Homilies

Mass for priests ordained 10 years and under - Monday 19 May 2014

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT AMBERLEY, LOWER PLENTY, ON MONDAY, 19TH MAY 2014 AT 6.30 P.M., FOR THE PRIEST ORDAINED TEN YEARS AND UNDER.

My dear Brothers in the Priesthood,

In the Gospel Jesus has reminded us that it is deeds which are the proof of love, which draw us into the circle of love for Jesus and for his Father.  If we love Jesus, then he and the Father will make their home with us.  A life of love not only transforms the difficult things that we are invited to do for others, but leads us forward to a new attitude.  In the words of Pope John XXIII:  “I have looked into your eyes with my eyes.  I have put my heart near your heart.”

Pope John XXIII, born of peasant origin, gifted with a clear theological mind, served as a bishop’s secretary and later as a papal diplomat.  Pope John even saw his own life of faith as his most precious jewel, rather than anything that he would do as pope.  His warm yet humble personality was a reminder that faith is to be lived in action, ‘to see with the eyes of faith’, or as he said:  “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams.  Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.  Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do.  Warm or practically see everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.”

Pope John XXIII was a most human and warm of popes, a man of profound faith and love of the Church.  We can learn much from him.

I have always admired the deep spiritual love of Jesus Christ possessed by Pope John Paul II.  His Encyclical Letter on Christ the Redeemer – Redemptor Hominis – is a clear exposé of the mystery of redemption and of the personal relationship of Christ with each one of us.  In his homily for Palm Sunday, Pope Francis challenges us to ask, ‘Who am I?  Who is Christ to me?  What difference does the Passion make?’

I was privileged to travel around Australia with Pope John Paul II and I saw there his deep, prayerful faith and on so many other occasions; Synods of Bishops, special meetings and so on, coupled with his strong devotion to Our Lady and magnificent role as a teacher makes it not surprising that Pope Francis has named him as the Patron of the World Youth Day.

World Youth Day is a remarkable invitation to young people to encounter Jesus Christ and to be caught into the circle of love mentioned so effectively.

My prayer for you as young priests is that the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, will teach each of us of the virtues of these two great popes:  the deep faith, simplicity and wisdom of John; the great teaching, infectious capacity to inspire and love of Jesus and Mary of John Paul II, who until the last moment of his life shows us what is meant by living for Christ. 

If we are to continue to be good priests and I thank you for all that you are and do, we might well imitate these two remarkable saints, given to us by the Church as magnetic guides for our priestly lives in the new millennium.

Christ has risen and shone upon us whom he has redeemed with his blood.  May the light of Christ rising in glory take away the darkness of our heart and mind, fill us with faith and love.

+ Denis J. Hart,

ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

 

 
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