"The Church more than ever needs saints and prophets"

“Faith is not about establishment.  It is about taking the risk of abandoning one’s own security in order to be like the God who did not cling to the trappings of power and authority, but who gave himself totally for our sakes.   This is a message which is difficult to comprehend and realise especially by those of us who have a leadership role in the Church and who are open to the perennial temptations to defend and even to abuse the power which was given into our hands to be servants.

The Church today more than ever needs saints and prophets.  We should constantly remind ourselves that the one thing that even our most secularised societies really expect from the community of believers is that we witness to how Christ’s message can lead people in their search for the meaning of why we live and how we should live.

The Acts of the Apostles remind us how the early Church lived and was recognised.  Christians gathered to hear the word of God and for the prayers and the breaking of bread.  From this the Church in Jerusalem became a communion, with a unique life-style known for its sharing, not just of material goods but of the talents that belong to each and every member of the body of Christ.  The Acts add that this life of communion of the early Christian had two effects:  they had the goodwill of all the people and day by day the Lord added to their number (cf Acts 2:47).    There is a lesson to be learned there for all us and for our Church.”

speaking to the Cambridge Group for Irish Studies, Magdalene College
February 22, 2011
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