Lent began last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday ..a day time & season not please for childish play moments of stale Lenten resolutions.. ..a time to get real “a time to fall in love again with God” ..to remember, to re-ignite flame of love He lit in our hearts & which has never gone out ..a relationship here in this Village, our Parish & your home where milk honey & love flow..where all that is best in you is grown appreciated & offered.. ..each Sunday in Spring my sister gives me a bunch of daffodils as she did to my Mum.. & my Mum each early summer would give me for my tea jersey royals [new potatoes] “I bring you the first fruits of the produce of the soil that you Lord have given me” what do you bring to Our Lord this Lent, as you fall in love with him again & again? what do you bring from home & from your heart for him this evening/morning, the first fruits, the spiritual daffodils or potatoes?
“..the Eyptians ill treated us; inflicted harsh slavery on us..” ; Lord have mercy “..the Lord heard our voice, saw our misery & toil..” ; Christ have mercy “..he brought us here to Ampleforth to this land & parish where milk honey & love flow..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Our gospel & our Lent begins “filled with the Holy Spirit” it/he/she..however you have been led to believe in third person of Trinity all these years, empowers Jesus then in his desert temptations & us now in our desert temptations..& so relax because Jesus’ desert finishes with a 3-0 away win..Satan 0 Jesus 3..our Lent will finish with similar walkover ..a fact..same Holy Spirit which inspired Fr Gabriel in his pre Lent talk to our Community on Shrove Tues evg to urge us into 2 Lent resolutions..to arrive at prayer in good time & to sharpen up our practice of silence..& here at our Ash Wed Mass 945am St Benedicts PS were in Church 10mins early sitting prayerfully in complete silence to extent that our parishioners coming in thought children had yet to arrive..OL&SB 0 SBPS 2..an away win..awaiting a rematch later in Lent where we go to them, taking with us two aspects of our prayerlife & practice we inspire others towards..devil tested Jesus 3ways..”tell this stone to turn into a loaf” a derisive kick at so called miracles..mission impossible indeed.. next to our mission in Zimbabwe is girls boarding school 300 black African girls taught by German missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood..when teaching career over most of sisters choose to return to mother house in Germany or stay in Zimbabwe to do gentle pastoral work among girls..one sister age 70 went to do a degree in Civil Engineering..she works now in Zimbabwe bush/desert building dams..drought stricken land its townships bereft of water & hope..meets with local tribal leaders together decide where to build dam ..key labourers are women..go into bush lift & carry drag boulders half mile to side of dirt road..dumper trucks donated from Germany lift carry boulders to site..ground is prepared existing stream diverted temporarily..tribe men women children live there for next 6mths shovelling moving hillsides; planting thousands small plants along what will be bed of reservoir to slow down flow of water to take pressure off dam wall..gradually build dam itself; its length here to St Hilda’s &40ft high..a project led by Holy Spirit managed by Sr Margaret built by whole tribe..once finished stream redirected & over next 6mths valley gradually fills with liquid gold/water..& a 1st Sun Lent celebration with huge party at dam as President makes his only appearance..to have his photo taken; political hypocrisy like devil empty powerless “I will give you all this power & the glory of this kingdom, for it has been committed to me & I give it to anyone I choose” really?..trumped by Jesus “you must worship the Lord your God, & serve him alone” the real party a eucharist as whole tribe, having irrigated their land with prayer & water brought to life with crops of wheat gathered harvested to bake bread & pray..”take this all of you & eat of it..do in memory of me” a meal of a lifetime; the bread- journey beginning with huge boulders of stone dragged/carried/prayed by women to side of road..”tell this stone to turn into a loaf” the real power to perform miracles to empower the kingdoms of world comes from where?.. Ronald Rohr Franciscan priest asks “what is opposite to love?” we think hate..he smiles & says “control”..life goes sour in monastery/home if the lead disciple attempts to impose or control..whereas if he explains wisdom of Lenten resolutions & inspires monks to risk the impossible, then, with a wise guide & presence of Holy Spirit, Easter brings harvest of new life..& all because 2yrs/20yrs ago frail elderly sister listened to a fellow feminine divine voice, left safety confines control of convent ,just another Lent & same childish resolutions & strode out into Lent 2019 “ if this is what God wants for me this Lent give me a sign”..you & I are surrounded by signs of his presence power, & his invitation “to take up the Cross & follow me”..however, like rich young man we will walk out of this Church in 30mins time sad..a waste of a life, a waste of a Lent this “joyful season” when you’ve been led; misled & not by Holy Spirit; led to believe Lent was a season of gloom doom, sacrificing sweets or swearwords..whereas our reservoir here will be built once we weave together in Benedictine balance 3 key ingredients for builders of kingdom..prayer/ giving up / & taking on..3 weights 3 Lenten resolutions on my Mum’s weighing scales to rebalance life..an equilibrium with price to die for & to smile for.. [1st LentYrC Lk4;1-13]