.would you trust your son or daughter with your visa card & pin number? ..well 3500yrs ago Moses’ question to God was as immense confidential & risktaking “..but if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?” & God, for all his love & trust of his emerging chosen sons & daughters, wouldn’t give it ..”I am who I am”..in Yorkshire dialect “it’s none of your business” “it’s for me to know not you!” who pray, do you trust with your real & deepest true identity..who, once they have your name & identity, have power over you in all sorts of ways?..
“..Moses Moses!” God said ” come no nearer..” ; Lord have mercy “..take off your shoes, the place on which you stand is holy ground..” ;Christ have mercy “..at this Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, & bring us to everlasting life. Amen. “do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans?! a belief that individual suffering was incremental, dependent on scale of personal sinfulness & collective failure of tribe family or faith community to live up to divine expectations..an OT misunderstanding which sadly still festers on, of a God of vengeance & punishment, so distant & aloof one had to take ones shoes off to come into his presence, captured in a burning bush..& a voice of aloofness & prohibition “come no nearer, take off your shoes. I have seen miserable state of my people. I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them.” but when Lord, how long? another delay; empty promises of milk & honey, & a Brexit agreement sometime in next 2yrs; political & religious rhetoric “it’s none of your business. It’s for me to know not you!” ”these things all happened as warnings for us; you must never complain; some of them did & they were killed by the destroyer” how many thousands will be hearing these readings in Yemen, in Mozambique, Syria & New Zealand, & will think this is divine retribution; whilst we in our Lenten resolutions count up likely rewards for services rendered Lent 2019..in Zimbabwe a terrified Catholic from nearby township would plead at our Mission for prayers for healing for their disease..then, under cover of darkness, they would creep out of township walk 6m to meet local witch doctor pay small fortune & be prayed over often with same prayer book used by monk; belt & braces spirituality..how pure & sincere is our prayerful relationship with divine? or do we too hedge our bets by crossing his palm with £5 for Mass offering; coins in a mission box or £5 in Cafod fast envelope ? & a few minor Lent resolutions..”if they ask me what his name is, what am I to tell them?”indeed ..”afraid to look at God” one of tributes our young disciples on retreat in ARH can give us is to bring their slippers with them or take their trainers off during my talks..living out one of Pope Francis’ favourite phrases “smell the sheep” get close enough to them to smell them..& their socks! Last weekend real treat for me to smell feet of two flocks of sheep; our 11 first Comm candidates & 28 Confirmation candidates on retreat from Leeds.. visiting our fig tree our holy ground in this our privileged little orchard, a holy place of milk & honey..where once we produced choice fruit in abundance & now? “he came looking for fruit on it but found none” Paul puts it bluntly in 2nd rdg; us guided protected baptised fed watered all from spiritual rock Christ, & in spite of the grace & favour parish & relationship given to us on loan “most of them failed to please God”they came each Sat/Sun, or one weekend in three, looking for provisions & a map & compass, when all time pew they were sitting in, stranger next to them who offered them sign of peace week on week, was Christ himself..3 fruitless yrs; “why should it be taking up the ground?” & the divine gardener voices one word “Mary” & she knew him voice to voice, heart to heart, the pin number valid & the eternal relationship affirmed “you are mine” 2 groups of young gardeners brought great manure to dig into our holy ground last weekend; listen to pin number on our 11 first Comm candidates visa card..I asked them “what can Mrs Moore & Fr Bede learn from you children?” “learn how not to hate; how to make friends; talk to others; love people & playing; not to fight; not to have enemies [an enemy is someone we choose not to forgive] ; to have fun; love from your heart; not to use our mobile phones too often.”& our 28 Conf candidates bowled over by you last Sunday, a meeting of like minds & hearts on holy ground “what next?” I asked them of their “be-attitudes””we will see each other more often in Mass; we will pray more; we will take more responsibilities; just to be happier in general; we want to be included more in Mass; we will help our parents more; we will be more respectful; it is our responsibility to go to Mass & to pray;we will listen more; we will spread the faith; we hope to be trusted more; we can & we will live our lives more simply” quality trees ripe fruit the real Ampleforth Market not 1st Sat of month but each weekend if you remember to come, not to the Abbey but here to “this fig tree”..with, as young tell us, figs to die for.. [3rd LentYrCLk13;1-9]