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‘Renewal won’t come about by leaving the Church’

By Sarah Mac Donald - 21 March, 2016

Pic: John McElroy

Pic: John McElroy

The Church will not be reformed by the cries from outside of those who do not believe, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said on Sunday.

In his homily for Palm Sunday at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, the Archbishop referred to the Gospel account of the Passion and said it “teaches us something about the Church; it tells us something about the Church today and in every time; it tells how we are called to live if we wish to bring reform and renewal to the Church of Jesus Christ”.

He underlined that renewal is a matter of faith and of understanding what it means that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world.

Acknowledging that so many things damage the face of Christ in his Church and damage the body of Christ, he said “If we really understand how we all belong to the one body then we cannot feel that the answer to renewal in the Church can come about by leaving the Church or by leaving it to others”.

The challenge for believers is to be like Jesus who, with all the anguish and fear it entails, does not flinch or waver in remaining faithful to the will of his Father, even at the price of enduring the ignominious death on a criminal’s cross.

When we journey along the way of the Cross we do not know what that way will entail and how long our journey will take.

“The challenge is not to follow the short-cuts of the disciples who found that fleeing was the quick and easy answer; the challenge is not to follow the hypocrisy of Pilate who places his own position and comfort ahead of his responsibility towards an innocent man; our challenge is not to get trapped in irrelevant questions of prestige and status as did some disciples at the Last Supper.”

The Primate of Ireland said the Christian life can never be a closed inward looking life, but always one which “cares for others, gives oneself for others and works for a society with a special focus on the needs of others, rather than on power or prestige or personal gain.”

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