The Bishop of Plymouth has urged his flock to “dig deep within ourselves and in our faith” during the next months.
Recognising a certain weariness in himself and in others at the recent announcement of a new national lockdown, Bishop Mark O’Toole nevertheless expressed gratitude to the Government for allowing the ongoing celebration of public Mass. He said that the Government recognised “the central place that places of worship have in the life of our country. They are vital for our spiritual and personal wellbeing.”
Bishop O’Toole indicated that “our worship of God, in turn, is a source of strength and spiritual energy for our continued service of others”.
Commenting on last week’s Solemnity of Epiphany, the bishop recognised the “painful gift” of Myrrh which the wise men brought to Jesus, a recognition that “this child would participate fully in the reality of our human mortality. He, too, would experience death.”
He urged all to ponder this in order “to continue to work with those close to death, to give them and their loved ones, hope in a time of darkness”.
He commented, too, that the gold that was brought to Jesus as King, is a reminder to us today, “that we need to put our countries resources in these months, at the service of those most in need”.
Bishop O’Toole encouraged people, to continue “to pray deeply; to find silence to be with God, who makes sense of all our struggles”.
“Every faithful thing we undertake in this time, for the love of God and of our neighbour, will bear fruit in ways beyond our understanding”, the bishop said, “even if the reality of that is ‘hidden with Christ in God’,” he urged.
Recognising that this year was dedicated “to St Joseph, the great protector and defender of Jesus and Mary, in times of crisis, it is to Him”, the Bishop entrusted all.
Picture: A sign reminds the faithful of Covid-19 measures in Westminster Cathedral. (Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk).