..we remember this morning three 10th Cent monastic saints..St Dunstan St Ethelwold & St Oswald..when the R number is so crucial to the control of the coronavirus, the R letter summarises the prayer & work of each Monk/Bishop.. St Dunstan ; monk of Glatonbury, Bishop of Worcester; a restorer helping regenerate monastic life in England, which had become thin & threadbare.. St Ethelwold ; monk of Glastonbury, Bishop of Winchester; responsible for writing the Regularis Concordia where the reform of Benedictine life & its organic culture was documented & lives on.. St Oswald ; monk of Fleury [France ]; Bishop of Worcester & later Archbishop of York; a reformer of existing monasteries..
..let us examine our own conscience in relation to the three “R’s”.. ..restoration; to return to the letter & spirit of our first promises in monastic & family life.. ; Lord have mercy ..regulation; to practice self control obedience & truthfulness in our service of others.. ; Christ have mercy ..reform; to change what experience proves is in need of overhaul & ongoing fine tuning.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..a familiar 1st rdg to many in lockdown..& what did they, as followers of Jesus, do in their prison? they prayed & sang God’s praises..”while the other prisoners listened”.. familiar territory in many living rooms this morning as some of you in family join us in prayer & in song, whilst others under your roof get on with another day, disappointingly to you perhaps, that they choose self-isolation in their room..but never forget, they may well be listening from a distance, & may well ask you later this morning “who said Mass, & what did he say?” another R word..be ready.. “what must I do to be saved?” may well be their question, the elephant in your living room..as they look to you for a lead in regulation & reform which, in time, may well lead to restoration, & a seat next to you at a live streamed Mass.. “they, & now you, preached the word of the Lord to him/her & to all their family..your family”.. & the last bit is the best bit..”late as it was, he took them to wash their wounds” the gaoler in first flush of becoming a believer, didn’t look to pray & sing God’s praises..yet..”he took them to wash their wounds” ..the restoration reform & regulation of monastic & family life comes when the once-distant & self-distanced comes home & washes our wounds..the weakest becomes the most beloved..& we see at last our place..in choir & on the settee..together [6thWk Easter Tuesday Acts 16;22-34]