We live in a world defined by communication or sometimes, the absence of communication. We expect to be informed of matters and issues that affect us and may be frustrated when people or organisations do not communicate with us. We listen to people in public life and form opinions and loyalties from what they say and how they appear. Most importantly, first impressions are crucial and introductory words can shape our impressions and expectations. This weekend’s gospel gives us the opening words of the public ministry of Jesus, ‘repent for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand’. It is more than a greeting, more than a demand, it is a proclamation of the nature and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Son of God’ It speaks directly to the heart of the listener, the reader and to each of us in the congregation this weekend’. It is a word of hope, of promise, of trust, of love and challenge. It is demanding and yet, consoling. It sets the standard very high for us so that we may become the people that God created us to be. It communicates love, mercy, forgiveness and hope. This weekend, we embrace all of these things and receive them in the Word of God and in the Eucharist. May God bless you and your family and may we all be blessed in the words and presence of Jesus Christ.