Today we are united with our priests, who have given their lives for worship, teaching and service, to draw our people to know the love and constant presence of our God. Our priests will renew their total, lifelong commitment to Christ and to us. The oils, which are used so often in priestly service, will be consecrated or blessed.
This Mass will remind us that our priests are given as ‘other Christs’ to be for us. Thank you for your presence and support of my brother priests and bishops and myself, as together with wonder we recommit ourselves to Jesus and to your service.
During the battle of Waterloo the citizens of England depended upon a series of signals to indicate its progress. One of these was on the tower of Winchester Cathedral. Late in the day it flashed the disheartening message – “Wellington defeated”.
We have walked with Our Lord in pilgrimage and have listened once again to the powerful account of his Passion. Some of you will have seen Mel Gibson’s, “The Passion of the Christ”, and have been appalled by the long, drawn out, wanton violence. Still others have seen in the film the powerful following of Mary at every stage of the story. It shows that Mary is the first disciple, the Mother to whom John and we and the Church are entrusted. It challenges us to learn from Mary’s discipleship - how to be true followers of Our Lord.
After a day of silence during which the Church as it were held her breath, a thrilling joy breaks out; Christ is risen, alleluia!