Commissioned Youth Ambassadors to represent their parishes ahead of ACYF
Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ.
Emulating the words of Saint John Paul II, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB delivered this message at the Youth Ambassador Commissioning Mass held at the St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 11 November.
Archbishop Costelloe was joined by several priests including Fr Elias Kilzi from the Perth Melkite Catholic community, to commission more than 60 Youth Ambassadors, and officially close the Year of Youth.
In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe began by relating the story of Jesus’ encounter with two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus, shortly after his Resurrection. Recalling how Jesus’ agonizing death on the Cross had destroyed any hope the disciples had that He was the Messiah, Archbishop Costelloe highlighted three important messages from this story which could best describe the faith.
“Firstly, Jesus walked with the disciples, secondly their eyes were opened, and thirdly they left without delay,” cited Archbishop Costelloe.
“As I reflected on these three ideas, I couldn’t help noticing how much they tied in with my own episcopal motto made up of three Latin words: via, veritas, vita - They are the words Jesus uses to describe himself when he says to his disciples, “I am the Way, I am the Truth and I am the Life.”
Archbishop Costelloe explained that in the Emmaus story, Jesus had walked with the disciples as they were running away from Jerusalem, with the goal of eventually leading them to the realization that they had to turn around and take a different way – His way.
More than 60 Youth Ambassadors represented their Parish at the Youth Commissioning Mass held at St Mary’s Cathedral last Sunday. Photo: Ron Tan.
“The Gospel tells us that at the end of the story, their hearts were burning within them,” said Archbishop Costelloe.
“Fear had been replaced by courage, despair by hope, and doubt by certainty - And why? Because they let Jesus walk with them and they let Him show them a better path to follow.
“Jesus is indeed our Way.”
Recalling the change of heart the disciples experienced once they encountered Jesus and believed all He said, Archbishop Costelloe said there must have been something about what was said and how Jesus had said it to them, that opened the disciples’ eyes, hearts, and enabled them to listen.
“This is what a true encounter with Jesus, a true walking with Jesus, does for us; It touches that deep desire for the truth that lies within us and sets us free to recognise that truth and begin to want to live by it,” said Archbishop Costelloe.
“Jesus is indeed our Truth.”
The Melkite Community joined in the Mass and celebrations which marked the closing for Year of Youth and the Youth Commissioning Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral last Sunday. Photo: Ron Tan.
Archbishop Costelloe went on to explain the two disciples “left without delay”, in fact, returning quickly to Jerusalem. The disciples had previously run away from what they had experienced as the place of death.
“But having listened to him and having believed him, they set out for the same place, knowing that it was in fact the place not of death but of new life.”
Highlighting two points to why “Jesus is our life,” Archbishop Costelloe affirmed the congregation that every encounter we have with Jesus is life-changing.
“We can’t stay the same, locked into our own preconceptions, imprisoned by our own fears, or defeated by our own sense of hopelessness,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“We have to change, let ourselves be unsettled, take the risk of trusting Jesus at his word and rush forward into the life he has designed for us.
“Jesus is indeed our life.”
Archbishop Costelloe brought his homily to close by stressing on the importance of placing Jesus first in our lives.
“Unless Jesus is absolutely at the heart of everything we do in our lives as Catholics, young or old, then we have missed the whole meaning of our faith,” said Archbishop Costelloe.
“There are teachings of the Church to be believed and there are moral and ethical commandments to follow, but they will only have the power to convince us and claim our commitment, if we see them in the light of the one who is the only Way for us to follow, the only Truth to which we can confidently commit ourselves, and the only Life which can bring us fully and forever alive.
“Christianity without Christ is dead and without Christ, the Church crumbles and falls.”
CYM Year of Youth Project Officer Adeline Bock said the role will advocate for young people’s engagement in the life of the Church at the Youth Commissioning Mass last Sunday. Photo: Ron Tan.
The congregation gathered after Mass to share a meal. Catholic Youth Ministry Year of Youth Project Officer Adeline Bock formally welcomed everyone and explained the role of the newly elected.
“The Youth Ambassador will advocate for young people’s engagement in the life of the Church, especially in preparation of the Australian Catholic Youth Festival hosted in Perth next year from December 8 to 10,” Ms Bock said.