Fr Roland - March 2012

posted 6 Apr 2012, 01:01 by Richard Jones   [ updated 6 Apr 2012, 01:01 ]

Fr Roland - March 2012

My dear friends,

Witnessing to Christ in public. Do you ?????

When will the church stand up and acknowledge its belief in God and loyalty to Him.

On Palm Sunday Jesus' desciples openly acknowledged their belief in him and loyalty to him. What made their display of support all the more praiseworthy was the fact that it was carried out in the teeth of bitter opposition from the Pharisees. When some Pharisees came to Jesus to protest he said "If they kept silent, the very stones would cry out"

There are occasions when a public demonstration is called for. This was one of them. It was the only time that Jesus accepted something akin to hero-worship from the people. He knew that his disciples had a right and a need to express publicly their belief in him. But one has a doubt about the commitment to those disciples. Not that one doubts their sincerity. But it was a mass response, and a mass response is often more loud than deep.

It's easy to witness to Jesus when we are in church. We are among those of similar beliefs (I hope). But it's not so easy to witness to him out in an indifferent and sometimes hostile world. There are times when we need to profess our faith in Jesus publicly. And there are times when the occasion cries out for it, like the recent 'no prayers in the council chamber' judgement.

The stones will not speak out. Only humans can do that. Let us not remain silent when a word cries out to be said: a word of support in defience of someone who is being treated unjustly; a word of praise to someone whose contribution is being forgotten; or a word of truth where deliberate lies are being told. But it's not easy to speak out. It's far easier and safer to stay silent.

So let us be careful while we profess our faith when we gather in church, that we do not ignore him or deny him when out at work, shopping or at leisure. Christ says to us, 'Anyone who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my father in heaven.'

We can draw inspiration from the first disciples of Jesus. They are revealed in the Gospels as people who were not afraid to admit their doubts, their needs, their lack of faith. Yet on the first Palm Sunday they were strong and bold in their witness to Jesus. As we move through Lent towards Easter may the Lord take pity on us, his timid and fearful disciples, and give us courage so that our lives may bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips.

Yours in Christ.

Fr Roland