Mass celebrated at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne

Sunday 17 June 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are indeed lucky to live in the presence of a Provident God who guides our way and our life with limitless love. Those of you who have green fingers, and I certainly have not, will know what you can do with a cutting from a bush or tree, how it will grow and multiply towards another bush. Those extraordinary words in the first Reading: “And every tree of the field will learn that I the Lord am the one who stunts tall trees and makes the low ones grow.” (Ezekiel 17:23)

Today’s Mass, therefore, is a lesson in being thankful for all that we have; for our parish and the people in it, for the people who are good to us, who understand and love and encourage us, reminding us that God is the one who guides everything. The prayer today says that God is the strength of those who hope in him. He provides for the food of human nature and the spiritual strength of the Sacrament, drawing us as brothers and sisters in the Church.

Saint Paul, reminds us of how we have to focus on God so that our earthly life is seen as a part of a journey, leading us forward, often in ways we do not expect. The growth of a tiny mustard seed to a big tree, the growth of a small boy or girl to being a gifted adult, using their talents in service of others, searching out those who need help; all see, all show us the mystery of growth that takes place in those of us who are open to God. Just as if we do not eat while a young person, we do not grow, so our spiritual growth can be stunted if we look inwardly on ourselves and often we will not be pleased by what we see. However, if we look at God and look at others, we will not be asking ‘what is in it for me?’ We will be saying ‘what can I do for God and for them?’

So today as we see the capacity for growth in the Readings, we ponder and ask what God is offering to us; an invitation to place our talents at the service of others, to recognise the capacity for goodness and service that is in others and to encourage it, and the ability to be humble with regard to ourselves because of the greatness of God and his own gift.

As we listen to these parables we know that we are unconditionally welcome in God’s kingdom. We have to share this meaning of growth and we do that in our lives of hospitality. We do that in working to see that our parishes, schools and social service agencies and all of the Church are open and welcoming. Thus we promote the coming of the reign of God as Jesus calls us.

+ Denis J. Hart,

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