Homilies

Mass celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne

Sunday 15 April 2018

“Christ would suffer and rise from the dead and that in his name repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations. You are witnesses to this.”
(Luke 14:47.49)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Greek engineer, Archimedes, once said, “Give me somewhere to stand and I will move the earth.” And in the light of this, Dietrich Bonhoffer suggested that if Christians really believed and acted on Archimedes’ challenge much would be changed.

Easter has made it possible for us to bring about such changes, has given us somewhere to stand so that we can move the earth; one heart, one mind, one spirit, at a time. Easter changes everything; and now the hard part. Are the changes and gifts of Easter shown forth in me?

Today’s second Reading reassures us that Jesus’ gift of salvation is not just for your and my sins, but it is for the whole world. As we have watched the horror, struggle and tensions in nations, the breakdown of family life, we do need to remember that hope is offered to the world by the Lord who died for us and wanted us to live in his hope.

Morton Kelsey in his book, “The Drama of the Resurrection”, written in 1999, says, “The real miracle of the resurrection is that God wanted to work on the sin of the world, In spite of the evil, ugliness and pain that we see in the world, at the centre of reality is the Divine Lover, Jesus, keeping watch over all. In spite of our failures, our rejection of love, our pettiness, our destructiveness, our violence, God loves us and continues to reach out to us and to offer us the resurrection, new life.”

The trouble for us is that God is beyond our grasp. We cannot compare God to the blue sea, the highest mountain, the smartest person. They may help us to glimpse of God, but it is such a small reflection. Even if we heap up all the things that we admire in people; the challenge, the hope, the goodness, the compassion, it is still a dim reflection of God.

God is pure mystery, beyond understanding or imagination. We cannot simply decide to approach him as we approach a problem, but God is the most real person in the greatness of our love - in our search, in our pain, he is there. Our life is something that draws us to witness. Yet, the apostles recognised Jesus when they saw him eating.

Today’s Gospel helps us to realise that God is real. He enters into our human life. He invites us to tell others about him. “Lord Jesus make your word plain to us, make our hearts burn with love when you speak.” As, in this Mass, we meet the living Lord, let us remember that Jesus is love and hope itself. He walks with us in a divine and human way that we can understand, he casts light where we will find hope for the future.

May we walk in that hope, seeing him clearly, showing him to others, humbly because of his wonder, generously because of our love.

+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

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