God’s grace, like water, always flows downward. We are called to be channels of this grace for a world in need, allowing the waters of grace not only to heal and renew us, but to flow through us into a world searching for meaning, for hope and for identity.
This past week we celebrated the 125th anniversary of St Patrick’s Cathedral, an important milestone in the history of Melbourne’s family of faith. In his homily, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli spoke about the cathedral’s significance as a meeting place between God and humanity, as a place where the grace of God can be touched, tasted and seen. He urged Catholics in Melbourne to take up the mission of St Patrick in our own time and to let ‘the waters of grace flow from this sanctuary of St Patrick’s to bring healing to us, and give life to our city.’
Melbourne also received a visit last week from American author and speaker Mary Eberstadt, who spoke with clarity, wisdom and conviction in a wide-ranging public conversation with the Archbishop that touched especially on the family, religious freedom and secularisation. Speaking on the topic ‘The Future of Humanity Passes by Way of the Family’, Eberstadt focused on the unique place of the Church in a secular world, observing a deep hunger in the broader culture for meaning and identity, and championing the Church’s noble, hopeful vision of humanity as created in the image of God.
John Casamento is a man of deep faith and a well-known photographer. This week we hear his fascinating story and about how his faith has guided him in a career filled with moments of grace and beauty, but also of human brokenness. From murderers to prime ministers, Hollywood stars to royalty, people on the street and even a pope, John reflects on the people he’s met, the things he’s seen and the need we all have for God’s love. As he says, ‘The way we treat one another is the way we show God’s love.’
As floods continue to devastate communities across Victoria, we have an opportunity to show God’s love in very practical ways. We learn about the St Vincent de Paul Society’s recently launched Flood Appeal, and about how our support will assist the efforts of local Vinnies’ volunteers to lift people out of crisis for weeks, months and perhaps even years ahead.
Finally, as we observe All Souls’ Day today, we are reminded that the reach of God’s grace extends even beyond death, gathering together the whole community of God’s people, living and dead. While death plays an important role in the life of faith, Christ’s resurrection turns us from defeat to victory, and from sadness to celebration. Death has its say, but not the last word.
May God’s grace flow through our lives this week, bringing meaning and hope to each of one of us, and to the world we are called to love and serve.