Dear in Christ, the Fathers and Laity of our Archdiocese,
Second Sunday After Pentecost: All Saints of the British Isles and Ireland
“… since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pion
eer and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12: 1 – 2)
There are many thousands of saints who have graced the nations and peoples of these Islands, from Jersey to Shetland and from Great Skellig to Great Yarmouth, these are men and women who have fought against every temptation to live the Gospel here.
Their range and diversity in ethnicity, education, social status, geography, occupation, age, and sex, show us clearly that the calling to holiness is for every one of us. Let us therefore deepen our commitment to “run with perseverance” in prayer, the sacraments, study, good works, and self-giving love.
“…I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4: 10)
Our other responsibility is to those who live around us who have not yet witnessed the Gospel or not been able to respond to the Good News. Our own life in Christ should lovingly spill over into fishing the souls of our neighbours so that they may have a share in the Gospel of Christ. I am encouraged and inspired by the faith and missionary zeal of our parishes and communities, and I pray that the Lord may direct our hearts to deeper holiness and to further evangelistic work.
In tone 4:
As the bountiful harvest of Your sowing of salvation, the nations of Britain and Ireland offer to You, O Lord, all the saints who have shone in these lands. By their prayers keep the Church and our land in abiding peace through the Theotokos, O most Merciful One!
God bless you!
I remain your Father in Christ