This image of the rebel Cardinal, St John Fisher, hangs in the cell in the Bell Tower which he vacated this day, 1535, being executed on Tower Hill at about 9.00am. He was then the only Bishop in the realm to stand up for the truth of the Gospel. What a singular act he undertook - making of himself an outcast in the sight of society and having his head struck off in public view. Although his head was placed on a pole upon London Bridge, the King was so incensed by the witness of this one bishop that he ordered his naked body be left to the public view upon the scaffold throughout the day.
But this was the way in which the Church was called to become visible on that day, and through the life and death of Bishop John Fisher the mission of the Church has been renewed in this island.
We are indebted to St John Fisher for his life and witness; we are full of wonder at the greatness of God's plan for us, and on this feast day we seek to embrace God's plan for the Church in this age. St John Fisher, pray for us.