By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton


This picture shows one of the panels on the holy door at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I have always loved it, and it speaks beautifully of the Good Shepherd reaching out to save the lost. That's the reason for hope.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Space for Reflection

The launch of this blog coincides with Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Communications Day, which is marked this year on May 16th.

Issuing it in this Year for Priests, the Holy Father encourages priests to make use of the vast arena of digital communications to communicate the beautiful truths of the Gospel. Accordingly, my intent in establishing this blog is to create a space for reflection upon the Word of God. As a rule, posts will be offered once per week.

The focus will be the sacred passages offered in the Sunday Mass readings, and the intent will be to draw out from them “the reason for our hope”. Regardless of circumstances, the Christian is a person of real and abiding hope. The reason is Jesus Christ. Risen from the dead, he remains always present with his people, just as he promised (cf. Matthew 28:20). Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, he dwells within us in a communion of love. He who abides in us invites us to abide in him (cf. John 15:4), and to find in this communion a peace the world cannot give (cf. John 14: 27), a peace that gives rise to hope. Furthermore, Christians are called always to be ready to give an account before others of the hope that is ours (cf. 1Peter 3:15). My prayer is that this blog will serve to support our response to that call.

We know there can be many temptations to anxiety and even despair. Family difficulties, economic hardship, serious and uncontrollable illness, scandals within the Church, societal trends that run counter to the common good ... all these and more can leave us confused and anxious. In the midst of such circumstances, what is the ground of hope? The answer is a person: Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became a human being, who revealed in word and deed, especially in his dying and rising, the truth of God’s love and its power over evil. He remains with us always, speaking to us, listening to us, and guiding us to life and joy.

There is nothing more beautiful than knowing Jesus Christ. Yet to know the Lord requires spending time with him, listening to his Word and encountering him in the sacraments. It demands of us that we be deliberate and intentional about making time for him and establishing this as a first priority in our lives. Daily demands are many, but among them there is one thing always and truly necessary: listening to Jesus (cf. Luke 10:42). I offer the reflections posted on this blog as a small help to any who are looking for hope, so that they may find it in Jesus Christ.