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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

6 August 2014: Jean Halliday, St Laurence Catholic Church

Ambassadors of Christ

So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you through us, and in the name of Christ we appeal to you to be reconciled with God. 2 Cor. 5:20 (The New Jerusalem Bible)

In the Commonwealth Games, elite sporting personalities including Sir Chris Hoy and Rebecca Adlington were the Games' Official Ambassadors, appointed twelve months ago to promote the Games and to spearhead the ticketing campaign, and what a good job they did!

An ambassador is an authorised representative of an important person or Government. When I read in St Paul's letter that all Christians should be 'ambassadors for Christ', it sounds very daunting. How have Christians been given such a role? It is by Baptism and Confirmation. In Baptism we receive the Spirit and life of Christ, in Confirmation we are confirmed in the Holy Spirit.

Baptism calls us to spread the Good News, to contribute to the life of the Church and to build a more human world; the Holy Spirit is the power that will help us in our task. This is why it is so important to allow the Holy Spirit to work in us by being rooted in prayer, to be centred in Christ, so that we show Christ to the world. Always open to the movement of the Spirit in our lives, being able to recognize His call in so many different ways, through experiences or other people, to be totally in tune with the way He speaks to us, whether it is through the earthquake, wind or fire. To be listening to the still small voice speaking in the depth of our being or in the blinding light on our road to Damascus. St Paul sums it all up in Romans 12, "Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit...be constant in prayer".

Why would we not wish to share the gift we have received with those around us? The great gift of love, a love we do not deserve but one that has been given freely and without reserve. St Gregory the Great wrote: "So let him who has heard in his heart the invitation of divine love, pass on to his neighbours around about him, the message of the invitation".

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 14 March; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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