|The Primate of Ireland Tells It Straight|
|Written by Sherry|
|Friday, 09 March 2007 16:07|
Some excerpts from a March 7 homily:
"Ministry in Ireland is much more exciting today than it was at the time I was ordained. Yours will be a challenging path, yes, and it will certainly not be business as usual. People will be coming to the Church from a wide variety of starting points. Your path will take you to a world where many of the traditional prerequisites for belonging to a Church community will no longer be the relevant ones. Young people will come having very little of the traditional knowledge and culture of their faith, despite years of education in Christian schools."
"We should not be dreaming of a golden age of the past, of a religious culture which is no longer there."
"Jesus is the one “who casts out demons and performs cures, today, tomorrow and the next day”, until his work is completed. The message of Jesus is not primarily a collection of dogmas and moral norms, of rules and practices or plans for a better world. It is above all an encounter with a person, with Jesus Christ, who addresses us and addresses us in our history, in our lives. We can learn off as many catechetical definitions and formulae as we wish, but if we do not have that liberating personal encounter with Jesus, then we have not understood what Christianity is about. We can propose plans to revolutionise the world’s economy and international political life, but if our plan does not lead to an encounter with the God whose love is revealed in Jesus Christ, then our plan will be just one plan among many."
"What is then the language of Jesus? Jesus identifies himself as he “who casts out demons and performs cures, today, tomorrow and the next day” until his work is completed. His is the language of healing and the restoration of people to their fullness in freedom."
"Knowing Jesus is an encounter with Jesus in which his desire to heal our infirmities and lead to the path to freedom, becomes our desire, even in the context of our limitedness and our brokenness. We live in a culture which prizes success and celebrity, which has difficulty in coping with brokenness. The loving tenderness and compassion of God reaches out in the first place to the weak, the poor and the marginalised, not to develop an ideology of weakness and poverty, but with the desire to restore their wholeness."
Can any of our readers give us a sense of what is happening in the Church in Ireland that might have prompted the Archbishop's words?
Hat tip: Neil at Catholic Sensibilities