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Archbishop Costelloe: Jesus does not leave us alone to reach high ideal


Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe celebrated the fifth Sunday of Easter Mass on 10 May online at 11am, and administered a special blessing on mothers at the end of Mass for Mother’s Day. Photo: Max Hoh.


By Amanda Murthy

Persevering in faith and striving to achieve the perfect love found in Jesus, was at the heart of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB’s message during Sunday Mass on 10 May, marking a Mother’s Day celebration “like no other”, with restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic gradually easing for the state.

With churches and chapels still closed, Archbishop Costelloe welcomed all participating in the Mass from home to join him in thanking God for the gift of mothers who give life, love and nourishment to their children. Adding his prayers that they will always feel supported by their children, family, loved ones and Church community.

“May the Lord bless all our mothers, who have given us life and love, fill their hearts with joy on this special day,” Archbishop Costelloe prayed.

“May the Lord strengthen and bless all the mothers who have lost a child through death, that through their faith, they may find hope and through their family and friends they may find support and consolation.

“May the Lord bless all our mothers who have died and bring them into the joy of His kingdom,” Archbishop Costelloe added.

“Bless all our mothers that they may be strengthened in their faith and hope. Let the example of their consistency and love shine forth.”


St Mary’s Cathedral Dean Rev Dr Sean Fernandez proclaimed the Gospel reading for the Fifth Sunday of Easter Mass on 10 May. Photo: Max Hoh.

In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe acknowledged Jesus’ challenge to His people, to always strive for perfection when He told His first disciples: “You must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”.

“Jesus does hold out before us a high ideal but he does not leave us alone to try and reach this ideal by ourselves.

“He gives us the gift of each other within the community of the Church and promises to be with us whenever, and however, we gather in His name, even to the end of time.

“We do not need to be afraid and we do not need to be discouraged or despairing because Jesus loves and understands us, and he never stops offering us His compassion, mercy, healing and strengthening grace,” he continued.

“None of us is perfect, and none of us ever will be as we continue along the journey of our lives. The point is, of course, that we are on a journey.”

In journeying with Jesus – who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” – Archbishop Costelloe explained that it was important to not lose sight of the destination of our lives.

“If we take our eyes off the ideal, or if we decide that the journey is just too difficult or the ideals just too demanding, and decide to substitute the destination for a less onerous one, we will certainly never arrive at the place to which God is inviting us.”


St Mary’s Cathedral cantor Joshua Adams, accompanied by Cathedral Music Director Jacinta Jakovcevic, provide the music for the fifth Sunday of Easter Mass on 10 May. Photo: Max Hoh.

Archbishop Costelloe then encouraged the community to reflect on the decisions they have made during the past few months, especially in the ways the many challenges of the ongoing pandemic were handled – and to evaluate how faithful they have been to the Lord during this time.

“We will all be able to see in ourselves, and in those around us, the signs of the living spring of life which comes from our commitment to the Lord Jesus.

“At the same time, we will inevitably recognise those moments when it has not been the Lord’s way we have followed, it has not been the Lord’s truth which has guided our decisions, and it has not been the Lord’s life which has animated us.

“Fortunately, as the whole gospel tradition makes so clear, the Lord’s way is the way of forgiveness and compassion, the Lord’s truth is the truth of God‘s unfailing mercy, and the Lord’s life is that gift of renewal and rebirth which is the fruit of his resurrection from the dead,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.