Bishop Richard's Weekly Reflection: "We must proclaim the wonder of the Resurrection."

July 4, 2024

Dear brothers and sisters,

Ezekiel, as we hear in the first reading this Sunday, is sent to the Chosen People of Israel who have turned away from God. In the Gospel today, the people of Nazareth – Jesus’ home town – refuse to accept Him.

Jesus’ followers, throughout the history of the Church, have faced the difficulties of incredulity, misunderstand and rejection. We only have to reflect on the feasts of the saints to see the persecutions that have taken place in different ages. In our own age, we see the rejection of incredulity born of secularism and materialism. Surely, we hear, the world no longer needs faith!

Yet, it is into this very world that the Lord Himself call us to step. In the spirit of Ezekiel, we must proclaim the wonder of the Resurrection, the Good News of “Life to the Full” that is Life with Christ – even if some do not want to hear the message. When we are rejected, even by those closest to us, we share in the experience of the Lord Himself.

St Paul, reflecting on his own experience in his second letter to the Corinthians, expresses not just acceptance but contentment with the difficulties he faced. With Paul, we recognise that we can do nothing on our own – the recognition of our own weaknesses is the very moment when we are able to open the doors of our minds, our hearts and our lives to Christ. All strength lies in Him and it is our conformity to Christ that enables us to do the work he has given to us, as we remain constant in our witness to Him.

With every blessing,

+ Richard

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