“Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty; though you have no money, come! buy corn without money, & eat” an extraordinary invitation to the thirsty & hungry where the currency of purchase isn’t money.. it is “presence” you & I fully present at this meal an ordinary Sunday obligation Mass or the meal of a lifetime? what sort of bread have you brought to offer ..Kingsmill standard medium white sliced? or home baked earlier this morning with a taste to die for ?
“..listen, listen to me..” recognise me & my voice.. ;Lord have mercy “..pay attention, come to me..” to me not to Church.. ;Christ have mercy “..listen, & your soul will live..” for an eternity.. ;Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“Jesus wanted his followers to be seekers, the teachers to be learners also, not people who had all the answers, who doled out enlightenment like commodity brokers, but people who were aware of their own need to seek truth, who would continue to question until the day they died. In Peter’s blindness lay the seeds of his sight. And what about the simple fisherman, unversed in religious language, untutored in the subtleties of theology. Fishing was in his blood; it was his vocation. In trouble, his instinct wasn’t to pray or organise, but to go fishing. Jesus didn’t seem to want a priest or a theologian, he wanted a fisherman. It was the fisherman who was needed on the road when priests & theologians lost their way. It was the language of bread & fish, water & catches, that spoke to the hearts of men & women, not the pieties of the religious.” “Getting Personal”; Kathy Galloway ..interesting, in Our Lord’s own troubles.. his grief & loss over his cousin John the Baptist, & perhaps a growing appreciation that his own calling into ministry was now to deepen as “the Voice” John, was silenced, & “ the Word” Jesus himself, was becoming more flesh more human & more vulnerable, his instinct wasn’t to organise/lead but to withdraw by boat to pray.. a lonely place, lonely physically, emotionally & perhaps spiritually.. such was the hunger to see him & be healed by him, a large crowd had anticipated the where & the when..& typically self sacrificially as ever, he put his own needs/hunger for precious time with his Father to one side & “healed the sick”; a keen dependency on him, healthy in some, a growing concern when seen in others, from some who by then should have known better; the disciples. “send the people away & they can go & buy themselves some food” like sending money to Food Bank instead of doing what many have learned to do from home these last 18wks, organise an on-line home delivery not to YO62 but to the Food Bank..” if not why not?” parity of esteem with our fellow disciples at TS6 6DU.. a shared hunger albeit commodities differ, a spiritual communion in a currency welcomed worldwide.. gospel response from tired exhausted disciples who had lost track of time & crucially of essence of their ministry of self-sacrificial servant discipleship; that which they had signed up to, the “yes” to “come follow me” no terms & conditions, no rejection of the hungry; the tragic dualism of Matthew’s gospel “them & us” “there is no need for “them” to go; give them something to eat yourselves” “all we have with us [us/ours] is five loaves & two fish” & a tired disappointed servant teacher, dis-spirited by his followers’ failure to understands, says perhaps short temperedly “bring them here to me” both fish/bread & people; 5000 men, & notice poor Matthew’s hurtful dualism persists; 5000 men “to say nothing of women & children” not worthy even to be counted, when the real Jesus thankfully speaks authentically elsewhere & often in scripture “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; you [ you men women & children ] are precious in my eyes & I love you”.. five foolish bridesmaids as well as the so called wise.. darnel & wheat, sinner & saint, Peter & Judas, all invited to come to the meal of a lifetime.. the eucharist, there & then on grass, here & now in this gathering; men women & children.. sick; each & every one of us here has a sickness, an ailment disability, an addiction a wound, potentially more life threatening than Covid; hungry after 18wks in lockdown, & for some of us, a much longer deeper sense of isolation from Jesus & from a real self, battered & bruised by life & a faith that seemingly takes prisoners & bandages few survivors. The first vital step in healing is, here & now, to admit it, in this “field hospital” as Pope Francis calls the Church. Jesus took each & every one of them, especially women & children, sits us down, prays over us & over bread & fish, takes us as we are, stale bread or fresh, fresh fish or smelly fish, raises his eyes to heaven to his Father, our Father, blesses us & our food, & breaks it.. one bread, baked as one loaf & gives it, notice now through the disciples; a lesson to them, those who dismissively wanted to send away crowd, now the same crowd first to be fed & by those who earlier had sniffily encouraged Jesus to “send them away” & now “all ate as much as they wanted” food for all & in superabundance..& then another act of humility “they” sniffers, collected the scraps leftovers, 12 baskets full for next meal.. Jesus wanted them not just to see but to carry/cradle the Body of Christ in eucharistic meal.. like Thomas, the waverer/doubter/sniffer gets not just to see but to touch.. soon on palm of your hand.. he takes us as we are, sick wounded, distanced, discriminatory, breaks us into pieces, & gives it/us to one another; you to take to heart & soul part of me.. that part of me wounded discriminatory hungry unaware, home with you to become part of you..& I take to heart & soul part of each of you here, here & now, to take home to my monastery & Community; part of you to become part of me; & I may well be asked after supper tonight “how was Mass in the Village Bede?” if only they knew, beyond word or description, it is an experience of a lifetime for a lifetime.. ..a meal a language & an experience “that speaks to the hearts of men & women, not the pieties of the religious” ..if you want piety & a virtual meal then book in elsewhere.. if you are hungry for fresh bread & a live experience, you belong here.. [18thSun YrA Mt 14;13-21]