion looks out on the world.”
So, today, as we ponder and contemplate the Eucharist with wordless joy, with great thanksgiving we come above all to see that we have to be the eyes and face of Christ in our daily life and he will give us the strength to do it, to transform each of us, our sphere of influence in the world.
May Jesus live in our hearts forever.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.