Posted by: catholicrelics | September 20, 2009

A Holy Time

Fr Martin Pratt preached at the early (6 am) Mass at the Cathedral this morning which yet again was packed with pilgrims. His homily is below:

This Historic and Spiritual Event is a Holy Time

During the week, there was a wonderful atmosphere of anticipation (as Birmingham awaited the arrival of St Therese). At the beginning of the week, it was suggested that we pray for God’s blessing for He has been good to us.

Since the relics arrived, over 5000 (pilgrims have passed through the Cathedral).

Personally, this is a time which is very similar to the pilgrimages and retreats of those unforgettable days in 2005 surrounding the death of Pope John Paul II.

This holy time – this time when we have a saint among us.

The relics are a reminder of her holy life, her ‘Little Way’. Jesus wants to possess our hearts completely. He wants you us to be great saints.

It demonstrates that faith we have in God that he chooses ‘what is weak by human standards’ and makes it strong. He doesn’t choose those who are worthy of it, no, just those it pleases him to call.

For us at St Chad’s, indeed for the diocese to have St Therese among us reminds us to consider deeply the other saint among us, St Chad, whose relics are here too above the high altar. They are a link to another time and place.

But there will come a time when the relics of St Therese will continue on their journey, the relics of St Chad will be no more, but we shall be left with yet another saint; the Lord.

Today’s Gospel passage reminds us of the saint among us. Christ is continually present here; among us as those baptised into His image and likeness, in the Scriptures, and in a few moments, he will be sacramentally present on the altar.

This continual presence is both encouraging and unnerving. There is an argument among the disciples, that Christ’s way often turns our plans upside down. He called the twelve to him – Christ continually forms and builds his community in his way; our families and friends, our parishes, and the whole Church. He then took a child and set him in front of them. Remaining ‘young’, remaining enthused, keen, inquisitive, curious; there is an innocence, a simple trusting in God.

We are being blessed and we are blessed because we have three saints among us.

Christ is continually leading us.

Saint Chad is watching over us and St Therese who is leading us to a simple, uncomplicated life.

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