Thought for the week
Bishop Richard's Reflection for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Bishop Richard's Podcast for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The First Reading this Sunday, taken from the Songs of the Suffering Servant of the prophet Isaiah, looks to the moment when Christ takes on himself the faults, the sins, of the world. Jesus, as the writer of the Letter to Hebrews reminds us, took on our nature in every way, but sin. He urges us never to lose faith in the One who suffered, died and rose from the dead for us.
Our openness to the gift of faith is our way to conformity to Christ – to becoming one with Him. This is the path to sanctity, to which we are all called. This, as we know all too well, is no easy path. Jesus reminds us that “to those who are given much, much is expected.” In this Sunday’s Gospel, we see what happens when the relationship with Him becomes centred on ourselves. James and John fall to the temptation of pride. Their closeness to Jesus brings them to think they deserve special treatment in the Kingdom.
Jesus tells them very clearly that His way is one of humility and service. This is true greatness in our following of Him. The life of faith, lived in trust and the living out of the two-fold command to love God and love neighbour, brings us to be the disciples we are called to be.
In this age as in any other, the world around us is in the greatest need of this witness. These last months have been a challenge to so many: a time of sadness, grief and loss that has brought with it a reassessment of life. We, as Jesus’ followers – His disciples, must step into this space with the witness of our lives of faith, humility and service, that all might find life in the One who died and rose from the dead for us.
With every Blessing,
Bishop Richard's Reflection for 17th October 2021 - The Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time