ARCHBISHOP COSTELLOE: ‘Even in the darkest moments, Jesus is with us’
By Amanda Murthy and Jamie O’Brien
Daily Mass has commenced being streamed by the Archdiocese of Perth.
The Masses, which will be celebrated by priests of St Mary’s Cathedral, will be streamed daily at 12.10pm to the Archdiocesan website, YouTube and Facebook, as well as St Mary’s Cathedral website.
Cathedral Dean Fr Sean Fernandez said he is grateful such a service is being provided by the Communications Office at this time.
“Many people may be experiencing the inability to participate in Mass as a deprivation, even as a desolation which is testing their faith. This is perfectly understandable; we, Catholics, are a sacramental people and the Eucharist is at the heart of our faith. The Lord is rich in mercy and grace though and he will continue to pour out his life upon us. He is with us,” Fr Sean said.
“It is important for the people to know that even though they can’t be physically present, the livestreaming of Mass is one way they participate in the prayer of the community,” he said.
Hundreds of Catholics from across the Archdiocese of Perth attended Sunday Mass online over the past weekend, streamed live from the St Mary’s Cathedral Presbytery Chapel on Sunday 29 March.
During the 11am Mass, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB spoke about the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, encouraging the community to “never stop trusting in the Lord and to live out their faith, especially in this time of crisis”.
“The Lord is inviting us to turn our eyes and our hearts to all the other ways in which He is with us,” Archbishop Costelloe stated.
“In the Scriptures which we can read and meditate on at home; in the many spiritual traditions of the Church which give expression to our belief that we are never alone, that God is always with us, and know that we are always accompanied on our journey by Mary and the Saints.
“Especially at this time most of all, perhaps, in the faces of the lonely, the isolated, the fearful, the sick, those who are mourning the loss of loved ones, all those for whom the present situation is especially burdensome,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB last Sunday 29 March spoke about the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, encouraging the community to “never stop trusting in the Lord and to live out their faith, especially in this time of crisis”. Photo: Sourced.
Archbishop Costelloe began his homily with two reflections he believes are essential when encountering the Gospel readings each week.
“Every time we pick up the Gospels to pray, the Lord, I think, is inviting us to ask two questions,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“The first is this: Who is this man Jesus, that He could say the things we hear Him say or do the things we see Him do in today’s Gospel?
“The second question, or set of questions, follows from the first: How am I being called to respond to Jesus today? Do I recognise myself in any of the people whom Jesus encounters in today’s Gospel? What is God asking of me today?” he added.
In addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Archbishop Costelloe said many might understandably be left feeling confused, disappointed, and struggling to hold on to their faith.
“This is a time when the whole world is in great need of God, and yet God does not seem to be here for us in the ways we are used to.”
As Catholics, Archbishop Costelloe explained that it is through the life of the Church, and especially through the Sacraments, that God comes to us and meets us in the daily realities of our lives.
“God is there for us in particular in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where we come face to face with His mercy and His compassion, through what someone recently described as the merciful, welcoming, 'ridiculously-pardoning' Church.
“God is there for us in the celebration of the Eucharist through which we are drawn into a profound communion of love with Him as we receive Him in Holy Communion,” he continued.
“It is these two wonderful moments of deep encounter with the Lord which are at the moment either closed to us or not easy for us to have access to, that God shows us how to respond to His invitation to ‘come to me if you labour and are over-burdened and I will give you rest’.”
Archbishop Costelloe went on to state that despite being deprived of many of the important gifts that are at the heart of our Catholic faith – namely the Sacraments, the liturgy, the support we gain from gathering together as a community of believers, the opportunity to celebrate the beautiful liturgies of Holy Week and Easter – perhaps this might be the sacrifice God is asking of us at this time as he seeks to lead people back to Him.
“If this is true, then God is inviting us to accept this temporary loss so that in the end the glory of God, His love for humanity might be more clearly seen and experienced,” Archbishop Costelloe proclaimed.
“We are called, in other words, to try and see what is happening around us, and in us, with the eyes of faith: that trusting faith which takes God at his word when he says to us: ‘Do not be afraid, I am with you. I have called you by your name, you are mine’.”
Palm Sunday Mass will be streamed this Sunday celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB at 11am WST via the Archdiocesan website at www.perthcatholic.org.au, Facebook www.facebook.com/perthcatholic and YouTube www.youtube.com/catholicarchdioceseofperth.
More information will be available soon about the Easter Triduum Mass times soon.