In Pope Francis’ recent and first Encyclical Letter, Lumen Fidei, we read the wonderful and encouraging words:
"Those who have opened their hearts to God’s Love, heard his voice and received his light, cannot keep this gift to themselves. Since faith is hearing and seeing, it is also handed on as word and light." (#37)
Week by week, Sunday by Sunday, the Lord’s Day by Lord’s Day, we are nourished by his voice that we hear and in the sacrament we celebrate and receive; and don’t we wish there were more to share that joy?
There could be if, with gentleness and understanding, we share that good news with those around us and echo the words of St. Andrew to his brother Peter:
"'We have found the Messiah' (which means Christ). He took him to Jesus." (John 1:41-42).
The words don’t convey the bubbling excitement and enthusiasm that Andrew must have had even after a (perhaps sleepless) night in the company of Jesus.
That same joy and excitement was shared by young people from across the world who were at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and other youth events this summer.
The gift of faith and the joy of its celebration and sharing are not just the preserve of young people, it is a task we all have. That is what Home Mission Sunday reminds us of and this year the focus is on those who no longer take their place with us in church.
We all know someone who needs our faith to light their path, to guide their steps (cf. LF 57) back to their rightful place in the community of faith. With courage, repentance, prayer and love we can each help just one to cross the threshold, take their place and make whole the body of Christ.
I pray for the Lord’s continued blessing upon you, those whom you love and the communities of which you are part and serve.
Rt Rev Peter Brignall
Bishop of Wrexham