REGINA — A passage from Isaiah that Jesus uses to tell his disciples of his mission on earth sent by God also applies to today’s priests, said Archbishop Donald Bolen in his April 4 Chrism Mass homily.
This same passage was the first reading that opened the mass. “Jesus chooses the passage of the suffering servant who has been anointed to bring good news to the poor — go open the eyes of the blind; bind their hearts to their brokenness; proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those in prison; go proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour; heal the world. It is also our mission, Jesus tells us. We as disciples have been anointed precisely to carry out that same mission,” said the archbishop. ”To be his hands, his presence to God’s people.”
He initially spoke to the priests and then he included all the faithful who packed Holy Rosary Cathedral. “We as a people are empowered by this same text to bring Christ to the blind, to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted.”
The Chrism Mass precedes Easter. The various oils used in baptism, ordination and the sacrament of the sick are blessed each year by the archbishop. The blessed oils are then packaged according to the number of parishes in the archdiocese. They are carried from the cathedral, mostly by volunteers, to the individual parishes for their use and distribution.
“What a joy it is to celebrate together, then to be disbursed, sent out bearing the oils to the various parishes as artisans of mercy going forth to bring the balm of ointment, the healing presence of Christ, to our whole archdiocese,” said Bolen, alternating between English and French.