Called and Chosen

Easter Sunday 6, Year B

Embracing the Joy and Friendship of God: Lessons from Bishop Peter

Today I want to share with you some insights and personal reflections that have shaped my journey of faith. I will be delving into the remarkable influence of the late Bishop Peter Ingham, a man whose love for laughter and God has left an indelible mark on my life. I will also recount my personal encounter with the living God, a transformative experience that has underscored the importance of staying connected to our divine source of life and love.

The Joyful Influence of Bishop Peter
Bishop Peter was a man whose presence was like a beacon of light in a world that often feels overshadowed by gloom. His love for telling jokes was not merely a means of entertainment but a profound ministry in itself. Through his humor, Bishop Peter had a unique way of lightening the mood and bringing joy to others, a quality that I admired and have strived to emulate in my own ministry.

I remember how his jokes would not only make us laugh but also remind us of the lighter side of life, even in the midst of challenges. It was this characteristic that had a profound influence on me. Bishop Peter taught me that joy is a gift from God, one that we are called to share with others. His ability to weave joy into the fabric of everyday life was a testament to his deep faith and understanding of the Gospel message.

Encountering the Living God
My personal experience of encountering the living God was nothing short of transformative. It was during a moment of prayer and reflection that I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s presence. This encounter was a vivid reminder that God is not a distant deity but a loving Father who desires a personal relationship with each one of us.

The impact of this experience has been far-reaching. It has taught me the importance of remaining grafted onto the vine, as Jesus Himself exhorted us. By staying connected to God, we allow His nourishment to flow through us, sustaining us with His grace and enabling us to bear fruit in our lives.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit
In this episode, I also encourage you, my listeners, to embrace the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our advocate and guide, the one who empowers us to live out our calling as children of God. When we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, we become receptive to being changed and transformed by God’s love and goodness.

Being open to the Holy Spirit means allowing ourselves to be led by God’s will, even when it takes us out of our comfort zones. It is about trusting in God’s plan for our lives and being willing to be used by Him to bring about His kingdom on earth.

In conclusion, the lessons I’ve learned from Bishop Peter and my encounter with the living God have been invaluable. They have taught me that remaining connected to God is not just about personal sanctification but also about becoming a conduit of His love and joy to others.

I invite you to reflect on your own relationship with God. Are you allowing His nourishment to flow through you? Are you open to the transformative power of the Holy Spirit? Let us together embrace the love and friendship that God offers us, and may we spread His joy to all those we encounter on our journey of faith.

Thank you for joining me in this reflection. May God bless you abundantly, and may you always find joy in His presence.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Richard Healey

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