HE The Most Revd Jerome Lloyd OSJV
Titular Archbishop of Selsey
Unum autem, quae quidem retro sunt obliviscens, ad ea vero quae sunt priora, extendens meipsum,ad destinatum persequor, ad bravium supernae vocationis Dei in Christo Jesu. Phil iii.13, 14 [But one thing I do: forgetting the things that are behind, and stretching forth myself to those that are before, I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.]
The apostle’s words are apt for us all to consider as we enter into the new year. 2020 will no doubt long be remembered as an “annus horribilis”. Yet from the adversity came a wellspring of charity, largely motivated by people of faith, and of these predominantly Christians. While the secularist authorities and governments of our contemporary politics tore themselves apart with confusion and indecision, it was the networks and the community knowledge of the churches that ensured the vulnerable and lonely were fed, informed and included in contingencies.
The past is indeed behind us and if we hope for a more positive future, we must continue to generate charity within our communities. Several of our missions operate charitable apostolates and projects that benefit the disadvantaged in society. Not only does this realise the teaching of Our Lord, but it also affects favourably the regard of others for the Church [cf Romans 10:14].
Charity is itself evangelistic by nature, reaching out and serving others generates and perpetuates charity, people respond positively, not just as recipients, but wanting to share in and contribute to the effort. 2021 begins in the grip still of Covid. If every Christian focused on realising their purpose and vocation in life, i.e. to realise themselves as extensions of God’s charity and to realise His will in manifesting and increasing charity, 2021 need not be a fearful prospect but an exciting opportunity.
Let us continue to support and pray for each other as we enter the new year. Let us continue our charitable efforts with renewed vigour. Let us strive to glorify God with our good works [Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12] and enable Christ to draw people to Himself, by reflecting and mirroring His divine compassion in and through ourselves and our efforts.
May God bless us all.
In Circumcisione Domini MMXXI