Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening

It was a great personal pleasure for me today to meet with clergy and lay ministers, from different parts of the diocese, for our annual Chrism Eucharist. Our service took place in the Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Brussels, in parallel with a similar service at All Saints, Milan.

At the outset, we had in mind that the Chrism Eucharist last year was scheduled for 22nd March, the day of the terrible Brussels bombings. Thankfully, this year’s event went unmarred by any similar tragedy in Belgium, although the morning had seen a devastating fire at Grande-Synthe migrant camp in Northern France.

The service really has two parts to it. Firstly, we renew our ministerial vows. Secondly, we bless oils to be used in baptism, confirmation and for the sick.

The readings – 1 Samuel 3:1-10 & Luke 7:36-50 – spoke of God’s calling on all our lives and the healing of anointing.

For any of us, without a sense of calling, our ministry will drift. We will start to lose our way. We will lack the perseverance needed to see the journey through. So we gathered today to hear again God’s call to us, to reaffirm our dedication to our vocation and to rekindle our love. As we blessed the oils for use in anointing others, I prayed that we would know the anointing of the Holy Spirit. And that we would be drawn anew into the loving circle of the Holy Trinity. Then we will again be refreshed and strengthened for the work of sharing the love of Jesus with those in our care.

Opportunities in our diocese for ministers to gather together are few and far between. Some had travelled from Germany, the Netherlands, France or Spain to be with us. So to share this time together was truly special. We were grateful to Holy Trinity Brussels for their hospitality. We parted nourished, spiritually and physically, and  – I trust – re-energised for our ministries.

You can listen to a part of the service – the Gospel reading & my sermon – which was recorded, here.

You can also find the text edition of the same sermon here.


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