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Archbishop’s column October 2012

Columns

Archbishop John Dew
October 2012

We are God’s work of art.

This amazing conviction from the letter to the Ephesians (2:10) invites us into the Year of Faith. Imagine if we could really believe this, live it, and act out of it.

The rest of the quote reads ‘created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it’. We are God’s work of art because we are one with Christ Jesus through our baptism and throughout our life, we complete that work of art.

Here is a pastoral letter I have written to lead us into this Year of Faith.

Dear People of God

The Year of Faith starts on October 11.

As we stand at the threshold of this most significant event, I invite you to open wide the doors of your hearts in welcome to Jesus Christ.

As he enters he will bring others who are searching for greater meaning in their lives and it will be our opportunity to let them see there is no one and nothing else that makes sense of human life than Jesus Christ himself.

Our world offers a variety of pathways that are often in conflict with the way of Jesus. Many have chosen to follow a different way only to find that true happiness still eludes them. Jesus asks us, as he asked his first disciples, ‘Do you want to go away, too?’ (John 6:67).

Let this Year of Faith bring out our conviction that, like Peter, we are certain there is no one else to go to (John 6:68).

This is the time to ask those who, for whatever reason, have closed their hearts to the message of Jesus, to give him another chance.

Our asking need not be in sermons or with feverish pleading, but simply by showing our families and friends just how much the goodness and love of God is bound up in our world and in our lives.

We say we are children of God, that we are greatly and personally loved by God. We just have to show that we really believe what we say.

The faith that is solid and indestructible arises from a grateful heart.

It is a response to an awareness that there are blessings and gifts in my life that could not have come from my own ability.

It is this response that we believers must activate, especially during this Year of Faith. We are to use every means to live out and to pass on the Good News of Jesus which is all about the fact that the whole world is utterly and totally loved by God.

Year of Faith events
There will be a number of events in the archdiocese over the next several months.

First – this is for you – believe (an act of faith) that you are God’s work of art.
‘We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it’ (Ephesians 2: 10).

Second – this is for others – believe (another act of faith) that they too are ‘God’s work of art’ and that the mystery of the Trinity lives in us and we can see the light of God shining on the faces of those around us.

More than a calendar year, this Year of Faith begins this week and ends on November 25 next year.

If every day over these months we truly know that we are ‘God’s work of art’ and if we, in faith, see the face of God shining on the faces of those around us, this will most certainly be a Year of Faith.

See yourself and others as God sees you and act accordingly. Then you, your families, our Church and our world will be richly blessed. Believing in God’s love for you and for each person will mean that you are ‘opening the doors to Christ’ and to others.

With every blessing and the assurance of my prayer for you over this year, I also ask you to pray for me.