The Bishop of Shrewsbury has reminded the faithful that they are called to be “witnesses” to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ at a time of rising ignorance of the Christian faith.
In a homily preached at Shrewsbury Cathedral on Easter morning, the Rt Rev. Mark Davies said that in an “era of ‘fake news’ and much confusion we might detect a growing thirst for authentic witnesses”.
The Bishop encouraged the Catholics of the Diocese of Shrewsbury to actively bear witness to the Resurrection of Christ in their own lives.
At a time when the meaning of Easter appears to be incrementally weakened by the removal of references to the festival, it was important that the Christian memory was kept alive, the Bishop said.
The Resurrection of Christ and the hope of Christians in the face of death matter, he said, because they provide the faith-filled conviction that for nearly two millennia have shaped the life, culture and history of the British people.
Speaking in the “Year for Mission” of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, Bishop Davies reminded the faithful that each of them shared “the mission to become witnesses to Christ’s Resurrection, and to be ready to give the reason for our hope to so many around us”.
Bishop Davies said: “In recent weeks a chocolate manufacturer and a national charity may have sought to airbrush the name ‘Easter’ from this public holiday; and a survey of national opinion sponsored by the BBC produced some confusing results as to what the British people believe about Christ’s Resurrection and the life of the world to come.
“It is a confusion which perhaps arose from people being asked in a phone call about Christ’s empty tomb and the hope of eternal life in much the same way as questions might be asked about a commercial product or a political choice.
“The Resurrection of Christ and our hope in the face of death can never be treated as matters of quick comment or casual speculation: they constitute the historic and transcendent event and the faith-filled conviction which has shaped our history, our world and all our lives.
“Even in the marketing of an egg trail or a public holiday, the weakening of the Christian memory matters, insofar as it contributes to obscuring the very vision of human life and destiny which has sustained our national life for almost a millennia and a half.”