“..the truth I have now come to realise is that God does not have favourites ; anybody of any nationality who fears God & does what is right is acceptable to him.” ..is it all for one & one for all?..or “us & them”? ..the great & shameful divide ..Christians & unbelievers..practising & non practising Catholics..UK citizens & refugee migrants.. ..if God is universally welcoming & impartial, where does it leave those of us who hunger for separatism, safe & secure borders, even our own place in our own pew in our Church.. ..perhaps it leaves us as Christ leaves us, as spiritual migrants homeless rudderless on an ocean across the great & shameful divide called purgatory & with no lifejacket..
“God does not have favourites”..a spiritual relationship of equality.. ; Lord have mercy “anybody of any nationality” ..& creed..fellow believers in one God.. ; Christ have mercy “..they have received the Holy Spirit just as much as we have” ..a spirit of inclusity & intimacy.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..wedding here last Sat & night before, when really special people came to practice & to share those nerves of final evg, the bride brought little decorated packs of tissues to put at end of each pew, ready for when ladies on day began to cry..gospel you’ve just heard is well worthy of kleenex tissues..beautifully intimate poetic, if you heard it, & from your heart not your ears..”remain in my love” keep/stay where you are, where you belong & will always belong..in a love where nothing has been held back “as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you” costing the Son everything as he self empties in to you & I..his two coins the widows mite all she had..remember?..”if you keep my commandments you will remain in my love” if you read it from head it’s frightening, a call to compliance to 10 commandments & 524 precepts of Canon Law, but translate it, feel it from the heart, where, for John, there are only 2 commandments each & both excitingly & enjoyably attainable; to believe in God & to love one’s neighbour..& the high jump & necessity of an ever increasing personal best to achieve the gold medal to meet terms of entry into divine life & Gods good books, is suddenly recalibrated & lowered..moistened no longer with cold tears of failure regret & punishment, but warm tears of joy love & mercy won perhaps not effortlessly but intimately..the wedding of you to Christ for an everlasting lifetime “remain in my love” keep safe just as you are..a kleenex moment indeed, each of us his beloved bride..in recent weeks been sharing some of Eugene Drewermann on our weekly bulletin..I’d like to read to you this weeks offering “with eyes of world, one can never understand Jesus. One needs very different eyes to see what he not only gave to whole world but would continue to give in the future. 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 Nazarene. 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 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, the magnificent command to approach even our enemies in love, to pray for our persecutors. He doesn’t include a single word of this in his Gospel. He reduces or concentrates everything into one single point..this is what Jesus said & wanted, all else is only commentary “love one another”..because He gave us that power, 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. 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. For those who love, there are no orders from without, because they have an internal standard in their own hearts.”..in exam speak, it isn’t the A level paper nor graded coursework, the religious Ofsted or high jump, it is the freedom to risk to love & to be loved..trappist monk in Algeria in 1996 knew his life was under threat from Muslim extremists..he wrote home to his family in UK fortnightly; in one letter enclosed extra envelope, only to be opened in event of his death..6wks later murdered..his family opened envelope; 3pages written to them & final paragraph to his would-be murderer “& 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, happy good thieves in paradise”..”no greater love than to lay down his life for his friend” his last minute friend..what eyes what insight of the monk..eyes that feel Christ from within..intimate..”deserving of all the love of which we are capable” are we speaking of God or muslim extremist? “for those who love there are no orders from without, because they have an internal standard in their own hearts.” ..”remain in my love” can you believe it?..”I chose you..commissioned you”..you ..to be a commissioner of oaths..a co-missioner with Jesus..his promise to you & yours to him..to love one another forever..does/ can it come any better? .. [6thEasterYrB Jn15;9-17]