An apostolic calling
Bishop Martin writes:
Good news is for sharing. Love reciprocated; the birth of your child; success after an interview; the publication of your first commission; medical results that give the all clear; we do not keep news like this to ourselves.
The good news that Jesus is risen from the dead has this same quality of needing to be shared. All four gospel writers say that. This is news confirmed by “the signs that accompanied it” (Mark 16.20), by its universal relevance (Matthew 28.19), starting from Jerusalem (Luke 24.47) but not confined to there, and it is costly in its demands on the leaders (John 21.18).
Easter Day this year brings to mind my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land with people from this diocese. Our final celebration of the Eucharist at Abu Ghosh, the site of Emmaus, was a powerful reminder of what it means to be witnesses, sent out with good news to share.
We had stood where Jesus was born and grew up, where he taught, healed the sick and gathered the twelve disciples. We had walked the ancient path to Calvary and the empty tomb and been renewed in our identity as apostles.
The journey home was an apostolic pilgrimage, sent out with a renewed experience of our baptism, re-evangelised by the gospel and an overwhelming sense of the presence of risen Jesus with us.
My prayer is that across the whole of Sussex, all of us celebrating the good news that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead will be renewed by a real and profound encounter with him, because he is present in every place that we are present (Matthew 28.20).
On Easter Day, when you leave church to return home, you will also be embarking on a pilgrimage of your own, carrying good news to share with others.
This is your apostolic calling. His message to you is strong, loving and simple: “Do not be afraid”. You are person sent out to show others how to know, love, and follow Jesus.