MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS
HART AT SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL,
MELBOURNE, ON FRIDAY 23RD MAY 2014 AT 7.30 P.M. FOR THE GUILD OF SAINT STEPHEN
dear young Friends,
Jesus himself reminds us, “I am with
you always to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). Many Melbourne
priests, and I with them, rejoice at being in the presence of young
people. Your hope and enthusiasm for
life, your sincerity and openness, your obvious love of Jesus, are very
As servers you have distinguished
yourselves in this love. What may have
begun as an invitation to start helping on the altar is often a very powerful
way of Jesus inviting you into a deeper friendship with him. You begin by learning the actions needed to
help the priest and you develop into a much richer awareness that through
prayer and listening to God’s Word.
Jesus does become our friend who is with us to the close of the age.
young people you like mixing with other young people of similar interests. I have always enjoyed my visits to your
Annual Conference, where young people make new friends and find support in
those common interests. In other
servers, like yourselves, you find people who are looking for something
deeper. Jesus gives you a wonderful
invitation to know him and love him and by your faith-filled service on the
altar, to receive a gift which is fundamental to life. Jesus is our God, he is the centre, he is the
light of the world, he is the one who shows us the way. He is the gate into God’s love.
Tonight as we celebrate this Mass I do
so with a wonderful thankfulness for you and for your enthusiasm. Remember that the love that Jesus shows you invites
you always to go a little further, to live in his way, to do what is right and
reject those things which are hurtful and evil.
It is a wonderful invitation to give hope to the world.
I believe that our parishes and our
world need each and every one of you being hope-filled and joyful, your
openness to good, your readiness to serve the Church. You are not alone as tonight’s Mass reminds
you. There are so many other people who
are walking with you, who want to share the hope which you offer.
The first followers of Jesus made one
great request of him because they realised who he was. They said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) Just like we
enjoy our friends, so by really trying to think of God when we pray it becomes
our conversation with him and he will support us and help us. People today are looking for something which
is much deeper and through prayer you and I find that our God is near; indeed,
for all time. That is why as young
people not only what you do as a server is important, but what you are in your
home, your school, your parish, your community is also important.
Jesus loves you and he understands
you. He wants you to trust him as your
friend, to know that you can talk to him in prayer just like you talk to your
close friends on the phone or travelling or in the yard. Jesus will be your friend and he will never
give up on you. That was the lesson
Saint Stephen learned. Although life was
hard and he ended up being killed, the love of God never left him. He was filled with hope and joy. That is what you and I can give to the
world. It is the special invitation that
Jesus gives to you as servers.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.