Pentecost Appeal 2017

6th May 2017 - by Stephen Awre

Fr. Peter Hughes, Columban Regional Director in Britain, writes of how, as missionaries, we are part of the continuing Christian story and we must be prepared to share boldly and to listen with humility if we are to draw ever closer to God’s transforming love.

Dear Columban Friends,

‘…the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said… Go quickly and tell his disciples… So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.’     Matthew 28:5-8

The ‘Greatest Story Ever Told’ is a 1965 American film retelling the story of Jesus from the Nativity to the Resurrection, one of many ways the Good News has been shared in the world. The power and influence of storytelling is undeniable. As Christians, we must be thankful for the women at the tomb who ‘with fear and great joy’ became the first Christian storytellers as they ran to find the disciples. Through the ages, the story of Jesus’ life and ministry has been shared and listened to so that it may be shared again and, from our childhood, we have perhaps become a little over familiar with the parables and miracles by which Jesus reveals to us the Kingdom of God. If it ever feels a little stale this might be because we are not listening enough to the stories of God’s people in the world today by which the Holy Spirit continues to reveal the Kingdom and to invite us to participate in God’s mission.

As Columban missionaries, we have come to realise that we do not simply bring the story of Jesus to others. We are part of a continuing story in which we proclaim with confidence our faith in Jesus Christ recognising at the same time that God is already present in the people and places we are sent. Wherever we go, we cross boundaries of culture and language to share boldly and to listen with humility, to give and to receive; to enter into a new relationship by which we may together draw closer to God’s transforming love.

Over the years, the Far East magazine has shared with you many stories of faith, hope and love about people and places we have encountered on the journey. We are humbled by your generous support for and faith in what we do. You are part of the Columban family and we wish to be enriched by your story. We are fascinated to know more about your link to Columban mission, how you first encountered us and why you contribute, when you started reading the Far East magazine and who you share it with. Many of you will have a story to tell and on the back page of the current magazine we invite you to share your Columban story.

At Pentecost, the disciples received the Holy Spirit and were emboldened to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to others. Let us pray for the courage to share our story with others and for the humility to listen to the stories that others have to tell.

Yours sincerely,
Peterhughes-sig-straight.jpg_0
Fr. Peter Hughes SSC
Regional Director for Britain

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¹ He Qi once said: “a work of visual art can convey a powerful, complex message quickly and effectively to busy people. We need Christian art in a Chinese indigenous way so that people will know the Gospel message also belongs to Chinese people, and not just to foreigners.”

Please join the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China on 24th May