A REFLECTION ON RENEWAL IN THE IRISH CHURCH 1
As we all know the marriage referendum in southern Ireland was passed by a vote of 60% at this stage I am not going to dwell on this as many other people have done this since the referendum. Instead I would like to offer my thoughts on the renewal of Faith that needs to take place in the Irish Church. Many people have said that this result is a wakeup call for the Church and this is what it should be As the apostle Paul says: “Awake, O sleeper, and” (Eph 5,14). I think we need to wake up as a Church or even as Irish Churches. For me as a Catholic in Ireland at the present time the Church needs to stand up for itself and start preaching the authentic teaching of Jesus Christ. Many people are now asking how do we as church people or people of faith reconnect with all the people within the church young and old and everyone else and this question needs to be addressed as there is a big disconnection between the Church as it is now and its people for many reasons not least the scandals which are well known and they are been addressed on an ongoing basis.
The referendum result is a wakeup call indeed it is one of many wake up calls in recent years and as such it should not be ignored. All of us who are the church the body of Christ need to stop in order to take a reality check and look at where we are now and realize the ways of the past are gone and then take positive action for the future.
I thank God that many of the ways of past are gone as we now know in many cases they were proven to be shamefully wrong and a sham what has happened over the years certainly was not what we expect of the members of the church clergy or otherwise. Now is not the time for us to stick our heads in the sand ignoring what has gone on and what is now going on around us. Instead it is time for us to rise up and start afresh looking for new ways to proclaim the old truths. The truths that were there at the beginning of the Church we cannot forget the Last supper in the upper room, the Cross of Good Friday and the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We cannot forget all those who by their lives and witness over the centuries have brought many people to faith in God and also one another. We cannot forget that Jesus Christ was the beginning and will be there at the end the alpha and the omega.
At times it would be so very easy for me and so many others to throw in the towel and that would be the easy solution and if the truth be told it would be no solution at all. Running away is easy but staying the course no matter how desperate the situation may seem to be at the time is what is required of all of us.
My faith in God is strong and my faith in other people is also strong but I sometimes find myself asking God where are you in this that or the other situation and very often through the people around me I get an answer which is always I am here in the turmoil you are in keep on going. With that in mind I believe that god is here at the present time in Ireland and all of us should keep on going with renewed heart and spirit remembering that the life lived in faith will never be easy and the renewal that will be required will be hard to undertake
I have had the privilege of journeying with a number of great people in my life who have taught me to pray that that the will of god will be done in our lives. The message of God’s will entails more than the human awareness that we need to speak frankly and openly with each other. Seeking God’s will in the concrete situation of our strengths and weaknesses means being open to the folly of the cross (1 Cor 1,18) and in the folly of the Cross we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord (1 Cor 12,4), being ready to change and be changed.
The cross reminds us that God is in charge and has a plan for our ultimate well-being. We trust God who has made a promise to be faithful to us, and through the cross, he guarantees to see that promise come to completion.We sign ourselves with the cross as we enter and leave church and as we begin and end our prayers. Each time we do that we remember the God of the Promise the god who was who is and will be the one who will always be part of our journey. Signing ourselves with the cross also “reminds us of God’s promise to be faithful to us.
Over the next few days I will complete this reflection which comes in 3 parts
as always your comments are receieved with thanks