“With the eyes of the world, one can never understand Jesus. For it, he is as dead as if he had never lived, or as if he has come & gone without a trace. One needs very different eyes to see what he not only gave to a whole world but would continue to give in the future, because he is the only true Living One. This was St John’s conviction, & the condition for understanding the things he spoke about is a very intimate feeling of love concentrated on the person of this man from Nazareth. For John, Jesus is the one person who deserves to be loved absolutely so that it is only possible to speak about him in absolutes, with a deep conviction that he will never leave us. The first three evangelists tell us how Jesus may have spoken while he was still among us, repeating things that could be put down in writing & with the risk of merely touching our bodily eyes. For John, there is no talk of the commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, its magnificent commands even to approach our enemies in love, to pray for our persecutors, & not to withdraw in fear or from other people or from the day to come. He does not include a single word of this in his Gospel. He reduces or concentrates everything into one single point. This is what Jesus said & desired, everything else is only commentary; “love one another.” Because He gave us that power, says John, He is deserving of all the love of which we are capable. He made us sisters & brothers. He made us able to believe in the feeling that possesses us most deeply. It is not necessary to understand anything else of what Jesus said or commanded because only this feeling for him is utterly strong & sustaining. All the words he said or could have said or must have said will come to us from within, as if they were our own. Jesus’s words of farewell in today’s Gospel “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” means that for those who love there are no orders from without, because they have an internal standard in their own hearts.” (The Open Tomb: Eugene Drewermann) The Governing Body of St Benedict’s RC Primary School met during the week to deliberate on the appointment of a successor to Mrs Emma Barrs, who has been appointed Headteacher at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs York from Sept 2018. With the agreement of the Governors at St Joseph’s RC Primary School Pickering, & after consultation with Diocese & Local Authority, Mr Gerard Eddy will become the Headteacher of both Schools. It means he will be at each School two & half days a week, with Mr David Harrison continuing at St Benedict’s for part of each week. Mr Eddy is already well known to our staff & the children in our School through the Catholic Partnership. We are keen to assure parents at both Schools that this provides a positive development for children , current & future, as we continue to work to provide high quality education in faith & learning. Our Governing Body is currently engaged in discussion with the Diocese & Governing Bodies in the Central Region of the Diocese, to merge the 20 existing Catholic Schools & the 1 Catholic/Church of England School to form 1 Catholic Multi Academy Trust (the St Margaret Clitherow Cath Acad Trust). An important part of this work is to engage with staff, parents/carers, & others (including ourselves) to seek their views & comments in a process of consultation on this important change to education in our region. Please keep this initiative in your prayers. We will keep you fully informed. Our next Parish Forum is next Sunday, 13th May at 11.15am in the Parish Hall, taking forward issues raised in our two previous recent Forums. I hope by now you have been able to gently approach those parishioners who no longer join us here, to seek their reasons for going regularly to other Churches in the locality. Please relay their responses to Caroline Dollard by Tues 8th May. With love & prayers, Fr Bede.