CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART AT SAINT
PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY,
18TH MAY 2014 AT 11.00 A.M.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
in the Gospels Jesus challenged his followers now and then to look beyond the
immediate needs of food, shelter, clothing, career, enjoyment, friendship. Four things emerge at the beginning of this
Jesus challenges us to greatness by an
awareness of who we are and what we can do.
He tells us he is going to prepare us a
He will triumph ultimately when he comes
He promises us to be with him in the place
and the life the Father has given.
As the means
of achieving these things Jesus himself says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the
Life.” This is a powerful reminder that
entrusting ourselves to Jesus is the basis of true happiness and development of
our talents here on earth. As we have
celebrated the resurrection it is important for us to remember this.
present Jesus to us as one who travelled through towns and villages,
accompanied by twelve apostles whom he had chosen, by a group of women who
assist them, by crowds that seek him out and follow him, by the sick who cry
out for his healing power, by people who listen to him with varying degrees of
acceptance of his words.
and I can say, “We wish to see Jesus.”
We can marvel at the invitation to faith which Jesus gives to Thomas.
Reading reminds us that membership in the family of God is a gift and we should
avoid the temptation to convert that gift into a possession. Our standing before God comes because of his
wonderful gift and we have to make him the cornerstone of our faith and our
life lived in the world of today.
invites us to know him as the Way, the Truth and the Life, he invites each of
us to entrust our very different lives to him.
Cardinal Newman says that the hope we have in Christ, “sees what is
harmful; it reads the signs of the times as they are and doesn’t look naively
on the struggle between good and evil in society and in our human heart. Hope trusts in the assistance of a higher
divine power that guides the course of history according to providential
personally, “to hope is not only to believe in God, but to believe and be
certain that he loves us and means well to us; and therefore it is a great
Christian grace.” When he says, “without
hope religion cannot exist” (J H Newman, Sermons Volume 1) he reminds us that our hope is the patient,
subdued, tranquil, cheerful, thoughtful, waiting for Christ, but our waiting
isn’t a merely worldly one. The
Christian is watchful with his eyes always fixed on Christ, the Way. He does remind us as we seek to find our way
that God is not merely all-powerful, he is also infinitely merciful and
seventy-eight years of age Newman was made a Cardinal, he said, “I have always
tried to leave my cause in the hands of God and to be patient – and he has not
forgotten me.” (Letters and Diaries, Volume 29, Page 72)
If we make
Christ our Way, it is important that we keep in mind that a new millennium is
opening before the Church like a vast ocean upon which we venture relying on
the help of Christ. The Son of God who
shared our flesh two thousand years ago out of love for us is at work even
We need –
discerning eyes to see this,
a generous heart to become the instruments of
his work, and
we can count on the power of the Spirit who
came at Pentecost and encourages us to start anew, making Christ our Way, the
Light in our darkness, the Hope that we all find when we say yet again, ‘He is
risen indeed. Alleluia!’
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.