CHRISM MASS 2013 Homily Notes of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin Pro Cathedral, 28th March 2013

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

“Pope Francis continues to surprise us day after day. I spoke to a friend of mine working in the Vatican who is in close contact with the Pope and asked him how he would describe the atmosphere in the Vatican under Pope Francis and he summed it up saying: “surprises and more surprises and even more surprises to come” and my friend is one of those who is pleased with the surprises he is seeing.

We thank God for a Pope who has the interior freedom to surprise us. We thank God for a Pope who shows us that simplicity and humility are not signs of weakness and concession, but signs of strength and signs of a strength that comes from faith.

Pope Francis has given us some very significant signs and gestures about how he understands his role as Bishop of Rome and successor of Saint Peter. But they are not just signs about himself; they are signs about what the Church means. He does not want us just to look at these gestures on television and feel good about them and feel good that we have a new Pope like him. There are many who have no belief who will like the new Pope. There is not much good, however, in Christians feeling good about the new Pope if we do not make our own what he is saying and teaching and doing.

The first thing that this involves is allowing Jesus to surprise us and for us to find the courage to change. We are at a critical juncture in the history of the Catholic Church in this diocese and in our country. We are at critical juncture about the place of the Catholic Church in Irish society and in the future culture of Ireland. And we are at a critical juncture about the very place of faith and the very understanding of faith within the Catholic community.

We are at a critical juncture and the only valid answer is an answer of enthusiasm and optimism, of commitment and renewal in our own lives. We have to witness to others the sense of meaning and purpose that Jesus brings to our lives. If all we have to offer is a tired and discouraged faith, then we have to ask questions about the quality of our own faith

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