Homilies

Mass at Sacred Heart College - Friday 27 June

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT SACRED HEART COLLEGE, OAKLEIGH, ON FRIDAY, 27TH JUNE 2014 AT 9.00 A.M.

My dear young Friends,

On this day forty-seven years ago I preached my first sermon.  I was a Deacon at that time and was to be ordained the following month.  I remember speaking of love showing itself most perfectly in Jesus.  In his famous letter, ‘God is Love’, our previous Pope, Benedict XVI, spoke of two types of love; one which searches for itself, looks for pleasure and is concentrated always on myself as the first and most important, and then a second higher kind of love illustrated by Jesus, who is not only a young person, an adult, a great teacher and story teller, but because he was God when he allowed himself to be put to death he showed the limits to which God’s love is prepared to go.

How far are you prepared to go for your brother and sister, your friends at school?  Some will work exceptionally hard to help them, in playing music together or acting, or playing sport, we will try and blend into a team putting our individual preferences aside so that the team will do better.  We have heard of deeds of heroism.  Recently six people donated kidneys so that others may have life in an earth shattering series of operations.

But Jesus has given his all.  He allowed himself to be put to death and he is the perfect illustration of the words:  “Greater love than this no one has than that a person lay down their life for their friends.”  It just shows how far God is prepared to go with us. 

While our knowledge and love of friends is limited, God’s capacity for love is unlimited.  So while we know our Mum and Dad and our special friends love us as persons and know us well, Jesus knows and loves each one of us in the world beautifully, equally, to show us that what we are and can become is important.  That is why Jesus said:  “Take my yoke upon you, learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart.”

 My dear young friends, as we thank God for the gift of this term and for what we have achieved, taking Jesus’ way that looks on people as being with us rather than different or other, that sees people as being part of us and seeing what we can do to walk with them, this is the real power of his going to the cross to forgive sins and to open heaven for us. 

Saint John invites us:  “My dear people, let us love one another, since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.”  God will never desert us.  Jesus constantly loves us.  How will we respond?

+ Denis J. Hart,

ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

 
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