MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS
HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL,
MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY, 10TH AUGUST 2014 AT 11.00
dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today we are challenged to ask
ourselves where we find God. In this
lies an important lesson. God’s presence
is shown and can be discovered in every conceivable place and in a huge variety
of ways. Each of us is challenged to be
alert to God’s presence wherever and in whomever God wishes it to be
discovered. It is true we have to be
open and alert, but it is also more important that we dare to see God and to
seek him out in the unexpected and even the most surprising places.
Today’s Readings give us good
example. Elijah had run away from his
role as a prophet to the King to take refuge in the desert and there he looked
for God to comfort and strengthen him.
He looked for God in heavy rock, crushing winds, an earthquake or a
fire, but God was doing something new.
If Elijah dared to be silent, then in that silence he would allow God to
communicate with him.
The challenge is that in our silence
we have to put aside our own plans and indeed our self to allow God to speak
and pray within us. God is a God of
surprises; the words of the Psalm, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’
Remember that Saint Paul was converted
on the way to Damascus and became an ardent follower of Jesus. It was often shocking to him that his Jewish
brothers and sisters were unwilling to discover God working in Jesus. Yet there was a long list of ways in which
God had shown himself and still people did not receive him. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening, you
have the words of everlasting life.”
is important for us in a busy, modern world to notice the pendulum must swing
between silence and activity. After
Jesus had fed the multitudes with bread, cured the sick and proclaimed good
news he went to the mountains to pray because he needed his communion with
God. Then the disciples found themselves
in a storm tossed boat and in the midst of their fears Jesus came to calm them,
teaching them that there was no conflict or struggle or difficulty or fear so
great that it will not be resolved by the presence of God.
Even when Peter
wanted to walk on the water and immediately started to sink when he looked at
himself, reminds us of how constantly we keep God in our mind and look for
him. God can be as much in the gentle
breeze of our silence, offering us encouragement and comfortably challenging
us, supporting and reassuring. Whether
Victor Frankl or Diedrich Bonhoffer in prison, whether it is in the strength we
obtain from prayer amidst a huge workload, we need to look for the light of the
Lord and we need to trust him.
may be moments when all we can say is, “Here I am Lord. If it is you out there, call me to come to
you on the water. I need you to hold me
up and keep me going.” The storm may not
calm, but like Elijah and Peter we can trust that we will not go down in
it. At some point the winds will die
down, the clouds will break, the sun will return and we will know that once
again we have been held safe.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.