What similarities & differences exist between the mercy of God & the mercy of man?
This comparison can be made for every virtue & attribute of God. To walk down the path of holiness means living in the presence of God, being irreproachable, turning the other cheek, & imitating his infinite mercy. “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:41). “Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either”. (Luke 6:29) “Give to him who asks of you, & do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42). & finally: “Love your enemies, & pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). So many teachings from the Gospel, all of which help us to understand the overabundance of mercy, God’s logic.
Jesus sends forth his disciples not as holders of power or as masters of a law. He sends them forth into the world asking them to live in the logic of love & selflessness. The Christian message is transmitted by embracing those in difficulty, by embracing the outcast, the marginalised, & the sinner. In the Gospels we read the parable of the king & the guests that are invited to his son’s marriage (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:15-24). What happens is that the people who are invited, the best subjects, do not come to the banquet, they ignore the invitation because they are too absorbed in their own affairs. So the king orders his servants to go out into the streets, to the crossroads, & gather together all the people they can, good & bad, & have them come to the banquet. (The Name of God is Mercy; Pope Francis)
(Last weekend’s Gospel, with the refusal to wear the provided wedding garment. “No cane, no shame”)
Our congratulations go to Rev Catherine Reid & her husband Andrew on the safe arrival of their son Alexander William who was born last Saturday week, a little brother for their daughter Juliet. Please keep them all in your prayers, & the Benefice in the coming weeks as Rev Catherine takes maternity leave.
Thank you to those of you who took up the invitation to visit St Benedict’s Primary School on Thursday for their “come & see” afternoon, which was a resounding success. Some feedback from parents;
“We are so very impressed with the School. The children are very happy, the staff lovely, & the School warm & friendly”
“I liked the welcome & guide by children around the classrooms. I was impressed with the ethos & style of learning in Reception class.”
“We all love how kind & friendly the staff are & how much the children smile. St Benedict’s rocks!”
St Benedict’s has a vacancy for a Mid-day Supervisory Assistant who will help ensure the children’s safety & well-being as well as encouraging a healthy & active lunch break. Details firstname.lastname@example.org (01439 788340)
The Monastic Community move from the Monastery into Bolton House this coming week, with gradual staged occupation up to Mon 30th Oct. It will take some time for us to settle to such fundamental change, particularly when it will inevitably mean a physical separation for our many guests who come to join us at our Monastic Office. Please keep all who will be affected in your supportive love & prayers.
With my love & prayers. Fr Bede.