Homilies

Mass celebrated for Sunday 30 June

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY, 30TH JUNE 2013 AT 11.00 A.M.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
Many of us would remember as small children being called for a meal or to set the table or to do chores.  We would casually call out ‘I am coming’ and then continue what we had been doing.  The second time our parents called, we would say ‘I’m coming’ with more emphasis and perhaps in fact we would come.  Our response when matched with action is a response to an invitation rather than a postponement. 
 
When Jesus says, ‘come and see’ or ‘come follow me’ and we make other excuses, we seek to escape the urgency of reducing to action our love of Jesus and his Gospel.  Elisha left everything and followed Elijah.  Our response means that we are free from the slavery of sin.  As Saint Paul says, we are called to liberty.  The Spirit guides us where no law can touch us.  Indeed, our words, ‘speak Lord, you servant is listening, you have the words of everlasting life’, show a readiness through our role as mother or father, young person or worker to forego revenge, to surrender the security of home and neighbourhood so as to pursue an active life that has its base solely in Jesus and finds home with those with whom he puts us.  To be authentic we need to decide to follow.
 
Jesus invites us to ‘come and see’, ‘come follow me’, what then will be our response?  The basic attitude of saying yes to Jesus in the things of today; it is a journey, a pilgrimage through life.  As Jesus was present to the first people who travelled with him, he is also present at every moment to us.  As Jesus knew that the journey would have suffering, sacrifice and struggle, even to death, we must be prepared to have something similar.  Lastly, great determination is needed to leave aside a comfortable secure way of life and to embrace what is life giving.

Two very human and practical examples are given in today’s Gospel; to bury a loved one, to say goodbye to the people at home.  Putting other things before what God has asked of us.
 
As we reflect on God’s word today, remembering his invitation to watchfulness and vigilance, the Lord does invite us to see things in his way.  During his journey to Jerusalem Jesus and the disciples met many people, some warm and hospitable, some openly hostile, others suffering from paralysis, leprosy, blindness, poverty and Jesus prepared his disciples for similar, caring service.
 
Jesus invites us to think about the people who come across our path and what we can do to help them, to show them care, to help them grow, to recommend them to God in prayer.  In so doing we too will grow.  Jesus’ condemnation of the one who looks back is a challenge to us to keep our eyes fixed on him and what he would make of the situations and people in our lives, urging us to respond as he did with a firm devotion to his Father’s will and the readiness to be life-giving and hope giving to people. 
 
Our world is burdened, its people troubled.  We who know Jesus know there is another side and we wait in joyful hope for our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
 
 
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