You cannot give what you have not got, Archbishop Costelloe tells Archdiocesan agency staff

25 Aug 2022

By The Record

It is important for us both to rejoice in and be rather overawed by the trust God places in us Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said to Archdiocesan agency staff last week.

Archbishop Costelloe was joined for the annual Mass, Thursday 18 August at St Mary’s Cathedral by concelebrants Vicar for Clergy, Fr Brian McKenna, Vicar for Education and Faith Formation, Fr Vincent Glynn, Cathedral Dean Fr Sean Fernandez, Cathedral Assistant Priest, Fr Richard Rutkauskas, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Chaplain, Fr Sebastian Fernando, Parish Renewal Co-ordinator, Fr Nino Vinciguerra and assisted by WA Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office Director, Deacon Greg Lowe.

“For it is we who are, in our various roles, called to be the ones who, in God’s name, offer the gift of life to others,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“God is calling us to do so generously, constantly and faithfully, for it is God’s gift we offer, and not our own. But first, of course, God is calling us to accept these gifts ourselves,” he said.

It is important for us both to rejoice in and be rather overawed by the trust God places in us Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said to Archdiocesan agency staff last week. Photo: Ron Tan.

Archbishop Costelloe continued by saying there is a simple Latin saying that sums this up very well: Nemo dat quod non habet, which translates, you cannot give what you have not got.

“If we really are to be at the service of those with whom and for whom we work it is important that we ask ourselves often if we really are open to the gift God gives us so freely and so generously in so many ways,” he said.

“O God, who are you?“ asks Saint Francis over and over again.

“Today it seems to me the Lord is saying this to us: I am the one who offers you the precious gift of life and love, and I do this not just for you but so that, through you, I can then offer these same gifts to others.

“Receive my gifts with joy, care for them, for they are precious and fragile, and keep them safe so that you can offer them to others in my name and in my love.

“This is the task we share and the responsibility we carry. Let us help each other to carry it faithfully and well,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.