Even more than sin, corruption has social implications: all you have to do is read the stories in the newspapers…
Corruption is not an act but a condition, a personal & social state we become accustomed to living in. The corrupt man is so closed off & contented in the complacency of his self –sufficiency that he does not allow himself to be called into question by anything or anyone. The self-confidence he has built up is based on a fraudulent behaviour: he spends his life taking opportunistic shortcuts at the cost of his own & others’ dignity. The corrupt man always has the cheek to say: “It wasn’t me!” My grandmother would have said that “butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.” The corrupt man gets angry because his wallet is stolen & so he complains about the lack of safety on the streets, but then he is the one who cheats the state by evading taxes, or else he fires his employees every three months so he doesn’t have to hire them with a permanent contract, or else he has them work off the books. & then he boasts to his friends about his cunning ways. He is the one who goes to Mass every Sunday but has no problem using his powerful position to demand kickbacks. Corruption leads people to lose the modesty that safeguards truth, goodness, & beauty. The corrupt man often doesn’t realise his own condition, much as a person with bad breath does not know they have it. & it’s not easy for the corrupt man to get out of this state by feeling inner remorse. Generally, the Lord saves him through life’s great ordeals, situations that he cannot avoid & which crack open the shell that he has gradually built up, thus allowing the grace of God to enter. We need to repeat it: sinners yes, corrupt no! Sinners, yes. Like the tax collector in the temple of God who did not even have the courage to raise his eyes toward heaven. Sinners, yes, like Peter, who recognised himself as one, weeping bitterly after betraying Jesus. Sinners, yes, the way the church wisely helps us see ourselves at the beginning of every Mass, when we are invited to beat our chests & acknowledge our need for salvation & mercy. We pray that God can find his way into the hearts of the corrupt & grants them the grace of shame, the grace to recognise themselves as sinners in need of his forgiveness. (The Name of God is Mercy; Pope Francis)
On Friday, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, our weekday Mass community began a Novena of Prayer to Our Lady of Walsingham, whose feast is on Sunday week 24th Sept 2017. It involves the brief period of prayer after each Mass, in which we turn to Our Lady as untier of knots for all our personal, communal & national problems & needs. Many are the sufferings, entanglements & knots which we face as individuals & families, in our Parish, our Schools, our Village, in our Church & as a Nation & World. We trust in her powerful intersession with God. Please join us each day with a short period of prayer to Our Lady as you journey to work, in your lunch hour or in the evening at home.
A Come Home Prayer Loving Father, we pray for those who have been baptised who no longer, or rarely attend Church: that they will understand & experience in their hearts that Christ is the source of unconditional love & reconciliation. We pray for everyone who worships in our parish community: that we may find the right words & means to invite our absent brothers & sisters to the full practice of their faith. Amen With my love & prayers. Fr Bede.