On Tuesday 24th May, priests celebrating silver, golden and diamond jubilees joined Cardinal Vincent Nichols for Mass in Westminster Cathedral for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The priests included those who had celebrated jubilee anniversaries in 2020 and 2021, as well as this year’s jubilarians.
A total of 42 priests have celebrated jubilees in the past three years: six diamond jubilarians, 10 golden jubilarians and 26 silver jubilarians.
Preaching a homily on the day’s Gospel reading, the Cardinal said that the celebrations asked priests ‘to be renewed in our focus on the Lord, on him alone, through thick and thin, through trouble and in joy’.
At the heart of John’s Gospel, which outlines the threefold ways that the world is wrong, is the central challenge, which asks: ‘Where do you stand about Jesus, about who he is and where he is from?’
Explaining that the world is wrong about sin, he said: ‘The only lasting sin is to reject Jesus and to fail to stand with him’.
‘The world is wrong about righteousness or fulfilment,’ he added, ‘because true fulfilment never comes from the law, from conformity, or from success, or from accrued wealth, but only from the victory of Jesus and from his Father to whom he is now returning in glory.’
The third way in which the world is often wrong is about judgement ‘because the only judgement that matters is the one that comes before God and those that reflect that truth.’
This Mass is an opportunity to focus again on the Lord’s call, ‘the call that has shaped our lives and brought us to this day,’ he said.
‘Today we look afresh to our future, whatever it may hold, that he may always be at its centre, as our heartbeat, our soul’s desire, our constant and never-failing love.’
Please pray for the jubilarians and all priests as they continue to exercise their ministry.