Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent when we continue our journey to acknowledge Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
Members of our Irish community and people of our Diocese have come to this Cathedral church of Saint Patrick to honour the great saint, whose focus on Christ we celebrate liturgically tomorrow. The faith of Saint Patrick was brought to this land by Irish people and was instrumental in the construction of this beautiful Cathedral.
Together with priests, teachers and so many friends we are gathered in this Cathedral church, which belongs to all of us, to honour Saint Patrick and the Irish people who brought the faith that we have to Australia.
It is a moment of thanksgiving and also a moment of challenge because Jesus asks us, 'how do you show and live your faith?' Are you true to Jesus?
We are now midway through Lent and are urged to hasten towards Easter with the eagerness of faith and love. Our journey, together with those who are to be baptised into the Church at Easter, reminds us that we are helped to turn from darkness into the light, which is Christ. But we have to learn further to see all things with the eyes of Christ.
On our journey of hope and joy, nourished by prayer, we could challenge ourselves with the great example of Saint Thérèse whose relics were with us on Friday. She was determined to be mistress of herself and her inclinations rather than to be led by her feelings. She did this because she wanted love of Jesus to be the great force in her life.
The remarkable presence with us today of the relics of Saint Thérèse of Jesus is a tangible reminder that each of us is invited to holiness. What strikes us most is her lucid, profound and inebriating absorption of the divine truths and missionaries of faith. What she taught us by her little way of love is at the same time a confession of the faith of the Church, an experience of how each of us is called to live the mystery of loving Jesus Christ and finding the way to holiness.
Thérèse knew Jesus, loved him and made him loved, meditating the word of God. By her example of holiness and perfect faithfulness to the Church and full communion with the See of Peter she has shown how these elements are essential to the living and proclamation of the Gospel.