“Encourage one another”

Fr Bernard preached about the importance of putting ‘fresh heart’ into each other at Sunday Masses in Newcestown and Farnivane           

  1. On the last day of June, Fintan Gavin will be ordained Bishop of Cork & Ross in our cathedral, on Cork’s northside. He’ll have many hard tasks ahead of him, but one of the most important will be to put fresh heart into us — us priests, us believers — to put fresh heart into everyone who tries and struggles to be faith-ful, in 2019.

Putting fresh heart in us isn’t performing open-heart surgery, it’s something much harder — encouraging people, renewing our delight in faith, toughening us up for the struggles ahead.

  1. It’s what Paul and Barnabas spent their time doing, according to the first reading (Acts 14:21-27). And it doesn’t mean saying: “Everything will be grand”. What Paul and Barnabas said was: “We all have to experience many hardships before we enter the kingdom of God”.

No one escapes suffering, neither believers nor atheists, it’s part of the human condition — but believers get the grace to endure, and they encourage each other, they give each other fresh heart.

  1. Fintan Gavin, our bishop-elect, can’t do it all. The job of encouraging falls to everyone — grandparents, parents, children, relatives, friends, neighbours, fellow parishioners. Think of a time when someone’s encouraging words put fresh heart into you — go and do the same yourself.

As the author of the Letter to the Hebrews puts it, “Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another’.” What you say and do makes a difference. So — “Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another”.