Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Welcome to those who are celebrating Silver, Golden and other wedding anniversaries. Your strong, committed love and the love of your families which surrounds you today, is something for which we thank God on our journey through life.
Our treasure is not something material, but something quite imperishable - to discover in Jesus the kingdom of heaven.
Some of you may know that in 1972 Robert Redford starred in a movie entitled “The Candidate”, about a young man manipulated by a political consultant who gets himself elected President of America and then does not realise what he has to do. The prize presented to him was something for which he was totally inadequate.
In today’s first Reading Solomon wanted to be king and with help from Bathsheba, Nathan, the prophet, and Zadok, the priest, the ageing David was persuaded to intervene and Solomon was anointed. Solomon was renowned for his wisdom because he used God’s gifts.
The Gospel makes a comparison with the kingdom of heaven because God has revealed to us in our littleness the mysteries of living in the following of Christ.
God has picked us out in Baptism, calls us always to go that little further, following Jesus, his Son, coming to the glory of the kingdom. Like a dragnet cast into the sea God’s kingdom offers life, joy and peace.
One of the great gifts nurtured in baptism is our growth to marriage and family life. The joy and wonder of courtship, the gift of sharing each other and, if God wills it, having, educating and leading children and subsequently grandchildren, is a reminder of God's love for us. Jesus used the love of marriage to describe his love for the Church which is absolutely unique in each one of us.
Today, with these couples, we lovingly thank God with them for the gift of each other, for their families and contribution to the life of the community, and we walk with them on their journey as their example shines in our hearts so that we can see God's planning working in human life.
Jesus’ wisdom challenges us to be concerned for the poor and the needy, to serve others and to listen to God’s life-changing word. The treasure we possess is the truth of the Good News, the grace and presence of God, the joy of loving and being loved, but our treasure must be used if we are to be members of the kingdom. The kingdom is something God is doing. It is not merely a possession to be acquired.
Wholehearted faith and obedience means that because we have made God Lord of our life, he gradually reveals to us the mysteries of his kingdom, helps us to know that without him nothing is holy or has value, so that true wisdom comes from following the invitation that Jesus alone gives. God cooperates with all those who love him, with all he has called according to his purpose. Our life has to be a ‘yes’ to God, a ‘yes’ to his purposes, a trusting of the sometimes winding road that leads to their achievement.
At the end of Mass, having received Jesus in the Eucharist, we ask for its effect, namely that it will bring us closer to our eternal salvation. Eternal realities will arise from living human gifts touched and transformed by God.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE