This national four day event has been organised by Catholic Youth Service Scotland, (CYSS), the youth secretariat of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. All Diocesan Youth Officers are members CYSS and are appointed by their Bishop.
When I got an email entitled Pilgrimage to Mount Carmel, I didn’t expect to get to go. Granted, Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Banff is not quite so exotic as its middle-eastern counterpart (at least, not in January) but it is just a tad closer. So on the 12th of the month, a number of the Young Adults’ Group from St Mary’s, Inverness went on pilgrimage. I myself was a bit of an interloper, being from the Elgin group but, fortunately, the highland crew are very tolerant of people’s geographical persuasions.
Reflecting on today’s three readings, it struck me that the first is about faith, the second about hope, and the last (the Gospel), about charity / love.
As bishop, I often wonder: when the Lord looks at us, looks at our diocese, what does he see? What makes him smile? The answer is: faith, hope and charity in us. That’s our beauty. And here today is this holy trio.
In the 1st reading, faith was mentioned twice. Paul and Barnabas were encouraging the new converts to persevere in the faith. In the Gospel we heard Jesus saying: ‘I give you a new commandment, love one another; just as I have loved you, you too must love one another.’ And in the middle, in the 2nd reading, came hope. The word wasn’t used, but what’s described there is exactly what we hope for.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert of the Diocese of Aberdeen in Scotland preaches at St. Mary’s Cathedral on the 4th Sunday of Easter: Vocations Sunday.
“Finish the Race, Keep the Faith!”
That’s the theme from 2 Timothy 4:7-8. This is the first of its kind in the diocese for many years. A weekend pilgrimage to Pluscarden Abbey for young adults (18 – 35). We will be lead by Bishop Hugh, the Monks of the Abbey and the community of Craig Lodge. Thus ensuring a real mix between the old and the new (see Mat. 13:51-52).