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Viewpoint from Father John Bloomfield 21/01/2022

JOHN BLOOMFIELDFather John Bloomfield
Priest in Charge of the Flegg Coastal Benefice
(Hemsby, Horsey, Somerton, and Winterton)

 

Today is the feast day of St Agnes, a Christian martyr of the fourth century. All the stories of the early saints were embellished by additions through the centuries, so it is sometimes difficult to draw out the historical truth from legend. She was one of the most well-known and widely venerated early Roman martyrs. Ambrose, born about thirty years after the death of Agnes, recorded her age to have been twelve when she gave up her life. Agnes lived during the reign of the emperor Diocletian who was responsible for the last major persecution of Christians in Rome. She suffered martyrdom not just because she was a Christian, but because she is reputed to have already consecrated her virginity to God. Her family had arranged a marriage for her, but she stated that she preferred the death of her body to the death of her virginity. At the time there was a growing veneration for the consecrated virginity of Christian women
 
dove leftAgnes stands as a great contrast between the life of the early Christians and that of today’s culture. Today we might emphasise her willingness to die for loyalty to Jesus Christ over her consecrated personal life style. It is very easy to dismiss her determination to remain a virgin; something which many in our current culture would count either as not being serious, or laughable. What I wonder do today’s Christian community make of Agnes’s intentions? The Church has naturally changed over the centuries, but what would the early Christian community make of our moral values? What would Agnes think about the casual attitude that so many people have towards our personal lives and morals?
 
Today we tend to think of ourselves as individuals who are able to make our own choices in our own personal lives. The Church throughout the centuries has stressed that the Christian is a member of a community and family, rather than an isolated individual who just happens to have a faith in common with others. So when one suffers the whole body of Christians suffer. Living as a community, though not necessarily under one roof, changes our outlook. So it isn’t just our own personal choices that count, rather we should think of how our choices affect the life of the community
 
Every person seeking to live out the Christian faith should remember that the community life isn’t just an optional extra. Coming together as a community of believers committed to following Jesus lies at the heart of the Church. We find our strength and encouragement by being part of something much greater than ourselves, than if we just live a life detached from other believers
 

 


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Feedback:
(Guest) 13/02/2022 18:25
Hi Father John fuzzboy Andy Warminget here from 45 years ago hope you're well thanks for introducing me to J S Bach still playing keys
Regards Andy W ??