Archbishop Peter Comensoli in today’s Mass for Australia’s Fifth Plenary Council said the Council’s task is to reveal the face of Christ – a face that blends cultures, languages, ethnicities and stories.
The Archbishop of Melbourne celebrated mass on the last full day of the Council’s first general assembly, which will end with mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane on Sunday morning.
Mass in Melbourne was followed by final reports from the Plenary Council members summarizing the topics they had discussed in small groups throughout the week. Watch the final session live here. A summary of the final reports is available here.
The journey of the Plenary Council will continue for nine months, culminating with the Second General Assembly in July 2022.
During the prerecorded Mass at a nearly empty St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Archbishop Comensoli expressed his hope that members would have reached the final stages of assembly after several days of “life-giving conversation and productive engagement … leading ( we all hope so) to the proposals which will form the basis of the final stages of the Plenary Council ”.
“But let us not lose sight of our primary task here: that is, to reveal through our deliberations the face of Christ among us, so that He may be reflected in the face of his Body, the Church in Australia, in this moment and with us, ”he said.
Bishop Comensoli declared that the face of Christ “is particular to our time and to our place”. It has “very ancient and native lines engraved in it; lines of great dignity but also of immense pain ”.
In St Stephen’s Chapel in Brisbane, Archbishop Mark Coleridge preached after the Gospel in which Jesus calls Simon Peter to pass from the status of a fisherman to that of a fisher of people.
“Now Peter has to listen to the one who knows what is what and what is possible,” he urged.
“And we are in exactly the same boat. And we’ve been looking this week to listen to the one who knows what is what and what is possible.
“And during these days of the first assembly, what we have certainly done is to glimpse… the glory of the face of Christ because we have listened and seen a glimpse and therefore, as a Church, we will reflect the glory.
Archbishop Coleridge then invited the members of the Plenary Council to step into the chapel, near a large wooden statue of Saint Mary McKillop. He presented a specially written prayer:
“We turn to you, Mary, as pilgrims on the way to the Plenary Council, joining the whole Church on the way to the Synod, listening together to the voice of the Spirit. Help us to be wise as you have been; help us to be strong as you have been; help us to trust the providence of God as you did. O woman with a pierced heart, our beloved sister, holy of this earth, we regard you as one of our own: may your love flow like living water on the dry earth of our hearts, so that the Church may flourish in the desert like you made by the power of Jesus the Lord, firstborn from the dead, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen. Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, pray for us.
Find Archbishop Coleridge’s homily from today’s Mass on: https://youtu.be/Ahbghwk3LXY
Watch tomorrow’s closing mass from St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane here.