Mass for Sunday 10 November 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today Jesus is reminding us that after death and judgement, according to the choices we have made in life, there will come the resurrection of the body when we will be with Jesus forever in heaven unless we have deliberately chosen to live apart from him.
The Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, put casuistic propositions to Jesus about who is married to whom. Our Lord is very quick to say that he is the Lord of the dead not of the living and we are invited to remember that the resurrection is not just a doctrine that we can take or leave. Jesus himself was to die as a witness to the hope in the God of the living. He is not the God of a short human life, but of a complete eternal relationship between God and human beings.
Indeed our relationship with God lasts for all of our life and as the Prayer of today’s Mass says: “The constant gladness of being devoted to God exists because true happiness is found in serving with constancy the One who is the author and giver of everything that is good.”
We are invited then to be devoted to him and to grow in charity, imitating Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, who came that we may have life and have it to the full.
Today we will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. This is no mere formal activity, but a living meeting with God the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hands by one of the successors of the apostles and through the living faith in God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is professed publicly by the candidates who come forward and by all of us.
Each person who comes for Confirmation knows that God the Holy Spirit will touch his or her life to the extent that they give themselves to him. The gifts of Wisdom, to see things as God sees, Understanding, God’s plan an invitation to each of us, Freewill, making right judgement for right and good and rejecting evil, Knowledge, Courage, Reverence and Wonder and Awe are the sustaining gifts which exist in the life of each person who day by day by day says yes to the presence and activity of our loving God in their lives.
This is the strong invitation today, to live a life where God is at the centre all in all, where prayer each day is part of our life and living, as Jesus did, with our actions towards others demonstrating the truth of our faith, the depth of our love, the fullness of our hope that the world in which we live and are can be transformed.
While congratulating the candidates for Confirmation the Mass today reminds all of us to examine where are our true values, where is our true joy and in whom we can hope and trust.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.