Mass celebrated for the Australian Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CONFRATERNITY OF CATHOLIC CLERGY AT CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, CARLTON, ON WEDNESDAY, 19TH JUNE 2013 AT 12 NOON.
Dear Brothers in the Priesthood,
The Gospel we have just read speaks of the traditional foundations of Christian life and indeed of priestly ministry; prayer, fasting and humble and generous works of love.
At this present time more than ever do we as priests need to find strength and comfort in the Lord so that our service, notwithstanding the demands which it makes of us, will be a gracious and hope-filled witness to the great mystery of God’s call in the Gospel to live after the pattern of Jesus Christ. Indeed, more than ever our vision of a new world made so by Christ in which we humbly share is the currency that we offer to the world of today.
The few short words which began and ended the papacy of our loved Holy Father, Pope Benedict: “The Lord has chosen me a simple worker in the Lord’s vineyard to be the successor of Peter” and at the end “and now I greet you as a simple pilgrim”, spell out for us the overwhelming wonder of the call which the Lord has given to each of us in the priesthood. Indeed, were we to realise the greatness of that call we would spend our days in thanksgiving.
That is why Saint Paul reminds us this morning that thin sowing means thin reaping and generosity brings an openness to the limitless blessings which God gives us, sufficient for our needs and in addition for all kinds of good works.
To me the priesthood is always an invitation to be under the mighty hand of God and like the pen taken in the hand of the great writer to allow him to fashion whatever he wants in word, deed, prayer and example.
Today’s world needs that example and to be sustained by that prayer more than ever. In a unique and different way Pope Francis has opened out for us the simplicity of holiness and its transforming effect, reminding us what we can achieve in the Lord and how his words will sustain and transform us. He is indeed a light in present darkness. He leads us in open-handed giving to the poor and to live in a justice, which is constant and firm.
As you continue your Conference know that your priestly works and the fraternity and prayer which you share are deeply appreciated in Melbourne and beyond. Your example, your commitment to truth, to teaching and to holiness will reap the reward of good and profitable servants, as we have the vision of the kingdom of God, a world made new, sustained by God’s truth and love and reaching out to our sisters and brothers as we call them to Christ, the Lord of all, intercede for them, bind their wounds and give them the good news which alone will bring life.
May Jesus live in your hearts forever.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.