“..by acting like this you have taught a lesson to your people..” ..perhaps it was just my Jesuit school in Leeds, where I lived in fear & trepidation of those immortal words from my impatient & demanding priest teachers.. Leach, I am going to teach you a lesson!” ..& thankfully book of Wisdom if not the Jesuits teaches & schools quite the opposite .. ..a mandate that celebrates failure..mine & yours..
“..how the virtuous man must be kindly to his fellow men..” ; Lord have mercy “..& you have given your sons [& daughters] good hope..” ; Christ have mercy “..that after sin [failure] you will grant repentance..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..in 1972 I was part of a project team commissioned to build the first ever power station not for National Grid but for NHS..at Leeds General Infirmary..massive hospital complex whose far seeing management team wanted security of its own power plant producing hot water heating, its own medical gases, guaranteed energy for theatres & ICU nursing..it was termed a Generation Station built behind hospital..even now few people realise it is there & what it does day in day out 24x7; how vital it is both life giving & life saving..St Paul in 2nd rdg describes spiritual equivalent..generation station we call the Holy Spirit “the Spirit comes to help us in our weakness” when we suffer from power failure, an interruption in supply of spiritual energy usually because we overload system or plug into an inappropriate means of behaviour & fuse flow of divine energy..& light smile passion & inspiration in our daily life relationships & actions goes out..a battery, a borrowed source of limited energy may help, like charging mobile phone, but eventually we have to go back to source..to fuse board..face reality of what blew it..not blaming an appliance but ourselves; how we blew it, how I blew it again, & replace fuse/reset trip switch until next time; there will always be a next time..a mandate that celebrates failure “Leach I am going to teach you a lesson!” the gentle lesson that Holy Spirit will always be there for us divine energy to fuel our life; real life; renewable energy not wasteful fossil fuel..it’s that recycled spiritualilty we call grace..contributed to & invested in our faith community, our National Grid..this parish, this generation station, hidden behind Village as world drives through towards holidays on east coast, or to visit Becky Laird in Fryton or Andrew Daly in James Cook Hosp..what difference can we make, can I make?..our prayer remains “an impulse towards God” a small blip a dot heard seen on monitor at patients beside in YDH reminding medical team that tiniest dose of medicine/ oxygen is slowly intravenously doing its work..divine work..the doctor/nurse medical skill & prayerfulness is the yeast which potentially changes lives as well as taste of meals..in parable of the good seed & darnel astute farmer doesn’t weed out unwell/ diseased shoots “do you want us to go & weed it out?” Christ’s radically alternative medicine “ let them both grow until harvest” allow passage of time to be open to possibility, to the presence of the Spirit; to be active in ways that can never be put into words or explained, & let us see by harvest what miracles have occurred..not if but when..yeast is a culture grown in this faith family..like your grandma & mine who used to bake her own bread..what raises dough & gives newly baked bread its flavour of a lifetime was & is the little ball of dough she left out of the last batch she baked..left over from yesterday to be vital ingredient infusing today..this Church, you as its beloved home family, are master bakers..among us thankfully wheat & darnel..todays darnel tomorrows wheat as we yet again, through inappropriate behaviour, fuse the power of the Holy Spirit..yesterdays poor choices betraying us as darnel..& as ever, week on week, in this hidden generation station we are r ecognised transformed.. unworthy poor conductors of love & grace yet [& this is our ultimate consolation ] “God who knows everything in our hearts..that our pleas [as saints in the making] are according to the mind of God.” the source of our love energy & grace seasoned into us by his Spirit, so that the bread we become share here & take out there, is Gods best “leavened through” ..the texture flavour & quality of little loaves of dough we have reserved in our tabernacle is of finest..tell me how you think it is & what we might do to make it even better..as our beloved School finishes this weekend for its holidays, how is the quality of what we offer from here into our Village & its spiritual & relational grid?..RI Good or Outstanding?.. ”the virtuous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Listen, anyone who has ears”..anyone? we’d like to think Holy Spirit offers full inclusion to the universal grid “listen everyone who has ears” not a battery charger in sight; we’ve got ultra fast spiritual broadband, an infinite assured free divine connection..life giving & life saving..will you sign up to our tariff or continue to shop around?.. [16thSunYrA;Mt 13;24-33]