This weekend is a double celebration for St Teresa’s. As we thank God for the renewal of our church building, we are asking God to give us new strength and new direction as a Christian family serving our local community.
At the same time, we join with the whole Church in thanking God for the gift of a new spiritual leader, Pope Francis. When he appeared on the balcony in the simple white robe of baptism, said ‘Good evening’, cracked a joke, and asked the crowd to join him on a journey towards to God and to bless him before he blessed them, a new breath of the Holy Spirit was revealed.
Our new Father’s first homily links these two celebrations in a wonderful way. He spoke of walking, building and professing Christ. ‘Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Building the Church from living stones: with every movement in our lives, let us build! Professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail.’
In the readings for our Mass today, chosen before the election of this humble and prophetic leader, St Paul takes the process of building, from design, foundations and choice of materials through to the painstaking work of each labourer, as an image for building up the Church of Christ. The Gospel warns us never to forget that the whole purpose of the Church is to continue Christ’s mission of healing divisions and reconciling differences. All our walking and building must proclaim the Easter message that Christ died and rose again to bring forgiveness and new life to all.
Let us make this hope of Pope Francis our own: ‘I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage – the courage – to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward. My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it.’