Thanksgiving Mass: Investiture of Cardinal Brislin
October 1, 2023, St Stephen’s Chapel in the Vatican Gardens, Rome – Bishop Sithembele Sipuka’s homily
As we celebrate this Thanksgiving Mass for the inauguration of Archbishop Brislin as Cardinal, Today’s readings invite us to consider the importance of harmonising our words with our actions. If we claim to be upright according to the first reading, then this must be clear in our acts of being just and in avoiding committing sin. If we claim to be in Christ, we must not be competitive but think of other people’s interests. And finally, according to the Gospel, we are not to pay lip service to God but to do God’s will.
So Cardinal Brislin, if you were looking for a hint of what is expected of you as Cardinal, at least according to today’s readings, it is that you should obey God in word and actions and inspire others to do the same. Some of us are great with promises and rhetoric but disappear when it comes to action, as we heard in today’s Gospel parable. His father asks him to go and work in his vineyard, and he says, “I am on my way,” and never goes. And he says the same to the second, and he straight away says no, but later on, he has a change of mind and goes.
If I may make a presumption, we are a bit of both sons. The reason why God creates Cardinals, well through the Church, is to lead us, first through their example and sometimes through their prophetic challenge to have consistency between what we say and do so that between word and action, there is harmony, between what we say and do there is coherence and between what we profess and practice there is agreement.
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