Mass for the Members of the Guild of Saint Stephen
Friday, 27th May 2016
My dear young Friends,
I rejoice to be with you at Mass today because the Mass is the most important meeting that we have with our God. When Jesus faced his death on the cross He thought up a wonderful way by which He could be with us. In changing bread and wine, separately because of his death, into his Body and Blood, He is able to be with us every time we celebrate Mass.
So the Mass is not just something we attend. It is a real personal meeting with Jesus. He speaks to us in the Readings, we speak to Him in our prayers. The Gospel tells us about times when Jesus was on earth and this reminds us that Jesus is a person.
So, today, as servers because you are so close to the Mass I invite you to experience the Mass like that; it is a meeting.
When we want to meet a person who is really important we are there on time, we are thinking about what we want to say, we are happy to be there and this is true of the Mass. You as servers, by the care with which you prepare for Mass, both in your heart as you come into the church and also by thinking about what you are doing as you perform your role as servers, gradually God will touch your hearts and help you to be more aware of Him, not only in the special time of meeting at Mass, but also right throughout the day.
Mary, our Mother, invites us just as she carried Jesus in her heart, to come to Mass full of joy because Jesus wants us to be encouraged for the whole of the rest of our life by what we do here.
Mass is a mystery of God coming to us. It is not very simple or easy to come right into this mystery or to experience the meeting, but Jesus does invite us. I think the best way is by thinking about what we are saying and doing and giving ourselves to Jesus. When there is love in our heart then that meeting will be true and real.
For your priests, I thank you for all that you do for God as servers. I am grateful to Father Dishan Candappa and the other helpers for the way in which they support you. As we go on now to offer Mass, let us remember that we are meeting a person, Jesus. Jesus loves us, He understands us, and He encourages us, now and always.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.