Our Diocese

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2019 Closing Mass

Given at the closing Mass of the Lourdes pilgrimage in the Grotto on 25th July 2019.

Magnificat! We rejoice.

We thank Our Blessed Lady for the blessings of the pilgrimage.

At the Wedding Feast of Cana, we see the attentiveness of Mary to the needs of those around her, the need of wine and the danger of the hosts being embarrassed and losing face.She goes straight to Jesus to ask his help to bring his blessings into the situation.

During this week, I hope we have each become more aware of the attentiveness of Our Blessed Lady to our needs and those around us.

Our Blessed Lady showed that attentiveness when she spoke to the Church through St Bernadette, called her and used her as an instrument of God. She gave the message to Bernadette. She told her to tell the priests to build a church, to tell people to come in procession; she told them to turn to God, to repent and to wash in the water. She told them to bring the sick to Jesus here in this place. HERE to this place.

We have come and received God’s blessings.

Our young man from St Dominic’s said to me that when he was on the coach for 20 hours he wondered what he was doing. Now he knows: to serve and love makes him who God wants him to be and makes him happy. It is how we are made, it is in our spiritual DNA to love and serve. Thank you to all our Redcaps, to the St Frai team, and all our leaders. 

John whom I confirmed five years ago said thank you and that Lourdes had changed his life. It changed my life when a visit 39 years  ago confirmed my sense of being called to be a priest. I thank Our Blessed Lady for her attentiveness. Fr Austin is the witness to the attentiveness of Our Blessed Lady who cares for him and wraps him in her compassionate and protecting veil of love. Thank you to our priests.

We are sent out from this Mass to glorify God by our lives. We learn HERE IN THIS PLACE of the attentiveness of God to the poor, the sick, the frail, those who, like St Bernadette, are considered nothing by the world. We learn here that the mystery of the Incarnation means that God took on our flesh, became man, and gave each person his or her dignity that always must be reverenced and respected. We are the Body of Christ around the altar who hunger and thirst after justice. 

As we share in Christ’s Body on the altar, so we desire more to receive him, to grow in him, to be with Christ and in him. 

Then may we be his Body in the world, showing to others the hope that we hold in our hearts and that we can rejoice in him. 

May we bring the blessings of this holy place home with us and so be peacemakers to all whom we meet.