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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

30 April 2014: Paul Cuss, St Laurence Catholic Church

Making a difference

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! A traditional exchange of joy and shared faith made at the start of the Easter season.

For me Easter is a time to consider what that faith means to me and how Christ wants me to live that faith. That consideration has been given an additional impetus this year by David Cameron calling on Christians to be "more evangelical" about our faith and "get out there and make a difference to people's lives". There has been a predictable attack on his motives and on his statement that Britain is a Christian country. I have no insight into his conscience but the history of Britain cannot be understood without acknowledging the key role Christian faith has played. To me the question is how I and others ensure this is true in a time when this is less a country of (visible) Christians than it has been.

To me my faith should never be a private matter; it has to be public and all my actions and words should be true to it. I have to admit though that sometimes my courage fails me and I have not spoken out in fear of the consequences of doing so. Openly acknowledging the role faith has in prompting one's actions is not a claim of exclusivity nor is it a criticism of those who do good for other reasons. It is however an opportunity to advertise that faith, a path of evangelisation.

In the Easter season I like many others will hear once again that the early Christians sold their goods and lived in common giving to each according to their need. Here to me is a pointer to the different path we as Christians should take in this materialistic age. We should "make a difference" by giving of our time and treasure to those in need without prejudice or judgement. There are no deserving or undeserving poor; Christ is present equally in all humans and will judge us accordingly.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 30 April; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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