MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS
HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL,
MELBOURNE, ON SUNDAY, 25TH MAY 2014 AT 11.00 A.M. (SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER)
Brothers and Sisters,
In the Gospel we have just read Jesus
speaks that his departure is imminent.
We begin to feel the pain of parting.
Yet it is in the new way of seeing him that we will find life. It is the new way of faith. Jesus says:
“You will see me because I live and you will live.”
is where memory of Jesus is more than the recollection of a past event. Jesus is going with us and asks the Father for
another advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be with us and to help keeping his memory
alive. The memory is not just of past
deeds. It is of the power of Jesus to be
with us, to give us hope. Our joy in the
resurrection of the Lord is meant to be celebrated in the lives we lead.
We noticed in today’s first Reading
that Philip is involved in preaching and curing and this is a source of great
rejoicing before the Apostles laid hands on the people at Samaria and gave them
the Holy Spirit.
The second Reading as you will well
remember is a passage that I often quote from Saint Peter. “Reverence the Lord Christ in your hearts and
always have your answer ready for the people who ask you the reason for the
hope that you all have. But give it with
courtesy and respect and with a clear conscience.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)
Jesus himself with the promise of the
Holy Spirit reminds us that he will be present through the spirit of truth,
will not leave us orphans and that if we love him we will be loved by the
Father and by Jesus.
Pope Benedict stressed in his
Encyclical Letter on Hope that, “The self-understanding of the early Christians
was shaped by their having received the gift of a trustworthy hope.” (Spe Salvi, 2)
The Pope again says that: “The Gospel is not merely a communication of
things that can be known. It is one that
makes things happen and is life changing.
The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently. The one who hopes has been granted the gift
of new life.” (Spe
Many of you will realise that the Pope
has a particular affection for Saint Augustine, whom he quotes also in the
Encyclical: “In some way we want life
itself, true life, untouched even by death; yet at the same time we do not know
the thing towards which we feel driven.
We cannot stop reaching out for it, and yet we know that all we can
experience or accomplish is not what we yearn for. This unknown thing is the true hope which
drives us.” (Spe
Jesus has promised he will be with us,
his presence is constant, but spiritual.
It reminds us to remember that we are not just bodies, but we are body
and spirit and it is the spirit which guides the body. We have to understand that Jesus is in the
Father and we in Jesus and Jesus in us.
May the risen Christ strengthen and
guide your faith, make you know his constant presence and be his witnesses when
the Holy Spirit comes.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.