Weekly Reflection – A mission of love

20 April 2022

Revd Charlene Smith

I very much enjoy my ministry at the cathedral, it allows me the space to immerse myself in the joys of the liturgy, providing me with the spiritual food needed to sustain me. My two roles very much work in partnership and speak of the need of God to be present in all areas of our lives.

As many of you already know I work as a hospital chaplain, as such I very much minister to the sick and suffering. In fact when I reflect upon my experiences in the hospital as a chaplain, I am aware of the great privilege of my role. Witness to life’s moments of grace and blessing.

When I come alongside the patients I serve, I also encounter the resurrection mystery of the body and blood of Christ, usually at the patient’s bedside table a makeshift altar is prepared, with jumbled personal items sitting alongside the sacrament. I take to the wards with what I can carry upon my person, simple miniature liturgical vessels, the sacred and the secular touching as I prepare to vest in rubber gloves, apron, mask, etc… all neatly placed over my miniature stole and black priestly ensemble. And there I stand, a priest, almost unrecognisable, but ready to serve in works of mercy, love and compassion.

At the breaking of the bread there is an unrivaled beauty and a mission of love as I see Christ made manifest in the sacrament and in those I minister too. All this in the humbling atmosphere of a busy ward, ICU, A&E, labour ward or theatre. We are called to go where we are needed, to offer the absolute simplicity of God’s love in that moment and to encounter the humility of heart and faith in meeting the needs of those who yearn for God to be present. At that moment I see and encounter a mission of love. God is love.

Happy Easter
Revd Charlene Smith

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Wakefield Cathedral

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