..how is it to have a 6wk visit from a close & loved member of family from Australia.. to enjoy every moment of 6wks & then sadly inevitably to see them off at York Station for what could be the last time..how do you feel on the empty platform having seen train & your beloved disappear?.. ..well Our Lord left us last Thursday, the feast of the Ascension, after 40days among us appearing in the flesh in disguise, glowing with joy & new life..how do we feel?..sad & empty?.. coming round a little now, looking to next Sat evg & the arrival of the divine glow joy & new life under a different disguise..the Holy Spirit.. & tonight / this morning a sense of being in between..sad at our loss, excited expectant at what/who is to come..but, here & now, on our own lonely vulnerable & at risk..
“whilst I was with them, I kept them true to your name..” ; Lord have mercy “I have watched over them & not one is lost..” ; Christ have mercy “I am not asking you to remove them from the world but to protect them” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“..is there an unforgivable sin?” question my Yr 11 retreatants asked some time ago..& weaving their question [ & ours if we are honest ] to 1st rdg & gospel we have just heard, I feel let down by St John, particularly after last weekends powerfully convincing message of just 2commandments, not 10 nor 524 precepts of Canon Law, but 2 ; each & both excitingly & enjoyably attainable ..“believe in Jesus Christ & love ones neighbour” Drewerman remember? spoke of difference between John & the 3 other evangelists who tell how Jesus may have spoken while he was still among us, repeating things which could be put down in writing, & with the risk of merely touching our bodily eyes..but for John it is different; he speaks of a Jesus who avoids a commentary & concentrates everything into one single point “love one another” ; “all the words Jesus said or could have said or must have said will come to us from within, as if they were our own.” but for me, John, in our gospel, tragically quotes the commentary, he reads & he quotes what the others put down in writing instead of keeping faith with his divine clarion call & belief from within “love one another” each & every “one another”..the character assassination in 1st rdg & gospel is of one man, Judas..”who offered himself as a guide, after having been one of our number & actually sharing this ministry of ours” you can feel the gap distance Brexit border between them & him..Acts tells it as it was recorded, put down in writing & used in evidence against him..”guilty your honour” a kangaroo court from the pews..& we can expect nothing better nor deeper as it comes “with the eyes of the world which can never understand Jesus” nor Judas..one needs very different eyes to see “what he not only gave to the whole world then but would continue to give in the future”..here & now..”love one another”.. Johns Jesus’ imperative, & tragically now seemingly compromised by quoting the written text of scripture “I have watched over them & not one is lost except the one who chose to be lost, & this was to fulfil the scriptures”..the 3 evangelists had it in writing that Judas was guilty, & now, does John side with them?..he quotes them but doesn’t throw in his theology with them I hope “consecrate them in the truth, your word is truth” the truth is that, on paper, Judas was guilty..evidence is clear & in writing, his fingerprints all over the 30 silver pieces.. however we know from the same written evidence that this was not whole truth; he did indeed betray Jesus but he had a prodigal son, a “coming to one’s senses moment” & in remorse, he took soiled money back..sadly he got short shrift from authorities “what is that to us?” & would it be any different now in our Catholicism, even after Pope Francis’ courageous attempts in Amoris Laetitia “the Joy of Love”..weight of Church authority & tradition damping down Holy Spirit..compliance reigns whilst mercy is both suppressed & ridiculed..our Catholicism, & all of us, have needed a Judas a scapegoat to take blame, & thereby allow you & I to survive below radar..an existence rather than a life, as truth is compromised.. siding with the written word, compromising what we feel in our heart.. “is there an unforgivable sin?”..“love one another”..“for those who live there are no orders from without, because they have an internal standard in their own hearts.”.. remember from last week?..Judas is forgiven, genuine remorse meets divine mercy..”& you my last minute friend, who would not have known what you were doing, I commend you to God, the father of us both, & may we meet again in paradise happy good thieves”..remember ? the prodigal son/ the muslim terrorist is welcomed home..”as you sent me into the world I have sent them into the world..for their sake I consecrate myself, so that they too may be consecrated in the truth”..consecrated in truth like the redeemed Judas.. Judas & Mary Magdalen, consigned to shameful blacklist, whereas when you read evidence from heart, they are worthy of being exemplary role models for us in a list of saints..repentent remorseful disciples on a journey towards sanctification..a mission statement worthy of you & I..a compass for our life set on Christ..”I have watched over them & not one is lost..” & please please delete the whitewash commentary.. [7thSunYrB Jn17;11-19]