Archbishop Costelloe offers message for all who are seeking and trying to be disciples of Jesus
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB last week celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Episcopal Ordination, celebrating Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. Here is a transcript of his homily.
“On this occasion that is the anniversary of my ordination as a bishop, I just wanted to offer a couple of words of reflection.
I think both the first reading and the Gospel today certainly have messages for me in my role as the bishop of this Church. But it’s precisely because of that, that I think they have messages for all of us who are seeking and trying to be disciples of Jesus.
The first reading talks about the glory of Christ; the light that comes into the world and sheds light into the darkness of our minds and of our hearts and of our lives. That reminds us that that in fact is the vocation of the Church and therefore the vocation also of the bishop; together to be reflections of the light of Christ.
The Lord wants to be present to us – he wants to be present to his people. Through his Church he wants to be present to all his people, whether they belong to the Church or not.
But it’s up to us to cooperate with the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that through us, the light of Christ can shine in the lives of our families, in the lives of our friends and in the lives of our society.
So this is the challenge, there’s nothing new about it, it’s the challenge that each of us confronts each day as we try to be disciples of Jesus, walking in his footsteps as the Good Shepherd. To be the kinds of people through whom the light of Christ reaches into the lives of others.
How do we do it? Well the Gospel provides us with at least one answer. We must make sure that our virtue, our quality of life, our commitment is not just skin deep, but goes deep down into our lives and into our hearts.
In other words, to refer to other occasions when Jesus speaks about the same thing, we have to work hard to ensure that we’re not hypocrites.
That what we say and what we say we believe is mirrored in how we live, in how we react, how we encounter people and how we deal with each other.
Jesus reserves his harshest words for his followers who can be accused of hypocrisy; saying one thing and doing another.
And we know what damage this causes to the work of the Gospel; to the work of Christ, to that ability of the Church to reflect the light of Christ to our world.
So today, while I hope that you will say a special prayer for me, I think it’s more important that together, we pray for our Church, particularly the Church here in our Archdiocese of Perth.
That not relying on any one person, but on the support we offer each other, we can together be a people through whose lives and through whose actions, the light of Christ shines in our world. I invite you to join me in making that our prayer today.”