"From the very first moments of Christ's resurrection from the dead, attempts were made to discredit and ridicule it. The same still happens today," emphasised the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, during his homily at the annual Easter Men's Mass at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, yesterday, Easter Monday. "It is our task to proclaim the truth of the resurrection. We are the men of this age, the men of this city, of this Archdiocese of Birmingham, who have been given the gift of faith by the Holy Spirit. "We believe in the risen Lord. We know that his truth and his light is stronger than any other force, or power, or prejudice working in society today. We believe that in Jesus Christ we find the Way, the Truth and the Life. It is our calling to let his light be seen. "During Holy Week we read in the press that half of the population of this country believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Which shows that Christianity still has a place in the hearts of many," stressed Archbishop Nichols. "The time is right for us to be resolute in sharing our faith with others but never aggressively, never insistently; always gently, always seeking conversation not monologue. We should always sensitive to the spirit of another, a spirit that is often bruised and hurting but also, hiddenly, longing for the Good News of God. "We can give witness to all that it good in our society and in particular to the generosity of so many, especially young people. We can give witness to the widespread longing for peace and justice to be found in many places, including among the men and women of our armed forces who are serving so valiantly in Iraq. "In the face of cynicism, we can witness to the dedication of those working in our public services, often under difficult conditions. Let us remember in our prayers teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers and police officers. "We can give witness by engaging in conversation, and even in protest, about those aspects of our society in which we fall short of all that is truly human. Surely we cannot be satisfied to see the awful poverty in our world or the humanitarian crisis that we are facing in Iraq. "We must engage in debate and protest at the destruction of human life in abortion and in laboratory experiments. We have to be courageous whenever we find rank dishonesty in trade and business, for that is always a form of theft, and usually from the weak and the comparatively defenceless." "Be strong in your Christian faith and do not apologise for it. Do not expect an easy ride. There is readiness among people today to see and treasure that which is of lasting value, that which is noble and true, that which is wholesome and good. Be witnesses to Christ for he is all of this and far more," Archbishop Nichols concluded.
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