Homily for St Joseph's Primary School Opening Mass 2007

When you decided to get married you may not have realised how much your life would be different in the future. I certainly didn't when I choose to be ordained a priest. Vocations such as marriage are not simply personal lifestyle choices for a Christian. They imply a commitment to other people; spouse, children, family, and community that an individual choice to pursue a career does not. A vocation can perhaps be likened to sitting down at table for a meal with another. And, once sitting there, remaining in conversation long after any the heights of a first love may have diminished. As we do that we find the Cross as well. It costs a lot to stay together in conversation with all the differences of opinion, habit and values that emerge. So, aside from destructive relationships, it means remaining there through the highs and lows of life together. But having made that covenant a new richness of life can be discovered. There is a treasure to be found that we never expected or never believed could have existed.

It is the very same kind of life that we speak about when we are baptised into the Church. It is not a lifestyle choice. We are not a Church because we like each other, necessarily. It is a bonding together that is possible only through the Spirit. A unity created beyond differences of colour or gender. But it, too, costs a lot. It could not exist without God's grace. There is a treasure there we never expected to find. Such is the people the Book of Deuteronomy speaks of in our first reading: "It was because God loved you..." That only is the reason we are who we are. That is the reason for our Celebration of our Baptism at Easter in a few weeks time. The children have told us the story of "Koala Lou" and the treasure she found in her mothers love. Let us listen to the children this year and come to know the treasure we have within our grasp. That is what we are challenged to do during Lent.

Fr Graham