Christ the King Parish has two churches, served by Fr George and our two deacons.
Christ the King Church is in Thornbury, BS35 1HA, and Holy Cross Church is in Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 7DH
We have three “blockbuster” readings on this second Sunday of Lent. The story of Abraham and his son Isaac, in today’s First Reading, is a very important one. It is best summarised from the first line: “God put Abraham to the test”. The fact that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, without questioning God’s command was testimony to Abraham’s complete faith and commitment to God. Abraham is known as the “Father of Our Faith” and is revered highly by the Church, as a testimony to his obedience to God.
Our Second Reading reminds us that God did not take the same steps to save God’s son, Jesus, “but gave him up to benefit us all.” And who was Jesus? The answer we read in the Gospel: “This is my son, the Beloved, Listen to Him.”
There are many things in our faith journey that we don’t fully understand. Things can happen in our lives which can be challenging, difficult, and take us by surprise. But for each one of us, God who gives us everything, is there to provide reassurances. We move on, just like Abraham, we place our trust and faith in God’s hands when we are tested. We listen to Jesus and leave our hopes and fears in God’s hands. By doing this, whatever may threaten or challenges us will one day be left well behind and forgotten. As St Paul reminds us: With God on our side who can be against us?
Lent: “God loves me”
Shortly after his appointment as the Archbishop of Westminster in 1976, Cardinal Basil Hume was asked by journalists: “What is going to be your number one task?” His answer must have taken them by surprise. It wasn’t to work harder for Christian unity; it wasn’t to get more Catholics to go to Church or build more Catholic schools; it wasn’t to provide aid for developing countries; it wasn’t to work for peace justice and freedom. “I want”, he said simply, “to do everything in my power to convince people that God loves them.”
This message from Cardinal Hume was spoken a long time ago now, but it remains equally relevant today. If we stop to realise and understand how much God loves each one of us, then all the other “good” things will surely follow. As we continue this season of Lent, let us take time to think seriously about what God’s love means for each one of us. Let us do what we can to move away from whatever may be holding us back from sharing in that love, which God alone can provide. There is no better time than this holy season of Lent for us to turn back and be the person that God knows and wants us to be; not the person who we may pretend to others that we are.
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