Bishop Richard Moth Pastoral Letter to Act on Poverty
Bishop Richard Moth as Bishop of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton has issued a further Pastoral Letter for the Year of Mercy calling on members of the Diocese to take action on poverty. The Pastoral Letter is to be read in all churches this weekend, 24th and 25th September 2016.
In his first Pastoral Letter for the Year of Mercy in Lent he asked people through the traditional ways of prayer, fasting and giving to the poor, to be open to ‘the way of Mercy’. In this letter he focusses on the Gospel command to love neighbour and especially those living in poverty.
Reflecting on the parable of the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus, at the rich man’s door he says: “The question for us today, and every day, is quite simple. Do I reach out to the one in need, or do I relax in comfort, safe within the walls and gates I have constructed for myself? Am I like the rich man’s family, with a conscience that is not even stirred by the One who died for me and rose from the Dead? In the words of Pope Francis, has my conscience grown dull in the face of poverty?”
In helping the poor and loving neighbour we, says the Bishop “recognise them as people created by a loving God.” He insists that if we love God we must love and be merciful to others. This means “we must act.” It is not enough, important as it is, just to give money, but says Bishop Richard “I invite you today to join with me in an examination of conscience as to the way in which you respond to the Lord's call to express the love that he has given to us in the care we offer to our brothers and sisters, mindful that these works of mercy will be used as the measure for our lives.”
He sees this Jubilee Year of Mercy as an opportunity for a renewal of our commitment to service which is integral to the Christian life.
To read the letter in full click here.