Referencing the fact that in the past year, the United States has experienced the largest number of deaths by suicide than it has in its history, Bishop Hughes urges us, as we move through Lent, to be a little more aware and sensitive to those who might be feeling left out. (Time:3:44.)
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Bishop Hughes suggests a simple Lenten practice, based on Jesus' actions in Mark 1:31, that is particularly suited to the times in which we're currently living. (Time: 4:17.)
"The faith life is like anything else," says Bishop Hughes: "We have to build that muscle, we've got to get stronger at it, we have to practice, we have to learn how to get better at something, we've got to make the decision to nurture it." (Time: 3:52.)
As we start a new year, Bishop Hughes suggests we focus on becoming even more committed to growing deeper in our faith. (Time: 4:40.)
This is Bishop Hughes in the Diocese of Newark. It is the start of 2024. We're only a few days into it. And we are still, very many of us, at that time of year where we're looking wistfully at the rest of the year and asking ourselves, what is it that I want to do differently this year?
Bishop Hughes says, "I want to invite you this Advent to think about where you need light, and also to think about where you are asked to witness to the light.... How can we share the light that we know? How do we share the hope that is within us, the hope of God's love and mercy and compassion that we know exist even in a world that is deeply, deeply fractured and troubled?" (Time: 4:20.)
As we make our way through Advent to Christmas, Bishop Hughes encourages to take some Sabbath time – whether a day, an afternoon, or even just a moment – to be quiet and listen for the messages God has that are uniquely for us. (Time: 4:02.)
Bishop Hughes describes being asked, "Bishop, what are you going to do about the war" and thinking, "As if they would listen to me, one lone person sitting in Newark, New Jersey" - which led to what one person can do in situations where there is no easy fix. (Time: 5:13.)
It is absolutely necessary that we hold on to hope for the missing, the kidnapped, and any being held against their will. At the same time, we must hold the same hope for those caught in the danger of the war that resulted from terrorism.
Bishop Hughes shares a piece of advice from Catherine Meeks' book, "The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning," that Meeks gives to people who ask her, what should I do? What should my ministry look like? How should I handle this particular challenge? The answer is: Stand still and listen. (Time: 4:36.)
"Every single one of our parishes is surrounded by people who are anxious, depressed, some struggling with addiction, and many incredibly lonely," says Bishop Hughes. And she believes we are called to offer the beauty of God's love to them by growing the faith, in ourselves and others. (Time: 4:17.)