Homily from Synod ’17 Closing Mass

 Final Synod Mass- 17th September 2017

I have never been to the Convent of the Sisters of St Joseph in Mission Bay, Auckland.  I have seen a photo of the stained glass window in their chapel. As you leave Mass today-  as you are sent out from this Synod you will be given a card with a photo of that window, what is more important are the words inscribed on the window. They are words attributed to Nano Nagle the Foundress of the Presentation Sisters.

“Go Out …you may not rest secure for need calls loudly.

You must seek God there.

Loving shall be your flame. “

120 recommendations have been made to me from this Synod, some of them are directly related to the life of the Church. Many of them are to do with where our mission is – out there!

As Nano Nagle says

“need calls loudly, you may not rest……seek God there…..

We will find God in the sick, the lonely, poor and homeless, the stranger…….we will find God out there….!!!

We are sent out because our Eucharist is supposed to pass over into concrete acts of love!

St Paul told us today that “The life and death of each of us has its influence on others.  It we live, we live for the Lord and if we die, we die for the Lord.”

When we live our whole lives through, with and in Jesus we are able to influence others.  That is what we are sent to do. Not to manipulate, never to control, but to influence with goodness, kindness, mercy, forgiveness and love. “Loving shall be your flame. “

Reflect on today’s Gospel, the servant who was forgiven much by his master, missed the whole point.  If he had deeply known the mercy of God he would have shown the same to his fellow servant.  It is only when we experience the power of the Gospel, that we can show it to others and influence others with it. The Gospel invites us to take forgiveness into the world we are sent to, rather than a desire for revenge – our world needs love and forgiveness.

We can bring a different value into the world. Today’s Gospel shows us that the face of the world can be transformed by forgiveness. By offering ourselves – you are the Church’s greatest resources – by offering ourselves – including our capacity to forgive, our Christian communities become – in the very midst of the world- the sacrament of God’s mercy. We don’t just offer ourselves – we offer who we are because of who we are in Jesus Christ …………. “I have neither silver nor Gold but I will give you what I have, in the name of Jesus the Nazarene……”

“Go Out …you may not rest secure for need calls loudly.

You must seek God there.

Loving shall be your flame.”