It’s always been in times of adversity when the Church has experienced major growth. Many put this down to people’s simplicity and superstition – that people turn to religion in times of trial so that God might show mercy on them. But historians also have a different angle. Timothy C. Winegard attributes the spread of Christianity to the behaviour of Christians in times of plague and epidemic. In his book ‘The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator’ he explains that as new Mosquito borne illnesses spread through Europe in the first Century, the love and care of Christians towards the sick and dying is what inspired others to join the movement. In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus says: ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments’. These early Christians, and many that have followed through the millennia, have loved Jesus through obedience to his command to love others. Such love is an inspiration. Jesus also says that he will send us the ‘Spirit of Truth’. Elsewhere scriptures calls us to be ‘witness to the truth’. Many Christians have unfortunately interpreted this as a need to be ‘defenders of the truth’ and focussed on dogma and argument and apologetics and law. Yet we all know that the most inspirational teachers don’t teach, they witness. The truth they communicate is not in their words but how they speak. Not in what they do, but in how they live. It’s in the aroma of their presence as it seeps from their pores, changing the atmosphere around them. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week with its theme ‘Kindness’: We live in a world that needs campaigns to encourage people to be kind for the sake of mental health! This has always been the true way of being Christians – a word which means ‘Christ-like’ or ‘little-Christs’. We too are called to be ‘witnesses to the truth’ in the way we serve one another, particularly the weakest and most vulnerable, and inspire others to do the same. @rcwestminster @dowym @luxnymo #catholic #Jesus #gospel #christian #bible #service #mentalhealthawareness #bekind #kindness #love
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