I am delighted to join you on this great day, so dear to the hearts of the Maltese people. Like you, I come to express my devotion to Our Lady on the Feast of her Nativity, to commemorate the great moments in Malta’s history when Our Lady has strengthened and interceded for the people of Malta, and to pay tribute to the Maltese spirit.
I am delighted to be one with the regular members of our congregation, married couples and their families and our Diocesan Council for the Family in this Mass to celebrate marriage and the family. It is the day in the year when we normally honour the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God, into a human family.
We are mindful that because Jesus described the love of husband and wife as a mirror of his love for the Church, then we can take confidence that if our family life is one of giving rather than taking, we will grow in love and service and the Lord will continually speak to us in the context of those he has placed with us.
I am delighted to be with you, remembering the 150 years of this parish, to encourage you and your parish priest in the faith and to join with you humbly in thanking God for his wonderful blessings. Truly Kyneton is one of the great parishes of our Diocese and your very beautiful church is an eloquent testimony to the faith and devotion of Kyneton people over such a long time.
Today we remember that everything good comes from God. I am delighted that players, leaders, officials and supporters of our Australian Football League teams are here with us to bring their gifts and enthusiasm to God’s presence at this Mass. Football is an exciting use of people’s gifts. The contest, enthusiasm and enjoyment of sport is something which seems very deeply fixed in our Australian culture. It is appropriate then that we thank God as the Giver of all these gifts.