“..how can I serve this to a hundred men?” some years ago BP announced their end of year results..a record profit for any FTSE 100 index blue chip company..at press conference Chairman took limelight full of self congratulation & achievement ..until a journalist said “with that level of profit you could solve the problems of Africa overnight” Chairman stared back at him with look of utter contempt ..closed hearts closed fridges closed borders..
“give it to the people to eat..” & we hesitate to count the cost.. ; Lord have mercy “they will eat & have some left over” ..for us too much of a risk.. ; Christ have mercy “he served them they ate & had some over” ..a real eucharist not a Sunday Mass.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee..big miracles always happen on “the other side”..distance & clear water between Jesus & rank & file ordinary practising Jews safely content in their synagogues of sameness & predictability..where a Mary Magdalen would get a sniffily cool reception..work & prayer set in stone or organically in progress? SBPS Sect 48 RE Inspection into its Catholic Life received “good with some outstanding features” if our Parish were to be inspected pray what would you be expecting?..& of what would we be deserving?..self certificated or by outsider I met last week shopping around & looking for a faith community to believe in..this side of lake or other?..& large crowds followed him impressed eager hungry; victims of religious malnutrition good folk fed on poor diet..obese & unfit, listless & critical“where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?”..what would you offer them?..what’s your solution to problem?..what would you advise to solve problem of Africa?..is it a problem or an opportunity?..is Jesus testing Philip testing you & I over Calais or Lesbos?..or is he waiting for you to decide to cooperate, to throw your hat & your wealth into the bread basket..Philips headcentred response is ours; mathematically it is impossible “what is that between so many?” what can little me do in little OL&SB?..& what did Rosah Parkes risk doing on equivalent of X31 into York & achieve?..so no wonder our basket in few moments time will contain only some safe notes & coins..index linked not conscience related..& bless him frustrated at disciples ongoing childish dependency & self protectionism, Jesus takes over again yet again..four stages four ingredients to miracle..to take..whatever little is offered if..if..it is generous not calculated nonsense..to bless..it needs smile of divine pleasure recognition & affirmation that we are giving of our best, freshly baked tasty & a meal away from the stale & mouldy..to break..broken open broken hearts allowing the story tears of loving reconciliation to emergy, real authentic & present..& to give..to distribute hand to hand heart to heart eye to eye contact, the Body of Christ..enough suffiency in that tiny wafer in palm of your hand in few moments time to feed the world..& if you doubt that, then your continuing belonging inclusion here among us is put at risk..you need to give away your last rolo..& discover, through risk faith & uncertainty, that its never your last rolo.. ”giving out as much as they wanted” always food relationship opportunity left over, the meal is never stale nor tasteless at OL&SB..compare it with what you received those of you who travelled last weekend, abroad or to ARH, & convince me it was a fresher loaf ..we together prepare bless bake & share the meal of a lifetime here daily..poster in Christian bookshop depicts boy sitting on jetty fishing; caption reads “give me a fish & I eat for a day..teach me to fish & I eat for a lifetime”..& then only then, sadly late for meal & knocked off their feet at counting the leftovers, the fence sitters fall off their safe perch into shallow belief..”this really is the prophet who is to come into the world!”..only when fed watered & having seen signs proof do they come to believe..but by then it’s too late.. the tragic tale of followers not disciples..the sleep of the establishment rather than the alert discovery of the eager seeker..last weekend those fewer of us who were here shared an exceptional experience of eucharist..as Yvonne Foster faced final few hours of her life on feast of St Mary Magdalen & her appropriate fresh alert title “Apostle of the Apostles” we prayed that Yvonne, as our own Apostle of the Apostles, to so many of us in her eager showings of the life energy & love of the Risen Christ, be welcomed home to heaven that day..I was with her for 20mins before our 10am Mass & brought her real presence to you all for our family meal, yeasted by her struggle & expectancy..after Mass took her Blood of Christ, the one cup of suffering & sacrificial love from us to her fully united in Christ ..& 10mins later she passed over into eternal life..to meet her Christ face to face & to be met & greeted, our own Mary Magdalen by the first Mary Magdalen..1240pm last Sun the meal of a lifetime, taken blessed broken & given.. “do this in memory of me”..& we were there..& now telling & inviting you to eat & to share scraps .. [17thSunYrB Jn6;1-15]