Message from the chaplain - 1 March 2018

34 [Jesus] called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? - Mark 8:34-37

This passage reminds me of Jesus’ Beatitudes, particularly Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Poverty in spirit is gripping on to nothing but Christ; knowing deeply that everything we have and are is because of God alone and holding lightly that which God gives us. To be poor in spirit is to be amazed, bowled over, because we have found ourselves in the kingdom of heaven. It is, we find, not poverty at all. Surely this is what it means to pick up our cross and follow Christ, and to lose our lives for Christ’s sake, thereby to save our lives?

This Lent, may Christ show us the ways in which we hold on to our lives – in which we are not poor in spirit. May Christ help us to let go of whatever we are trying to lug around with our cross – the cross is enough.

For our country, we pray that our leaders, together with ourselves, may lead in poverty of spirit.

Revd Claudia Coustas