Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen.
This opening sentence from Chapter 11 of the Letter to the Hebrews was the focus for Pope Benedict’s extended teaching on Christian hope in his papal letter Spe Salvi. Digging into the underlying text he explores the foundation or basis of our hope. For the Christian, he says, it lies not in material goods but in the promise of salvation that God has made to us. Indeed, by faith and hope we grasp that promise of future glory so deeply that it provides a foundation for our lives even now.
While Pope Benedict’s writing can at times seem rather academic, his exposition here becomes really clear when he starts talking about how the theological virtue of hope – this making the future part of our now – can be seen at work in the lives of the saints. We do not need to look far within our own community or among our own families or friends to find women and men who lack material security but have a firmness and stability that we recognise as coming from their faith.
In Word and Sacrament, in prayer and in fellowship, we have been repeatedly invited to renew that daily encounter with the Lord that is the source of this faith and the only reliable foundation for hope and joy in our lives.
The news headlines seem to get more dispiriting each day. I know that if I’m going to get through the next 18 months without being ground down by it all that I will need to go more deeply into those places where the Lord will support me. Only then will I have what I need to be a faithful steward of those things entrusted to me until the morning comes and the master returns.
I hope that in these months you will find in our parish places of refreshment and renewal, reminders of the Lord's love for you and of his promise of salvation as a present reality in your life.
Times of Mass and other parish events can be found in the calendar below. There is no longer a need to book or sign in for Mass at the weekend.
For an overview of current events in the parish please have a look at the newsletter which can be downloaded here