Dear friends in Christ
The liturgy of the Word for this Sunday proclaims the essence of what following Jesus - discipleship - is all about. In the first instance we have to recognise that the Person of Jesus is God, in human flesh. When we make an act of faith in this fact, then the only thing that can logically follow is that we throw-in-our lot with Him. Once the Apostles had acknowledged that Jesus is the Son of God, then they can walk with him, even unto death. Faith in Jesus Christ as God is the most precious gift we can have. We could summarise the whole of our Christian lives as: seeking Christ, finding Christ and following Christ and His teachings. Even more, it is modelling our own lives on His. This should be a passion for us so that as we read the Gospels we see how we measure-up to this divine model, especially in His virtues. The only true happiness that is found on earth is in this discipleship which as TS Eliot famously expressed it is: a discipleship costing not less than everything.
On Thursday of this week there will be the much anticipated Referendum on our membership of the European Union. The Church in this country has no official position on how we should vote, although many have expressed personal opinions. Whether our inclination is to Leave or Remain, what is important is that we vote. Part of the duty of the Christian life is to engage with the world around us and influence it by our presence; every voice is important and being part of a democracy means that we can express that voice in concrete ways. So, I would encourage all of you who have a vote to please fulfil your civic responsibility and go along to your local Polling Station! With every good wish and my prayers for you always.
Msgr Kevin Hale