Dear Friends in Christ,
The five-year anniversary of the Anglocatholic Church is upon us and our hearts overflow with thanks for this precious gift from God. The challenge before us in the next five years is, I believe, to think and act ecclesially within the unity of our unique expression of the Catholica.
We are as yet a new grafting of a wild olive shoot unto the rich root of the green olive tree that is Christ. 1) From his deep, strong roots we draw divine energies in order to blossom and flourish in God’s good time despite significant adversity. Again, we are that freshly plucked green olive branch in the beak of the dove that speaks of the subsistence of the flood waters that washed clean the ruin of the primeval world’s failure before God. 2) Though many, we draw nourishment and strength from our unity in Christ. We are one in body, in Spirit and in the hope of our calling for the equipping of the saints, for ministry. 3) Thus, within our dioceses and parishes we are not alone, but rather rejoice in our commonality, our vocational unity in the life and ministry of Christ. Rejoicing in our unique and varied charisms, we must work as worthy of our common vocation. Just as the spokes of a wheel are joined at its hub, so too all our varied activities find unity in the single goal of establishing the kingdom of the Father and the maintenance of Christ’s continued presence in human society. 4) When we think, act, speak, love and forgive as a single body drawing its life from Christ, surely, we will share appropriately with the angels in the harvest of the world. St. John places the Lord’s dialogue with the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well within an understanding of the harvest of the world. – open your eyes and look at the fields that are ripe unto harvest. 5) We who follow Christ are both sowers of the seed and ingatherers of its harvest 6) reaping benefits of the divine labour. We work alongside our Lord in the unity of the one body that ‘the earth may be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea ‘ 7) that, ‘at the Name of JESUS, every knee should bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. ‘ 8)
Let us then in our next five years come together in heart and in soul, in mind and in strength as coworkers with Christ 9) for our own salvation and for that of the whole world.
+ + + Archbishop David Smith
Notes : 1) Romans 11.17 : 2) Genesis 8.11 : 3) Ephesians 4. : 4) Chorus text proclaimed at the Congress of the Young Catholic Workers Association in Paris, Pentecost 1937 quoted in be Lubac Catholicism p.54, n.24, Ignatius, San Francisco 1988 : 5) John 4.34-38 : 6) Luke 8.4ff : 7) Isaiah 11 .9 : 8) Philippians 2 .10,11 : 9 Ephesians 2 .10