Homilies

Mass for staff of the Archdiocese

MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART FOR THE STAFF OF THE ARCHDIOCESE IN SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON WEDNESDAY, 17TH APRIL 2013 AT 11.45 A.M.

My dear Friends,
 
We have spent this time together reflecting on our work and our place in the Church.  Sometimes these can be challenging times and I do thank you for your unswerving goodness and loyalty and for the way in which you so readily offer care, information and your own gifts to the people with whom you work and to those whom we seek to serve.
 
For all of us it must be that this is our way of showing to the world the reason for the hope that is in us.  That hope is because God knows our heart and the goodness in our lives, he supports us even if we are despondent or challenged.  When Our Lord said: “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, whoever believes in me will never thirst”; this means we have an invitation.  We can see Jesus and know him and we can push him aside.
 
The Prayer over the Gifts today suggests that the work of growing and renewing our lives is something which is a lifetime work.  Not long ago I offered Mass for the Jubilees of twenty Sisters of Saint Joseph - more than a thousand years of service.  We reflected with them on the call God gave them to religious life as he gives you a call to marriage, to single life, sometimes to suffering, at other times to use your great talents; a call which grows, becomes simple, sometimes is tested, but nevertheless it is a call.  If we come to Jesus we will never be hungry.  If we believe, we never thirst.  So if we can say: “Lord, increase our faith”, or if we can see in this Year of Grace that God helps us to become holy by sanctifying grace, he also is there in the work of everyday through actual helping grace, so that we will fulfil the last sentence of the Gospel:  “Whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.”
 
Saint Mary of the Cross urged her Sisters never to worry, never to be burdened because God’s providence covers everything.  Indeed, the building immediately below Goold House in Albert Street was once known as Saint Joseph’s Providence Hostel.  In the bigger things of our lives if we can believe that Jesus is near, that his providence and care covers us, then we will be the instruments of his care and help in the present life, as we mentioned in the Prayer after Communion, and we will have eternal gladness.
 
The persecution mentioned in the first Reading, the work of Saul persecuting the Church was turned into the fact that he became Paul, the Church’s greatest advocate and a great proclaimer of Jesus Christ. Surely this helps us to realise that when the love of Christ encircles us, when the power of the Gospel floods into our heart, when we believe, we will have eternal life and there is no cause for worry.  Let us keep thirsting for Jesus, thirsting for his love, and be the instruments of his love.  “The Lord has risen and shone his light upon us, whom he has redeemed by his blood.”
 
 
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.
 
 
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