“..take notice of the laws & customs I teach you today; observe them that you may have life & may enter & take possession of the land the Lord is giving you..” Moses’ on God’s behalf offering conditional entry into the promised land.. ..keep to the laws & rules & you are in..break the rules & you are excluded.. very OT & sadly a belief which still puts the fear of God into many of us..& tragically we pass down to the next generation as an infection/disease.. the healthy good news of our faith is of the gospel of inclusion..where wisdom & understanding is attained through foolishness & mistake & where perhaps greatest misunderstanding we have been led to believe in is the striving for perfection.. Christ was sent not to congratulate perfection but to redeem failure, which is why you & I are so at home, here & now, in good company & thank goodness, not perfect company..
“by his own choice he made us his children” wayward children .. ; Lord have mercy “by the message of the truth” ..where failure is acknowledged.. ;Christ have mercy “submit to & do what the word tells you not just listen to it” practice what we preach.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
the HQ contingent came on a religious Ofsted inspection..Pharisees, God’s gift to Judaism or so they thought..& some scribes [some not all] & first thing they noticed was breach of guidelines Jewish health & hygiene regs AD32, & Mark quotes at length clause 2 paragraph 5 subsection 4 “never eat without washing arms as far as elbow & without sprinkling themselves, & many other observances” reminds me of reknowned infamous phrase in Canon Law, still quoted passed down to next generation as an infection/disease when the injured among us are seeking ointment & words of compassion “Roma locuta..causa finite” “Rome has spoken; the matter is closed” & with similar mandate the heavy gang from HQ put Jesus on spot..”why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders?” sort of question zealous disciple of Pius X society would pose, ultra conservative heavy Catholics who increasingly insist on receive Communion only on tongue, celebrate Mass with back to people in Latin, & maintain communion rails & gate to keep sanctuary holy, & diseased away from its meticulously clean liturgically best practises, near perfect practises..thank goodness we have a soiled stained sanctuary carpet reflective of our good liturgical practise..& Jesus gives it to them with both barrels then & now..you hypocrites actors, lip service experts, heartless/ distant, custodians of regulations not practitioners of truth & compassion..& he leaves them to one side to reconsider their position..& will they change?..& will we change? Blessed John Henry Newman “to live is to change & to live fully is to change often” ..& then Jesus calls the open hearted, the world changers, to him “listen to me all of you & understand” three subsections  “listen” have you noticed the quality of listening prior to our two weekend Masses?..Sat evg tradition is one of silent recollectedness; hear a pin drop, save for cry of an occasional bambino as they talk away to Jesus in their own language..a treat to hear them..whereas on Sun morning Church is full of conversation; ordinary traditional talk, devoid of any spirituality & deafening for any who might have come early to pray..& unknown to those who consistently come late..”the tradition of the elders” father..the tradition of our Benedictine spirituality is to listen with ears of our heart..difference/silence is deafening.. “all of you”..we go to heaven together as a team..navy [navus] you sit in nave crew space you power us forward ..we migrants on a journey in this our parish boat..your spiritual passport valid stamped & safely belonging to us here not Ampl Abbey ARH or Gilling..your spiritual fingerprints /DNA on our hymn books mass sheets pews.. “understand” how loved needed you are .. ”Steward of Christendom Act 2” Sebastian Barry..story fits Ampleforth, this crew & our current storm & casualties..tells of young boy Willie & his sheepdog Shep..”a young dog that had been beaten somewhere & broken, till he reached our haven & uncoiled, & learned to bark like a baby learns to laugh, & he shone at his work” sadly Shep killed a sheep “for a dog that would kill would die himself..& I went down told my father; he instructed me, as was right & proper, to bring him down off hill so the killing could take place” but Willie’s love of Shep kept him on hills..until neighbours “black figures with lights moving searching calling me &the dog to come home..we arrived in the yard, the dog skulking on rope just same as day he had arrived at us; my father came out in his big clothes. It was as if I had never seen him before in his entirety from head to toe..& I knew then that the dog & me were for slaughter. He stood immortal you would say in the door ..& he put his right hand on back of my head & pulled me to him so my head rested against the buckle of his belt..& he raised his own face to the brightening sky & praised someone, in a crushed voice, God maybe for my safety & stroked my hair..& the dog’s crime was never spoken of, but that he lived till he died. I would call that the mercy of fathers, when the love that lies deep in them like glittering face of a well is betrayed by an emergency, & the child sees at last that he is loved ; loved & needed, & not to be lived without, & greatly.”..“listen to me all of you & understand”..the deserved death sentence, slaughter & ending is redeemed..you & I are saved together., [22ndSunYr B Mk7;11-23]