Homilies

Mass for Guild of St Stephen, Amberley

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART FOR THE CONFERENCE OF SAINT STEPHEN’S GUILD FOR ALTAR SERVERS AT AMBERLEY, LOWER PLENTY, ON WEDNESDAY, 2ND OCTOBER 2013 AT 10.00 A.M.

My dear Friends,
 
TODAY Our Lord sent out the twelve apostles to do special work for him.  Notice that they were not to take things of their own, but were to trust that God supports us at every level and in every moment.
 
In the Readings today there are some wonderful suggestions for your life as young people, or mine.  “The Lord is the shield of those who take refuge in him.”  He also gives each of us the great gift of integrity.  If we are single-minded for the Lord and for others, then we will have nothing to fear.
 
Pope John Paul said to young people, “Don’t be afraid to be holy.  Have the courage and humility to present yourselves to the world, determined to be holy, since full, true freedom is born from holiness.”  (To Young People in Santiago, Spain.)
 
As altar servers your being holy is being given over to the Mass and other Sacraments at which you serve, listening attentively to the words and praying them, and doing so because you want to love God and help others to come in that love.  As young people God has chosen you specially and your generosity in saying yes to be servers is something for which I, as archbishop, thank you very sincerely.
 
Sometimes we are afraid to be holy because we think it means that we have to be better than others.  But holiness is not about being better than others, it is about living our life like Jesus lived his life.  It is that simple.  Holiness means having God as our greatest friend and praying to him in times of prayer.  It means having God’s pattern of life by striving to do what is right and to encourage and build up others and give them hope.
 
As we leave this Conference I know you will take encouragement from knowing that there are other young people in Melbourne with the same ideals and desires as you have.  Thank God for that.
 
Try and think now of three ways in which you are a holy person, close to God.  In other words, write down or have in your mind three ways in which you already live your life like Jesus lived his life.  Now think of three more ways in which you would like to live your life more like Jesus.  This week your goal is to try and live like Jesus in these ways and to be more like him.
 
Being holy means using our mind to pray to God and to think of others, our words to build up and encourage, our deeds to show that we are there to help and serve.  Your motto, “We serve the Lord”, shows that the God we serve at the altar is the one who cares for us as we seek to be generous in our service of others. 
 
May the Lord bless you and keep you safe always.
 
 
 
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
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