On Monday 23 January Cardinal Vincent celebrated Mass in Westminster Cathedral to mark the silver jubilee of his episcopal ordination. The Cardinal was joined by bishops of England and Wales including the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Antonio Mennini.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent reflected on the power of the mystery of Christ’s Passion as we remember ‘the widespread suffering and persecution of the disciples of Christ’. ‘Ours is an age of callous disregard to the value of human life’, he continued, ‘an age of ideologies that see their pathway of growth lying in the belittling and destruction of others.’
Contemplating Christ on the Cross, we find ‘a great unfolding of the richness of the mystery of our faith, a proclamation of the redemptive power of suffering, a vision that is beyond the sight of so many today even though the dilemmas of human suffering are faced constantly by everyone and often dramatically debated in our society.’
Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, the Cardinal reminded us that it is our mission ‘to bring the reconciling power of his sacrifice to the world in which we live’. He said:
‘Today so many speak about the need to build a more coherent society, one in which we share benefits and burdens, working to overcome recent divisions of opinion, uniting in a new project. Our mission is to speak again and again that such unity of purpose has only one ultimate source: our unity in God our creator. And there is only one ultimate power of reconciliation: the person of Jesus Christ, whose Gospel is not a constriction of human freedom, but truly “liberates our minds and enlightens our efforts to live wisely and well, both as individuals and as members of society.”’
Cardinal Vincent was ordained to the episcopacy on 24 January 1992, the feast of St Francis de Sales, by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB in Westminster Cathedral and took as his episcopal motto: Fortis Ut Mors Dilectio, ‘love is strong as death’ from the Song of Solomon.
The full text of his homily is available here.
Pope Emeritus Benedict's homily is available here.