Jan 10, 2024

Homily for the Memorial Mass for George Cardinal Pell

Years ago, I was in a lift in Goold House, then the Archdiocese of Melbourne’s chancery building, when I overheard some officials discussing the translation of George Pell to Sydney. One remarked that his motto had been “Be not afraid” and wondered what his successor’s watchword would be. From the back of the lift I whispered, “Be very afraid!”…

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Dec 25, 2023

HOMILY FOR THE MORNING MASS OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD

“On the twenty-fifth day of December in the Year of Our Lord 2023, when ages beyond number had run their course since the redemption of the world; when century upon century had passed since the Cross called all humanity to peace; in the twenty-first century since the apostles went out to all the world; in the 78th year of the reign of the United..

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Dec 21, 2023

The Christmas Gift of Happiness

Only four sleeps till Christmas or three for those attending the Midnight Mass. Three or four sleeps till we receive the greatest ever gift. What shall we call it? The Prophet Isaiah names it עִמָּנוּאֵל Emmanu-ēl, God-with-us (Isa 7:14; 8:8). But what kind of God is this God with us? A few verses later Isaiah gives us more names: פֶּלֶא יוֹעֵץ‎ אֵל גִּבּוֹר אֲבִיעַד שַׂר־שָׁלוֹם‎  Pe-leʾ yōʿēṣ  ʾēl gībbōr  ʾáḇīʿaḏ  śar-šālōm, Wonder Counsellor…

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Dec 21, 2023

Homily for Mass of 21 December + CAS End of Year Celebration

Harald Gormsson (911- c. 985), son of Gorm the Languid, was a tenth-century King of the Danes (c. 958 – c. 985). He united what are today Denmark, Norway and Sweden as one Viking kingdom. He was the father of Sweyn Forkbeard, and grandfather of King Canute, the King of England who famously ordered the tide to halt and not wet his toe…

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Dec 17, 2023

Homily for Mass of Gaudete Sunday (3rd Sunday of Advent) Year B

“Enjoy!” the young lady said to me as she handed me a café latte recently. My instinct was to correct her grammar, to suggest that “Rejoice” would be a better imperative or subjunctive verb. But you can’t complain when a young person is wishing you well, maybe even blessing you without realising it. And today is Gaudete or Rejoice Sunday, as if the Church…

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Dec 16, 2023

Homily for Memorial Mass for George Cardinal Pell and Margaret Pell

The Book of Genesis has many tales of sibling rivalry. The first brothers fight, and Cain kills Abel (Gen 4). There’s tension between Abraham’s son Isaac and his half-brother Ishmael (Gen 21). Isaac’s son Jacob fights with his twin Esau even in the womb and eventually steals his brother’s birthright (Gen 25 & 27). Jacob’s sons demonstrate the same family…

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