MASS CELEBRATED BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART IN SAINT PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL MELBOURNE FOR THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING ON SUNDAY 22 NOVEMBER 2009 AT 11 AM.
INTRODUCTIONDear Brothers and Sisters,Today we acknowledge that Jesus Christ is King and Lord of the universe. He is the personal Lord of our life and it is his 'love one another as I have loved you' which inspires our communication and deeds for others.We are united today with many friends of Centacare to thank God for the blessings of this particular work and to pray for its continued outreach of love and compassion into the hearts of the people of Melbourne. HOMILYDear Brothers and Sisters,In the Gospel we have just read Pilate asks Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus affirms the truth and yet he is much more. He is the King of the universe, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. He is the personal Lord of the life of every one who believes in him.As we progress through life we remember that in baptism we have been incorporated into Christ. We are Christians. Gradually, little by little, we come to know the faith that has been handed on to us and make it personal and living. To me Jesus is not only a God out there in the universe. He is almighty and eternal, but he is the personal Lord and Saviour of my life.Each of us knows that God showed so much love and mercy by sending us Jesus that suddenly we would begin to understand how real and attractive God’s love is. More than that, taking on the deepest limitations Jesus went to give himself up to death. Before he did that he gave us the great gift of himself in the Eucharist, where under the veil of bread and wine our God again, today, is present among us, offered to the Father, received by priests and people in Holy Communion.The Mass for us is an awesome encounter with a God who understands and loves us and who invites our love and imitation. In response to the question of Pilate: “Who are you?” we might ask ourselves another question. Who is Jesus Christ to us? Is he Lord of our life? Does he direct our actions, guide us according to his truth, challenge us when we waver, give us comfort and consolation when we are uncertain, and make us life in the hope of the glory of which this Eucharist is the pledge? Who is Jesus to us? I can lovingly say he is a real person to whom I can talk in prayer, to whom I listen in my quiet moments, the world’s greatest teacher and leader, the compassionate God who understands me when I fail and forgives me in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.May this Jesus, who is Christ the King, breaking the power of evil, the faithful witness, the alpha and omega, the one who has come in the name of the Lord to save each of us. Jesus, take possession of our life, give us hope and strength to continue our journey until we meet with you, not only through the sacramental signs of bread and wine, but in the glorious reality of eternity in that place which God has prepared for those who love him.+ Denis J. HartARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.