“..keep & observe what will make you prosper & give you great increase..as the Lord promised you, giving you a land where milk & honey flow..” ..what is it that we need to keep & observe in order to gain unconditional unearned entry to this parish, where milk & honey indeed flow? ..one word on your entry visa..an open border & no checks..a Brexit free zone where each & all are included.. ..what word?..what is the password? two words “welcome home!”
“..listen then Israel..” ; Lord have mercy “..love the Lord your God heart soul strength..” ; Christ have mercy “..a word written on your heart..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
one scribe.. a good scribe..one apart from rest of a critical party, ever alert watchful & questioning, finding fault with Jesus for his alleged questionable compliance to the full Jewish Law..in other words if you profess to be a practising Catholic how is it you don’t fast on Fridays, abstain from meat & go to Church each & every Sunday? & he came on his own..I’d like to think he put his question gently generously not cunningly deviously “what is the first of all the commandments?” as ever in loving generosity Our Lord gives him & us two for price of one..love God & love God in your neighbour..a studentship into a loving relationship first, then, once you’ve begun to realise how needed & deeply you belong, how beloved you are to him & to me, then servant discipleship second..you can imagine Jesus whispering to him “look into my eyes, give me steady eye contact, eye to eye, heart to heart, & gradually appreciate the depths of my love & concern for you”.. safeguarding at its best..& then go out & do likewise..put that loving special relationship into action for good of all, from tallest most arrogant & self confident to smallest slowest & weakest..they are each & all part of our flock..one Catholicism..that’s what it says on our tin..our faith is Catholic universal all inclusive..no one excluded disowned; MSF is Doctors without Borders; RC is disciples without borders; loving each & every neighbour as yourself..met fine man in our graveyard last week who looked at the mounting piles of fallen leaves & said “what are you going to do about your leaves Fr Bede?” if I’d been quicker I’d have said “I’m going to ask you to come next weekend please & help us [us] collect up our [our] leaves..our Catholic leaves” perhaps in his case servant discipleship may come first, collecting leaves, then having met & worked alongside many of you, the Body of Christ in action, an emerging sense/realisation of love for his God, our God, through you..could it be love of neighbour first yeasts the love of God second? grace & love working both ways..love & grace, grace & love..email last week from Bradford from a Housemistress “I wonder would you pray for a family for me? I have two boys in my House Yr 11 Yr 8; Mum is terminally ill with cancer & is now in St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds.Yr 11 boy has Asperger’s disease & is massively struggling; he can’t communicate his emotions & how he is feeling. Yr 8 boy can’t stop talking about his Mum, struggling to understand what is happening & frightened about it; he wants to see his Mum but is afraid of what it will be like. The boys are with grandparents ; Dad is with Mum all the time. The elder boy asked his Housemistress today to keep praying as he can’t anymore. They were meant to go to Florida tomorrow, a dream family holiday to Disneyland. They did get to Whitby on Friday. I think the boys know that was the last family day out. A really tragic situation ; I told Yr 11 boy I would ask you to pray”..”what is the first of all the commandments?” I wonder how those boys would hear & understand that tonight? I’d like to think their love of one another, first & foremost in their Mum, is an absolute priority, with their God, his love for them, & their love for him, coming a close not a poor second..”why did it have to be our Mum? is there a God? if so where is he now? does he really hear & answer every prayer ?” the one who asks always always receives, it says on the tin..does he ask us to love every neighbour? in Old Testament “neighbour” was ones fellow people of God; the tribe; & also the aliens who lived in the land who were placed /valued on same equal footing, fellow companions ; a high conception of relationship to others & what its practice entailed..then with the coming of Jesus the notion of neighbour deepened emphatically to include every human being without exception, & especially for us, now so deeply immersed in Brexit, the migrant..”love your neighbour as yourself”..in terms of gospel imperative on which European Union was founded, the furtherance of the Common Good, it is worthy of readjusting a key gospel story to Martha first Mary second ..active loving servant discipleship first & then, having been electrified into action, sitting at Jesus’ feet to love & to be loved..first part is Martha’s, second part is Mary’s..neither is better..a parity of esteem, kicking leaves & gathering leaves.. [31stSunYrBMk12;28-34]