Much To Say; Much To Condemn

Today we remember Charles Henry Brent in our church calendar. He was our first missionary bishop in the Philippines and later Bishop of Western New York.

In an earlier post (“When truth stumbles in the public square”) I shared my concern about the “extra judicial” killings going on these days in the Philippines. The retired “Obispo Maximo” (presiding bishop) of our full communion partner, Iglesia Filipina Independiente (the Philippine Independent Church) — with whom I spent several days in Manila just over a year ago — was murdered in his convent retirement quarters not long ago.  

In today’s Gospel for Tuesday in the Fifth Week of Lent, Jesus says, “I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” (John 8:26)

Surely, our sisters and brothers in the Philippines also have “much to say…and much to condemn.” The One who sent them to us “is true.” And they are “declaring to the world” what they heard and seen.

With them in mind, may we offer today a Lenten prayer written by Bishop Brent, one we pray every Friday in our Prayer Book: “Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name.” Amen  

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