Bishop John leads Holy Hour for ACNThursday 4th February 2021
Bishop John led a Holy Hour to focus on prayer for the suffering and persecuted Church, for clergy and religious (especially those who work in dangerous and challenging environments) and for all those who support the work of ACN in our world today.
Each year ACN fund over 5,000 projects in more than 140 countries around world, helping to support the Church in its mission, and bringing hope and solidarity to millions of people.
In his Homily, Bishop John spoke of the fact that, despite it no longer being Christmas, there are elements of the crib scene that we ought to reflect upon.
Many people see the crib as a place of beauty and peace – a place of hope, tranquility and silent prayer.
As well as remembering the tranquility, Bishop John asked us to reflect on the reality of the situation.
He asked us to imagine what was going on in Mary’s mind. A young girl, in the final stages of her pregnancy, who was forced to travel 70 miles in the final days of her pregnancy to a place where there was no pre-booking of accommodation, just travelling on trust to locate a stable.
Bishop John asked us to imagine giving birth in a stable with no medical intervention.
But it happened. Bishop John went on to speak about how they were about to find out they could not even travel home, but there is always the sense of trust and hope in the scene of the crib because of the angel’s promise.
Bishop John shared his reflections on his year-long reflections on the crib, which help him particuarly in this time of pandemic, which are hitting the poorest countries worst.
There are 100 million refugees and internally displaced people in our world and those who live in persecution. Bishop John called on us to remember them, and to remember that god sent Jesus to be with those in distress, to share their condition and to give them hope.
Finally, Bishop John called on us all to pray for Aid to the Church in Need and all those who support its work.