Mass celebrated at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, for the 50th anniversary of Catholic Charismatic Renewal
Sunday 26 February 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the love of Jesus Christ,
“Rest in God alone my soul.”
The Gospel today tells us that we cannot serve two masters. It is not just saying, Lord, Lord, but doing God’s will. It is hearing God’s word and acting on them.
A priest friend of mine lived among the impoverished people of Peru. He was shocked amidst their poverty at what expense and celebration there was for a baptism or a birthday. For those people who did not know where their next meal was coming from, they realised that they had to make the most of that day and had to live by the things which are really important. The poverty of the people of Peru would teach people of the importance of the moment at hand. When they celebrated they came as a community. The Spanish phrase, my house is your house, is a reminder of how we are all involved with each other.
The loving warmth and faith of the Charismatic communities here in Melbourne is something which has endured and has brought warmth and faith and love and hope to the people of our Archdiocese and beyond and has led us to understand that God is not a cold, intellectual person, but someone who loves, who rejoices in love and rejoices in personal relationship.
The first faltering steps of the Charismatic Movement were often encountered amid suspicion, and yet I realised on rallies in this Cathedral just how much people in the Movement loved Jesus Christ and meditated and pondered on his word, that the riches of the word of God were so unlocked that hope and joy came into the lives of people.
In addition to the solemn prayer of the liturgy, I have prayed charismatically with groups and I have known that their readiness to cry out to Jesus, to know the support of others in prayer, the practical love in the community, has been a tremendous enrichment to the Church and a deepening of the word of God living and active in the community.
Today in a much more individualistic society the challenge is for us to live by God’s word and to know him and love him. To know that our communication with God in prayer must be accompanied by love and communication with our sisters and brothers, to know that no one of us walks alone, but the joy and hope of the Gospel is vibrant in human lives and that the enrichment of the Charismatic Movement is something which changes us into the people Jesus has called us to be.
To all of those who have been members and leaders, to all who have worked so hard to allow the word of God to touch us, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. God is wonderful. God is to be praised in Jesus Christ because in Jesus he reveals the wonder of all that he brings to us. He challenges us and enables us to live for him, to live through love in his presence, to know that love no one or nothing can take away.
So let us thank and praise our God, who has called us out of darkness into his wonderful light, as we rejoice in Jesus Christ; the word made flesh, the light of our darkness, the way, the truth and the life.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.