In the Outreach of earlier weekends in the lockdown, I shared part of some of my homilies of recent weeks, since I first introduced you to Clarissa Pinkola Estes writing “we were made for these times” & her image of a seaworthy vessel invited to go to sea out of its safe harbour. Our struggle in country & in faith in recent months with the problem [ or is it the opportunity on this Pentecost Sunday? ] of migrancy, & the new governments overwhelming election majority being grounded on their policy towards reducing migrancy, seeded a number of our reflections in the weeks following our inclusion of Clarissa’s writings on 1st Sun of Advent, & the reflection I offer in entirety this weekend was first shared on 18/19 Jan 2020, remembered perhaps by some of you, & new to the majority of you, with a salty sense of the essence of Pentecost, believing in the necessity of your light bulb & its ability, passing through the prism of divine grace & the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to beam out the mission of each & every one of us “as the Father sent me, so am I sending you.” sending us out, always respecting social distancing, to be paradisciples, first-responders towards those fellow crew members of ours who will cite lack of lifejackets/PPE & an illness, disability or infirmity which, to them, seemingly disqualifies them from wearing a guernsey sweater emblazoned with one word “crew” ! ..”enkindle in them the fire of your love, & we [us & them together ] will re-create the face of the earth”..& of our valley..Pentecost Day, a day of all days to leave harbour & risk the consequences..“the absence of risk is a sure sign of mediocrity”..
“..if I tried to convince you that this 100 watt lightbulb could help save the lives of 1700 passengers on a Viking Princess cruise liner, you’d be sceptical doubtful; well it happens 35 times nightly, 30miles south-east of here at Flamborough Head lighthouse, where light emanating from this lightbulb is concentrated through series of glass prisms, & becomes so powerful, it beams a light 26miles out to sea, to warn shipping, & to give consolation to those who see it, that no matter how dark the night or how rough are the seas, there is, close by, land & a safe haven in any need “I will make you the light of the nations” every lighthouse has different series of signal so you can tell which headland or harbour it is.. each of you is a light/lighthouse taking what little energy/wattage you have, & allowing that energy intensity to pass through the prism of Our Lords presence we call grace, to find that the two together, your light & his grace, can lead the frightened the lost & the distant back to the safety & calmness of this harbour we call a faith commmunty/family ..a crew, & what a motley crew we are, at home in any one of our three local harbours, Gilling Oswaldkirk & Ampleforth; & during the day, to protect the prisms & bulb in Flamborough Head lighthouse from heat of sun, the lighthouse gallery is curtained off; rather like curtain we pull across front of our tabernacle..I sometimes feel we pull/ close curtains across too often, too conveniently, too safely in this our lighthouse; as in 1st rdg “it is not enough for you to be my servant” to continue to be restorers, lighthouse keepers, peacekeepers, custodians of status quo..harbourmasters, Ministers of Word, Ministers of the Eucharist, flower arrangers, Church cleaners, a priest safely this side of altar, but to bring back home survivors, seafarers, even passengers, who have been lost, shipwrecked, drifting at sea & in faith, hoping praying for someone to notice & to rescue them, to offer them a lifeline or tow-rope..a light & a lifeboat crewed by you, our parishioners, alert & on the watch..six of you for a week every eight months..& would you sign up? to keep the light alive, the curtains open, & to welcome the newly come, & restore those wrecked beached or damaged..to go out to find them & tow them home..would you sign up? .. would you?..”it is not enough for you to be my servant” what you & I are doing at the moment isn’t enough, & if we are honest with ourselves, we know that..a disturbed conscience, the chill of a winter of discontent..closed curtains, the light of life of Christ within us, is held/owned instead of being given..for what it was built for..in a spirit of hope, I hope you will write this above lintel of your home & lintel of this, our spiritual home “when a great ship is in harbour & moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt; but that is not what great ships are built for..” open curtains set sail not just for 45mins of a Sat night or Sunday morning; cooperate with grace, sign up for a place in our crew “so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” to ends of this village & of Gilling & Oswaldkirk, where at least 70/80 Catholics are waiting for you, the fourth emergency service, to notice their breakdown, their brokenheartedness, & to respond..you ”first- responders” not paramedics but paradisciples; not peacekeepers but peacemakers “yes, I have seen & I am the witness that he is the chosen one of God” John the Baptist pointing beyond himself to the very first first-responder, whom you have seen, & into whom you have been baptised, into his crew, a Christian life saver..now please go home, open your curtains, turn your hearing aid back on, & wait for your mobile phone to ring..& on your watch; six of you for a week once very eight months; from this harbour & in our lifeboat ..& does it make sense?..of course not; ask crew of Whitby lifeboat if it makes sense for their crew of six to turn out at midnight in a force 10 gale & mountainous seas, & return eight hours later, exhausted & elated, with three survivors.. “when a great ship is in harbour & moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt; but that is not what great ships are built for..” [2ndSunYrA Jn1;29-34]
St Benedict’s RC Primary School are on half term this week, returning to studies on Tues 2 June [ Reception & Year 1 ] & Wed 3 June [ Nursery & Year 6 ]. Mr Eddy & the Staff, having consulted with parents on sending their children back into School, have done much preparatory work throughout the School, & compiled an impressive document for parents of all our children to detail all that is envisaged & now to be implemented. Mr Eddy finishes the document with; “ I hope this information gives you an idea of what school’s initial plans are. School will look very different. It won’t be our normal way of operating but we are here to support our children & our families on this road back to some sort of normality. I can’t guarantee 100% safety; no one can, if I could do that I would have everyone back in school in a heartbeat. What I can guarantee is our commitment to doing everything we possibly can to safeguard our children, families & staff. I will sign off from the longest letter I have written in 21years of education. As always you are all in my thoughts & prayers. Mr Eddy.” You can taste the salt of spirituality he & the staff are putting into this important moment in the life & future of our School..our School..”we were made for these times”, reminding us of Pope Francis’ theology of the “now” moment..now 2 & 3 June 2020. Please keep our School family in your love & prayers as they discern, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to send their children back or to delay meantime. Home or away, they belong to us in our boat as our fellow crew..listened to, valued & belonging.
