WONDER

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WHAT A MARVELLOUS and extraordinary week! Tomorrow will be the 41st Anniversary of my Confirmation on St Patrick’s Day in 1972. On that day, and on the day I was ordained Deacon ten years later, the presiding bishops – Gerald Ellison in 1972, Michael Baughen in 1982 – spoke of God’s continual outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the world. And now God’s Spirit has anointed a new Francis for the Chair of Peter, and a new Justin for Augustine’s. Both have shown themselves already as men of God with hearts for the poor and the dispossessed, and the grace, patience and godly charisma to strive for reconciliation amongst all persons of goodwill – shown themselves, that is to say, as Christ-like; as disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. So tomorrow we begin Passiontide newly commissioned to the task of “mission for others” or “taking up the cross”. Tomorrow, too, we’ll doubtless have a new spring in our steps – blessed in Passiontide with a new wonder and a renewed passion! To God be the glory.