Homily of Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay Sunday of the Blind Man

Sunday 2 April 2017
Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, Harris Park

Your Grace Bishop Robert Rabbat, 
Your Excellencies: Minister Gebran Bassil and Minister Pierre Raffoul, 
Ministers of the Crown, 
Honourable Members of Parliaments,
Reverend Fathers and Maronite Sisters of the Holy family, 
Mr Charge d’Affaires and Consuls General, 
Distinguished guests,
Dearly beloved,

It is a beautiful occasion to celebrate the sixth Sunday of Lent and the last before Palm Sunday, reflecting on the miracle performed by our Lord Jesus Christ in healing the blind man. It is significant to understand that our Lenten journey is leading us to see Jesus with the eyes of faith in order to repair our view of the world and our relationships with others. 

It is also a source of joy for all of us today to welcome the visiting delegation from our homeland Lebanon led by his Excellency Mr Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, and accompanied by his Excellency Mr Pierre Raffoul, State Minister for Presidency Affairs. On behalf of the Maronite community in Australia, and together with our dear guests here today: His grace Bishop Rabbat, Mr Luke Foley, Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Geoff Lee, Member for Parramatta,  Mr Phillip Ruddock, Special Envoy for Human Rights, Ms Julia Finn, Member for Granville, all our guests and the community of Our Lady of Lebanon Parish in Harris Park, I welcome you. It is our pleasure and our privilege to have 2 Lebanese ministers visiting us at the same time.  

Your visit is a testimony to the significance of the role of migrants to Lebanon. I am aware that you were very keen to travel to Australia to firstly consolidate the strong relationship between Australia and Lebanon, and secondly, to remind the Australian of Lebanese descent that their homeland Lebanon needs them.  We know, Minister Bassil, how much you value the importance of teaching our children in Australia the Arabic language and culture, and instilling in them the pride of their Lebanese roots and identity, as you said in Melbourne. 

The Lebanese migrants have benefitted from the wonderful opportunities of this generous and beloved land, Australia. But, at the same time, they contributed to this multicultural society and given back at all levels to the progress of this dear nation. 

Since I arrived to Australia in 2002, I have come to know the Lebanese community members, who are grateful and loyal to Australia, but who, at the same time, carry Lebanon in their hearts and dreams. I am confident today, more than ever, that the Lebanese dream of a better tomorrow has started becoming a reality with the election of His Excellency General Michel Aoun as President of the Lebanese Republic. We join our prayers to those of the millions of Lebanese all around the world, hoping that Lebanon will know prosperity and become, once again, an oasis of peace and harmony in the Middle East, and an example of coexistence between all religions and cultures.



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