Homily by Bishop Larry Duffy at the Mass of Chrism,
St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan
Holy Thursday, 14 April 2022
- ‘Being conformed to Jesus calls on us to have the mind, heart, and values of the Lord; to be good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives; to set the downtrodden free and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.’
Brother Priests: Happy Feast Day!
It is three years since we last gathered here for a Chrism Mass
On Holy Thursday we celebrate the love and generosity of God. He blesses us with two wonderful gifts – closely related sacraments
Eucharist and Priesthood. Priesthood is our focus this morning as we thank God for such a gift.
Let me begin by expressing my thanks for your generous service.
Your support of your people, the Diocese and of me, your bishop is much appreciated. The past two years have not been easy for you. Decision-making and submitting to decisions made by others has been challenging. You have been called to frontline service especially at the times of wakes, funerals and weddings. For this I and the entire community is very grateful.
Since our last celebration of the Chrism Mass much has changed in the diocese. Canon Patrick Lonergan, Mgr Sean Cahill & Fr John Kearns have gone to their eternal reward. In this Mass we also remember the four priests who have gone to nursing homes, we pray for others who struggle with health issues. We thank God for the ordination of Deacon Paul Flynn, our second Permanent Deacon, and we continue to pray for our seminarian, Stephen Sherry.
In a few moments I will invite the priests present to renew their priestly promises. Question two asks “Are you resolved to be more united with the Lord Jesus and more closely conformed to him?” Being conformed to Jesus calls on us to have the mind, heart, and values of the Lord; to be good news to the poor; to proclaim liberty to captives; to set the downtrodden free and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.
St Teresa of Avila says conforming to the Lord is an act of turning inward, of recognizing and welcoming Jesus Christ into our heart.
As we bless the Holy Oils, we priests, thank God for the privilege of bringing hope and healing to the aged and ill; of welcoming new members into God’s family; but especially of standing as the altar of God and through the power of the Spirit changing bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. What a privileged role and position!
My dear people, thank you for your support, your love, and your care.
Pray for your priests; and pray for me.
May God’s blessing be with you all this Easter.