Dear friends in Christ,
Welcome to this week’s Bishop’s Blog!
During these days of Eastertide we hear repeatedly in the liturgy of the Mass how the Apostles witnessed before the public to the fact and to the truth of the Lord’s resurrection, while Paul, John, Peter and others in their letters found in the New Testament attempt to tease out the huge implications of the resurrection for the whole of creation.
God has raised up the crucified One, proclaimed the Apostles, and they can testify to it! That mandate of proclaiming Christ, died and risen, has been entrusted to the Church from one generation to another until the day on which he finally returns in glory to restore all things.
As we know, the Apostles proclaimed Christ by word of mouth and by means of their writings contained in the Scriptures.
Yet if we move fast forward to our own day, I am sure that Paul, John and the other disciples would have exploited the full potential of technology and social media as they boldly gave witness to the life, death and resurrection of the Saviour.
In fact, the Church urges us today to draw on modern means of communication to spread the Christian message, and those of you who have followed my weekly blog will acknowledge that I have tried by means of it to make my own contribution to evangelisation as Bishop of Lancaster.
Through this blog which I have established, I cherish the hope that I have sowed some seeds in the minds of those who followed it, seeds which with God’s grace will eventually bear fruit.
I have engaged with social media in the deep conviction that the Holy Spirit, whom the Lord promised, is ever at work in people’s hearts and souls, in a real but usually hidden way.
It has been a joy and a privilege to speak, as it were, to so many ‘blog followers’ of the faith in Christ which we hold.
And it is humbling to realise that such a modest blog reaches readers in different parts of our world. The parting words of the risen Lord to his disciples in St. Matthew’s gospel contained the command to go out into the whole world and teach all nations the things he taught.
Notwithstanding its downside and perils, the worldwide web/internet is and will be a wonderful instrument in proclaiming the good news of Christ’s gospel.
On Monday I step down as Ordinary of Lancaster, so after nine years this will be my final blog. There will be little break now, but after that, my successor as Bishop of Lancaster will continue the Bishop’s Blog – so the work will continue.
I thank all of you who have followed my activities as bishop during that time, and have taken the trouble to read various sermons and other pieces posted on the Lancaster diocesan website.
I repeat: hopefully all of this has in some way nourished your spiritual life and made you even more aware of the presence of the living God, who has spoken to us so dramatically in his Son, the Incarnate Word, and who anoints us with the balm of his life-giving Holy Spirit.
May God bless you, and let us pray for one another!
+Michael G Campbell OSA