22 Oct – Mass for the Deaf

MASS FOR THE DEAF
ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, ARMAGH
MISSION SUNDAY – 22 OCTOBER 2007
HOMILY GIVEN BY
ARCHBISHOP SEÁN BRADY

HOMILY

I begin by welcoming you all to this beautiful Cathedral of St. Patrick. – built in honour of St. Patrick. It was built between 1850 and 1875 because there were people of faith here who wanted it built. They were your ancestors. They wanted it built in order to give glory to God.

They wanted this Cathedral built, big and beautiful, so that people coming in here would have their minds turned to God, who is the beginning of all beauty. They wanted it built so that people could come here and pray because Jesus said that we must pray always to remind people that here on earth we are meant to know God. We are meant to know Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We are meant to become like Jesus by living as Jesus did. We are meant to follow Jesus. And, if we do that, then we will discover that there is real joy to be found in life, not just in Heaven, in the next life, but actually here on this earth. If we put our trust in Jesus Christ then we will discover that there is real happiness and meaning to life lived in the love of Jesus Christ.

The people who built this wonderful Cathedral, this beautiful Cathedral, built it in honour of St. Patrick. Why St. Patrick? Because he was the first one to come to tell us about Jesus. He left his family, his parents and his friends, and came back to Ireland. Patrick knew that he had something precious and valuable to give to us, the people of Ireland, his faith in God. His faith in One God in whom there are three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is why he used the shamrock. Patrick used the shamrock to explain to us – just as there are three leaves on the one shamrock – there are three persons in God. Father – Son – and Spirit. God is a community of persons.

Have you ever noticed how Jesus was a great man for asking questions? He asked people what did they want – today he asks a very important question. When the Son of Man comes, that is, when He himself comes, will he find any faith on earth? Notice it is not IF he comes again will He find faith? The question is WHEN he comes, because he is certainly going to come, will he find faith?

The answer is, of course, he will find faith if he finds people who have faith. And he will only find faith if the faith is handed down from one generation to another. He will only find faith in every country of the earth if there are missionaries, like St. Patrick, who are prepared to go to every country of the earth. When Jesus comes again, he will only find faith if there are missionaries like St. Patrick who are prepared to make sacrifices. To leave behind their families and go to the ends of the earth. Faith comes into the human heart when people hear the Word of God. But they must hear the Word – the message – from other people.

This is Mission Sunday. We remember today all those went to Africa and China and India and to many other countries to tell the people of Jesus Christ. They went from all over Ireland – priests and nuns and religious. But they went for one reason only – they went because Jesus asked them to go. After Jesus had suffered and died, for love of us, God raised him up from the dead. Then, after forty days Jesus went back to his father in Heaven. Before he went back he called his friends together. He said: “You won’t see me anymore but that does not mean that I am abandoning you. That I am leaving you alone”. Jesus said: “I will be with you always until the end of time”.

Jesus is with us always. He is with us here in this Blessed Sacrament when we eat his body and drink his blood. He is with us here in his word which is communicated to us to tell us about himself. To tell us what he wants us to do.

He is with us here in his Holy Spirit whom he sent to each one of us at our Baptism, at our Confirmation. The Holy Spirit comes to remind us of all that Jesus said and did.

One of the last things Jesus said before he left was: “Go and make disciples of all nations”. That is, go and make pupils, followers, in all nations of the world, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Go and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Today those words ring out to the ends of the earth because there are still hundreds of millions of people who never heard the name of Jesus Christ. It is very sad to think of it because there is no other name on earth by which we may be saved. They are waiting for people to come to tell them. They are waiting like the way our ancestors waited before Patrick came to bring them Good News – to tell them there is hope. There is no reason to despair. God has great plans for them.
Each one of us must be a missionary at heart. The patroness of the missions – that is, the one under whose protection all the missionary work is – St Therese of Liseuix. She is known as The Little Flower. She lived in France. She never went to the missions but she prayed every day for the missions and the missionaries. She prayed for the men and women who were on the mission fields. By making her the patroness, protecting saint of the missions, the Church is saying: ‘Listen, everyone can be a missionary. We can offer up our thoughts, our words, our actions, our sufferings and our prayers, to help those priests and nuns and brothers, who are on the missions, who are preaching the Word of God, who are trying to persuade people to put their faith in Jesus Christ.

I ask you to find somebody from your own parish or county or diocese, who is on the missions. I want you to make a decision to pray to God for that missionary. Pray every day asking the Lord to protect them and promise the Lord that you will offer up your own sufferings and your prayers in order to help that missionary.

There is a big harvest to be harvested. Jesus Christ is the Lord, the owner of the harvest. He is with us and He continues to guide His people.

AMEN

MASS FOR THE DEAF
ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL, ARMAGH
MISSION SUNDAY – 22 OCTOBER 2007
HOMILY GIVEN BY
ARCHBISHOP SEÁN BRADY

INTRODUCTION

I welcome you all to St. Patrick’s Cathedral this afternoon. I welcome your chaplains. It is a joy for us to be able to celebrate this Mass of Mission Sunday with all of you. We are very happy to be with ou.

Mission Sunday is a Sunday in October, the month of the missions, on which we remember that we are all meant to be missionaries at heart. That is, we are all sent by God, to one another, to play our part in spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ.

There are millions and millions of people who do not know the name Jesus Christ. Today we thank God that we know the name of Jesus Christ. That we know Jesus Christ.

This is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I want you to take a moment to look at the beauty of it. See how beautiful it is. It is called St. Patrick’s Cathedral in honour of St. Patrick. St Patrick was a great missionary, sent by God, to Ireland, to bring us the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Today we pray for all missionaries and that there may be more and more missionaries who will be willing, like Patrick, to go to the ends of the earth. We begin our Mass as always by confessing our sins………

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