‘The Lord’s ongoing creative presence’: Message from Archbishop Comensoli
Thursday 24 September 2020
In this week's message to the community of faith in Melbourne, Archbishop Comensoli invites us to recognise the Lord's abiding presence in our lives and in all of creation. He also reflects on our sacramental life as Catholic Christians, something which is 'deeply ingrained within us'.
I think I was in roughly this place last week, and I remember that those lovely blossoms that are behind me were just starting to bud. And a few days of lovely warm weather – it’s amazing what it can do that – these are in full blossom now. It’s a lovely reminder of the Lord's ongoing creative presence among us. He is present, not only in our lives but in the whole of creation. And this is a beautiful image for us of the Lord's presence.
As you know friends, as Catholic Christians, we are very sacramental in our character of faith. The sacraments are a part of our personal journey of life, and a life in the Lord. So in Baptism – we are cleansed of our original sin, and we receive an entry into the life of the Kingdom. In Confirmation that is strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In Reconciliation, we are in a sense cleansed once again like we were at our Baptism, receiving the Lord's forgiveness for those times that we turn away. In the Eucharist we are nourished – the healing that happens there continues to nourish us throughout our life. In something like the Anointing of the Sick, those who are dying are able to receive the Lord's tenderness and forgiveness and healing in a spiritual, and also at times, in a physical way. In those beautiful sacraments of service to the life of the communion of the Church: marriage; in the ordained ministry, and so on. And so these sacramental ways in which we give expression to our lives, are deeply, deeply ingrained within us, as Catholic Christians.
For that reason, it's all the more challenging I know in this time of exile from the sacramental life that you are having to go through. It is a deprivation of this sacramental reality for your life. I just want to let you know that I'm working hard, particularly in terms of Baptism and the Eucharist – that we might be able to, through seeking permissions from Government, bring these sacraments back to life in their full presence for you. It will probably have to happen outdoors. Thankfully the weather's improving. But as you know, there is great resistance and caution about doing anything indoors at the moment here in at least Metropolitan Melbourne. But it's those two sacraments particularly – our entry into the gift of salvation in Baptism, and our ongoing nourishment in the Lord in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our Christian life. And so just to let you know that that particularly I'm working on with Government and health care officials and I hope that we might be able to find ways in which those sacraments might be opened up once again to you.
In the meantime, be assured of my ongoing prayer for you and care. And may you be able to reach out to one another with the hand of the Lord.'
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli