By Amanda Murthy
“Christ is the beating heart of His Church.
“The Sacred Heart of His Church, although true theologically, does not always seem to be manifested clearly and powerfully in the day-to-day experience of so many people who encounter the Church in all kinds of ways.”
These words were delivered by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB who last Friday celebrated Mass 28 June for the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart at the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome.
Archbishop Costelloe was in Rome with fellow Australian bishops in meeting Pope Francis as part of the 2019 Ad Limina visit to the Vatican.
In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe spoke about his personal journey, first as an Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne, up to his appointment as Archbishop of Perth, recalling the moment he chose his motto Via, Veritas, Vita (I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life) in the Year of Grace.
“There is a providence at work in all our lives and I have always taken it as a gift from the Lord that he called me to serve him in his people in Perth as the Year of Grace was unfolding at the time,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“To put Christ at the centre of everything we are trying to do and be as the Lord’s Church in our particular part of the world seemed to me eight years ago, and still seems to me now, to be the particular mission that I at least have been given.”
The Perth Archbishop went on to explain some of the greatest challenges us believers face in today’s world.
“We are called to return Christ to His Church and to return the Church to Christ is really to invite us, to paraphrase some words of Saint Augustine, to become in practice what we are in Sacrament and in theology: the living body of Christ, the living Sacrament of His healing, renewing and saving presence in the world,” he stated.
Archbishop Costelloe added that his hope is for the Church today to be given the courage as well as open hearts and minds, to enable all believers of Christ to understand what the Lord is asking of them.
“We pray that the Church in our land, so far away from Rome but yet united in the bond of communion with the Church of Rome and all the Catholic Churches around the world, might not fall into ruin but might be renewed in fidelity to all that God is asking of us at this time,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“May we be given the wisdom to recognise, the power of God’s Spirit at work sometimes in the most unlikely of places and in the most unlikely of people.
“May we play our part in the rebuilding of the Church in Australia, remembering, as Pope Benedict once reminded us, that it was, in Saint Francis of Assisi’s time, not the Pope who renewed the Church but a small, insignificant brother.
“In our own time, too, it may not be the powerful, the affluent or the most educated who will lead the renewal of the Church but the simple men and women of trusting and courageous faith who will show us the way,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.
Read the Homily by Clicking Here