..the three wise men each brought a gift to the manger..gold [ wealth ] frankincense [ holy smoke which shows how prayer is offered /goes up to God ] & myrrh [ special ointment which brings healing ]..so three gifts you can bring to the baby Jesus..your wealth not in terms of money but your talents what you are best at..what Mr Jakobs or Miss Smith would go round their class & speak about the special gift each of their class brings to the rest..reminds me of our Advent book we shared “the boy the mole the fox & the horse” & what gift do you think each of them brought to the others ?..boy brought his questions..keen to learn..mole loved cake he brought his appetite..his hunger to do better.. fox hurt by someone at some time was mostly silent..a lovely gift in itself to be quiet to be a good listener to be generous in letting other people speak..& the horse the biggest in group of four but the gentlest..a special gift in any class to be the gentlest..three kings three wise men & I would like to share with you three very small stories & ask you to tell me which gift you see coming out of each story..first story; listen with your Rudolph big ears open please.. “the time was twenty five to four. A train creaked into the station. One passenger, a small koala bear, fur singed, a battered suitcase. Old Fox was there to meet him. They embraced for a long time, but didn’t speak. There were really no words.”Who was bringing a gift?..how good are you at being there like Old Fox to meet & hug someone who has been hurt..to show your love where really there is no need for words.. “the Wolf had been reading about everyone’s achievements all morning. He couldn’t think of anything he had done of any importance & he felt a great failure. But then Old Fox came to talk to him & explained what was important again & he felt a little better about himself.” What do you think was the important thing that the Old Fox reminded the Wolf about?..it isn’t achievements that matter it is how we look after one another that is important..to do our best but also help those who feel a failure..as if their best never seems to be good enough..how? by praying for them, asking Jesus to be on their side..the importance of prayer..“the Old Fox is furious. On his train from London to York, he rescued a small Pine Martin from a viscious attack. The Pine Martin was shaken & distraught, so Fox reported the incident, then invited him home for piping-hot macaroni cheese & a strong cup of tea.” ..gift was first of all for Old Fox to report the matter..to Mum or Dad or to a teacher..& then to invite the Pine Martin boy or girl home to tea..a hot meal that can heal a hurt.. Gold in first story was to be generous in giving time to someone who has been hurt.. Frankincense in second story is to help those who never feel they are good enough by saying a prayer to Jesus for them..the importance of prayer..Myrrh special ointment in third story is to share the story of the hurt with an adult & then invite the wounded hurt person home to tea....three gifts three showings of Jesus in your class this term please..to love, to pray & to heal....& some classwork for you when you get back to School..are you listening with your rheindeer ears wide open?.if you had to choose to be the star to lead the wise men to the manger, or to be the camel to carry them to the stable, which would you want to be?. .& why ? (SBPS Epiphany Mass: 8th Jan 2020)
Our Parish Lunch last Sunday on the feast of the Epiphany was a resounding success, as over 100 parishioners from our 3 Churches gathered for the first time to meet & greet, & to share good conversation together. We are grateful to the Coordinating Group & to others who helped prepare the Hall & clear up afterwards. Fran & Mathew Evans provided an excellent meal for us, & there is hope that we might have similar gatherings later in the year, perhaps after Easter & in the late summer. As a further step in the Parish amalgamation the Coordinating Group are to meet with the Vision Group this coming Wednesday to pray & to help us with first thoughts towards forming a Parish Pastoral Council in the near future.
Our new Parish Administrator, Tracey Swiers, started work with us last week, & we welcome her warmly to the life & outreach of the Parish. Her work will dovetail with that of Teresa Briggs, as Teresa works Mon & Fri mornings, & Tracey will cover Tues, Wed & Thurs between 9.30am & 3pm. I hope we will all feel the benefit of this additional administrative support for the Parish, & I am grateful to you all for agreeing to us making this new appointment, a firm commitment to the future growth of the Parish as we grow on all that is good about our faith, spirituality & outreach.
Sun 26th January has been designated “Sunday of the Word” within this Year of the Word which began in Advent 2019. There will be a special Liturgy at each Mass, where we will bless & distribute copies of St Matthew’s Gospel (the Gospel for 2020) & we will recommission those Ministers of the Word who can be with us.With my love & prayers Fr Bede.