Blessing of the refurbished offices
18th August, 2015
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
A constant theme of Jesus' preaching and of his life was his focus on the importance of the little one and the lost one. That's why the continued work of CatholicCare is so important.
We know that at that time, the child was not valued much in his culture, and who would want to search for one lost sheep and risk losing the ninety-nine? However, Jesus is telling us very clearly that every life is precious in his eyes. He turns conventional attitudes upside down: the ‘little ones’, the people whom the world does not rate as important, are the most precious of all. We must continually ask ourselves ‘Do my attitudes today reflect this’?
Likening a humble disciple to a child, Jesus said: ʻWhoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes Meʼ. In saying this, he challenges us to seek out the people around us who are overlooked, but need care. The newly refurbished spaces, in which we work, will enable us to implement more strongly and visibly our mission, based on the espoused values of CatholicCare and drawn from Catholic Social Teachings and the Gospels. We pray that all with whom we come in contact will witness our modeling of respect, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, flexibility, reliability and compassion.
The disciples were used to the competitive and comparative habits of adults. Jesus showed them that there is another way of seeing the world. Among Jesus' greatest concerns was his care for the weak and the little ones. Here we are introduced to children - a group who had little place in society and no rights. The sheep who was lost would take the total care of the good shepherd, even to the point of leaving them to find the lost one, and risk losing all he had and all - his livelihood. The care of the Church is to be similar - a special care in love for the ones in society whom nobody wants. How easy to say, how difficult to do!
As we bless these buildings today, I invite you to join with me in praying that we may imitate the Good Shepherd and give ourselves without rest for the salvation of souls. Without forgetting material charity and social justice, I pray that we will renew our intent as disciples of Jesus in opening our hearts in love to all.
Furthermore, as we bless this newly refurbished building, let us hope and pray that through their work here, CatholicCare Sandhurst will even more actively seek to fulfill the Church’s Christ given mission to boldly stand for a just, equitable and compassionate society.
The Father of mercies and God of all consolation, who strengthens us through his Son in the Holy Spirit, showers his love and blessing in a particular way on those who are in distress and on those who assist and minister to them in any way.
As we seek to reach out to those in need, in a Christ like way, we become a special reflection of Christ, in his compassion, to the world. Did he not say that whatsoever we do to one of them, we do to him?
In this realisation, then let us ask for God’s blessing on all those who are or will seek our assistance here at CatholicCare and those who devote themselves to caring for all who come here. Let us ask the divine blessing on this building, those who come here seeking assistance and those who are dedicated to the care of these people.
PRAYER OF BLESSING
Lord our God,
Through the power of the Holy Spirit
Your son healed our infirmities and distress.
When he sent forth his disciples to preach the Gospel,
He commanded them to visit and heal the sick.
Grant that in CatholicCare the staff will receive with kindness all who come here and will tend to them with skill and care,
So that those who come here in distress
Will leave restored in spirit and forever praise your mercy.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bishop Leslie Tomlinson