Pastoral Letter from Bishop John for the First Sunday of Advent
 
 

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The first reading from the book of Job describes the greatness of God. God it is who controls the sea, what is vast and uncontrollable to us is powerless before God.

In the Gospel as Jesus calms the storm the disciples recognise that this divine power is given to Jesus, because Jesus is God. But also in Jesus, true God and true man, is absolute trust in the love of God the Father, and acceptance of the Father’s will. This is why he sleeps soundly during the storm. It is why he says to the disciples “why are you frightened. Have you no faith?”. We might remember that when we are beset by storms of all different kinds. Trust in God who is all powerful, who loves us.

But there is something more, that is brought out by St Paul in the second reading. ‘The love of Christ overwhelms us … he died for all so that living men should no longer live for themselves but for him who died and was raised to life for them’.

The raging destructive storm the Son of God has come to calm and save us from is sin. Sin had the power not just to drown us like a storm but to prevent us from ever entering heaven. The power to keep us estranged from God for ever. The power of God revealed in Jesus’ death and resurrection is far greater than the divine power over creation described in the first reading. Indeed St Paul describes what Jesus does for us as a new creation. Calming, indeed destroying the storm of sin, Our Saviour goes to the cross, to take upon himself everything you and I have suffered and will suffer as a result of sin and to make of himself the perfect offering, the perfect sacrifice, of praise, of repentance, of petition, of love, offered to God the Father for us. Then, risen from the dead he returns and offers us, through the sacraments a share in the new creation, the new life.

Of course Our Lord suffered terribly taking on himself the horror of all our sins, but reading especially the account of the passion in St John’s Gospel, we get a sense of that utter confidence and trust in the Father, that knowledge that this is Hs will and will end in triumph. Its an attitude foreshadowed by His calmness in the boat and again a reminder that no matter what we face in this world we can face it in union with our Saviour.

 
 
 


Contact details

Parish priest: Fr Ian Farrell
Phone: 07546 852229
Email: ian.farrell@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

Parish secretary: Catherine Peet
Phone: 01254 884211
Email: catherine.peet@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

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