Candlemass and beyond

This evening at Benediction Fr Chris encouraged us to go from worship and serve Christ in others:

“Most of the Gospel message is proclaimed by the reactions of people to Jesus – be they Simeon, Anna, wise men, shepherds, the Holy Family, the disciples later, the crowds who came to listen to him, those who saw the miracles.

The Gospel message in 2014 is proclaimed by our reaction to Jesus.  As with Simeon and Anna so with us. We have Jesus amongst us – yes on the Altar in his most Holy Sacrament, but also here in the nave of this church in one another – and he is present in the women and men whom we meet day by day in our daily lives.

+ Uganda slumsWhen we meet Jesus, when we see him in the face of the child, or the sick person, or the elderly – our reaction to him will make him known to others.

There is no point in placing Jesus on the altar and lighting candles around him if we neglect the poor and marginalised, We must allow the light to enlighten the gentiles to shine out through our action and prayers.

I say nothing new – Bishop Frank Weston summed this up in his famous sermon to the Anglo Catholic Congress in 1923 “you have got to come out from before your Tabernacle and walk, with Christ mystically present in you, out into the streets of this country, and find the same Jesus in the people of your cities and your villages You cannot claim to worship Jesus in the Tabernacle if you do not pity Jesus in the slum.”

Tonight used to mark the end of Christmastide – but it is not the end of Christ being near us, of his being one with us, and of needing to be served by us.”

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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