“There is no more compulsion & prescription: love makes its own order, & it is precisely the same as the one that existed in Jesus’ eyes. Remarkably enough, we Christians fear scarcely any energy more than one that we call God. It seems that it is love itself that arouses the most fear within us, so that we circle around it, asking, how much are we allowed to touch each other, how much are we allowed to feel close to one another, in which parts of our bodies are we permitted to feel anything, when do we pass the limits of decency & morality? When will we have the courage, for once, to be nothing more than spirit & love? Then there would be no more contradictions between sensuality & morality, nature & culture, instinct & order, & we would simply be human beings. We see the world apparently unchanged. It revolves around power, money, passions, & so many other things that cause it misery & suffering, & the message of Jesus is almost too timid to be heard in the streets& alleys of the great cities of the world. If Jesus had preached war on behalf of the oppressed, he would have been understood. If he had preached the massing of capital on behalf of the rich, he would have been understood. If he had revolted against exploitation, he would have had people behind him, & if he had been on the side of the exploiters, he would also have had a party of supporters. But to go forward in love alone, as if through walls, in all vulnerability, & to hope that there would be people who would prefer that above all, & there is a language as soft as the wind, completely from the Spirit that brings forth life: that is Jesus as the Fourth Evangelist paints him. He can have Jesus say, only a few sentences before today’s Gospel, “I am going to prepare a place for you.” Now he says the apparent opposite: “My Father & I will come & make our dwelling with you,” & there is no heaven & earth, only people who are on their way to God because they already have God in themselves. The two things augment each other. The more we enter into the eternal dwelling, the more the image of God that Jesus gave us takes on shape & permanence in us, a marvellous, sacred image, the home of the divine that is particular to each one of us. We are not orphans, but people who are sheltered & given a home in the Spirit, people who love & are therefore mediators between heaven & earth, between the stars & the dust of the streets, the highest & the lowest, gold & filth. We are people who live in tension between heaven & earth, loving in our longing & filled with happiness, on the way to an eternal home while we ourselves are already dwellings of eternity. We take one another by the hand & there are no more boundaries of death, fear, sin, or difference, perhaps not even the Johannine difference between the believers & the “world,” for we have overcome the world in our own hearts & there is nothing more, only a single, concentrated light of holiness. Sometimes we need the words of a legend to provide a place in which we can understand the words of an evangelist. We have to go upon a high mountain so that we can find our way down into the dust of the streets, & our eyes have to be opened so that we can really see.” (The Open Tomb: Eugene Drewermann)
At our Parish Forum last Sunday we agreed to convene a group to lead the development of a statement of vision & values for the Parish, to inspire & guide our life & work together. The initial meeting of this group will be on Tues 29th May at 7pm in the Parish Hall. All are very welcome. We need your wisdom, involvement & prayers as we begin to take forward all that has emerged at the 3 recent Forums. For those unable to attend, we would ensure the first draft of proposals will be made available to the Parish for consideration & feedback. I am grateful to the 25 parishioners who were able to come last Sunday. It was a fertile moment in growing on the life & outreach we have been entrusted with, & empowered through the Holy Spirit. Our next Forum will be on Sun 10th June at 11.15am in the Parish Hall. Please keep the people of Ireland in your prayers this week as they prepare for a Referendum on the 8th Amendment on 25th May. To repeal this Article would leave the unborn child at the mercy of permissive laws that might be introduced in the future. We pray that the Holy Spirit will guide the people with wisdom & courage on Friday. Two new Feasts this week: Mary Mother of the Church (Mon) connects the vitality of the Church of Pentecost & the maternal care of Mary towards us, as so important a channel of the Spirit at her Annunciation. Our Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest (Thurs) remembers Our Lords lineage to the order of Melchizedek, as he mediates between God & ourselves as victim, brother & priest. With love & prayers, Fr Bede.