Homilies

Mass celebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart at the Novotel, Manly

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT THE NOVOTEL, MANLY, N.S.W., FOR THE OPENING OF THE CATHOLIC HEALTH & AGED CARE GOVERNANCE CONFERENCE ON MONDAY 15TH APRIL 2013.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
 
“This is working for God: You must believe in the One he has sent.”
(John 6:29)
 
The Gospel we have just read shows the radiant enthusiasm of the disciples to catch up with Jesus.  Our Lord even accuses them of coming after him because of the human food given him.  Yet Our Lord points out that the important part of his work was to give the signs which lead to eternal life.  In Catholic Health our identity as believers in Jesus Christ, nourished by the Eucharist, with a mission given to draw others to Christ and therefore to complete healing is absolutely essential to all that we seek to do.
 
I have been fortunate to be at a number of gatherings of the leaders of our Catholic Health system and I have found an increasing awareness and dedication to proclaim joyfully that what we are as Catholics is something which we offer to the world and can do so confidently and effectively.
 
This call to renewal is echoed in the Opening Prayer of the Mass:  “That putting off our old self with all its ways, we may live as Christ did, for through the healing paschal remedies you have conformed us to his nature.”  Our life in the Church, our work in Catholic Health always begins with personal renewal and deepening our engagement with Jesus, living simply as he did, generously proclaiming by word and example the fullness of life which only he can give.
 
We all need examples.  Saint Stephen in the First Reading taught with profound wisdom under the influence of the Spirit. It is from our life of prayer that our active life will come.
 
Lest we become too disconsolate, in the Gospel Our Lord reminds us that like the disciples we can sometimes look at the immediate advantages and not see the lasting effect of what we do.  Not long ago I had an opportunity to speak to a staff member in one of our big hospitals.  Although he is not a Catholic he mentioned the wonderful spirit of care of the whole person which exists in that hospital.  I was encouraged that he was noting what we were trying to do and seeing it put into practice day by day by day in this hospital.
 
Often we can be hesitant about our abilities to draw others to Christ.  The Prayer over the Gifts today suggests that we are purified by God’s graciousness.  After Communion we see that the fruit of the Eucharist is the strength that Christ is always with us.  Saint John records Our Lord promising to give a peace to the disciples to remain with them forever.  All of this comes from making Jesus the Lord of our life, believing in him, living on every word that comes from the mouth of God and walking in the way of the Lord.

This is my prayer for you as we offer Mass to begin this Conference, that the many discussions that you will have about spiritual, practical, management and other matters will be renewing because they will focus on what Christ has given us.  Thank you for all that you are doing to care for the people in our community, to reach out to them with the charity of Christ, walking in the way of the Lord.
 
 
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
 
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