Two weeks ago I began to share with the children of St Benedict’s RC Primary School, a story from “must know stories; the 10 most iconic stories from the Bible “ by Robert Harrison. No 7 on his list is the story of Noah’s Ark, chosen by me to make the weave between Noah & his families lockdown in the Ark escaping from the Flood centuries ago, & the children & their families, & the rest of us now, in our Ark of lockdown, escaping from the coronavirus.
In Week I the first four pages, I put to the children three questions, with some of their responses below;
 if you could take an animal into your Ark, which would you choose & why?
A bunny rabbit, because they’re small & I have a little bunny at home which l love. A red squirrel, because they are close to extinction & I’d like to save them. A dog, because I love puppies, they’re really good sniffers. I would choose a leopard because it will hiss at everyone to scare scary things away from the Ark. I would take a dog, because they are really kind & I like them. Actually I would take the two animals one kind & one of the mean one, because the kind one is an example to the mean one to be kind to others. A koala bear as they are warm & furry, good to cuddle. Not so a crocodile, or a woodpecker, which would peck, peck, peck a hole in the Ark.
 if you could take a friend from your class to sit next to you in your Ark, who would you choose, & why?
Agnes, because I would like to sit next to her, because she’s a nice friend to me, & she cheers me up. I would choose the kindest one because they wouldn’t upset you & they will be good company. So I would like to take Matilda because we get on really well. Frankie, because he’s my bestest friend. He loves me. Alfie, because we have a lot of fun together. Julita, because she is my best friend & I never get to sit next to her in class.
 if you have someone at home, or someone you can’t see at the moment who you love very much, who you would like me to pray specially for in my Ark at the Abbey, please can you give me their names & why they need you & me to pray for them?
I would like you to pray for my Uncle because if he gets the corona version he will not be able to fight of it. Can you pray to keep him safe please. My cousin Hannah, because she’s a nice cousin to me. Mamma and Darda, because they’re old & I love them. Mummy & Daddy, because they are the people who have looked after me since I was born. Leo, my cousin, because I love him & miss him.
As it is half term, we have dropped anchor for the week, with the Ark in calm waters. The story will start again on next weekend’s tide, with Part 3[of 4]. Adults, as well as those children of ours at other schools, are welcome to offer their contributions, sending them to me via pigeon/dove post this week..more next weekend.
This Saturday, on the eve of Pentecost, Pope Francis is to pray the Rosary at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens at 430pm UK time, in spiritual communion with the principle Shrines of the world, invoking the help of Our Lady in the face of the Covid pandemic. I enclose a page of explanation showing who will be representing various categories of people affected by the virus; doctors nurses & a pharmacist & a tv journalist, & a young family with a baby born during the pandemic. Please try to join him & them in praying the rosary in your homes at 430pm this Saturday. Please remember the Coast to Coast Rosary being prayed this Sunday, Pentecost Sunday. Dioceses in England Wales & Scotland are uniting, with each Diocese allocated an hour during the day; it begins at 9am in Arundel & Brighton, Northampton,& the Bishopric of the Forces, & it finishes at 9pm with Bishop John Keenan the Mission Episcopal Lead. We have been allocated 7pm, sharing with Liverpool & Motherwell Dioceses. Please could I encourage you to join together, in thought & love from your homes, to pray the Rosary at 7pm, the Glorious Mysteries, with the third Mystery, the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, being particularly live & relevant on the day & in the crisis.
Do listen out for our Church bell at 10am on Sunday, ringing out to the Village our unity in thought love & prayer each Sunday, & do pause on your daily walk outside the Church, either in Ampleforth or Gilling, knowing the Good Lord is in the tabernacle with our sanctuary lamp adjacent to it, a sign of our commitment to continue to walk with Him & one another on our at-home camino.