..the objections come in .. “what the Lord does is unjust..” ..in the face of crisis or adversity..for earthquake famine cholera or cancer in a loved one, if there is a God..if there is a God..why does he allow these injustices to happen? & God puts full length ball onto our middle stump “..is it not what you do that is unjust?” I’ve given you paradise, the resources & wisdom to sustain it & renew it, so that gradually it & you become more authentic & truthful, & what have we done but despoil abuse exploit & defraud our neighbour?.. the root cause of our indiscretions & lukewarm indifferent stewardship is our choice to misuse the gift of free will.. as we said in one of our prayers last weekend for victims of so many tragedies, “our prayers & our tears are not enough”..
“Lord make me know your ways..” I do know & still I choose to go my own way.. ; Lord have mercy “..Lord teach me your paths..” I see the path & still decide to venture off it.. ; Christ have mercy “..in your love remember me..” especially when I get it wrong again.. ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
..greatest gift God gives us after gift of life is free will..the ability to chose..to take apple from any tree in orchard & life except one..& what did Adam & Eve do but to take on God in life threatening competition for ultimate control..my life my choice my orchard & tree of my choice..”my boy, you go & work in my vineyard today” “I will not go” “but afterwards thought better of it & went”..reminds me of story of rich young man who asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life..“there is one thing you lack; go sell all you own, then come follow me” he left sad, with himself & his choice..I’d like to think he came back hours days or years later “you may not remember me, but I’ve had second thoughts, sold the lot & I’ve come, if you’ll still have me”..he gets smile welcome & hug of a lifetime..more pleasure in it for Jesus having felt disappointment of initial rejection.. we’ve all soft spot for prodigal son when too often we see in ourselves sourness anger of elder brother “certainly sir” slick words of a performer stage managing so many episodes in a life of pretence & lip gloss “yes Father no Father” self righteous rhetoric..the pure ones, yet fruitless self preserving..the tax collectors & prostitutes praised for their choice to “think better of it” & repent & to reform..fine little Community of Mercy Sisters living in Filey 70yds from seafront, a haven of prayer & peace..elderly sisters all done sterling work in vineyard & classroom over many years now “in retirement” as if in faith any of us retire..on visit there I asked about Sr Margaret “oh she’s left us to be part of a new community we are establishing in Kings Cross, to work among young women caught in slavery “Sister, you go to work in my vineyard today” & in self obedience, as well as obedience to her Superior, she went..Filey to Kings Cross..coffee mornings to walking streets in early hours..& meeting Christ on his Cross in those suffering servants as she shows them in action words of St Paul in 2nd rdg “always consider the other person to be better than yourself; your minds must be the same as Christ Jesus..be united in your convictions [ convictions ] & in your love with a common purpose & a common mind” a transformed list of convictions for the prostitute..a radical change in way of life, the choice to be different & to make a difference..Sr Margaret, her young girls she now traffiks in a different direction, & you & I..essence of any good gospel story is that we are there in the middle of it, making an appearance but much much more..discovering the opportunity & invitation to change direction, pace & depth..it’s one thing to hear of Sr Margaret, quite another to take on the implications for us 1 Oct 2017 Ampleforth..at end of gospel you all said “praise to you Lord Jesus Christ” you thanked & you affirmed the message, & call now is to choose..”to go in peace to love & serve the Lord” & to put our divine energy where our mouth has been..not to go home to another ordinary predictable Sunday, where those who look to us for a lead example & inspiration see not one jot of difference..only a Filey Convent experience for retired disciples..when the challenge & risk is to stop looking enviously at someone else’s allegedly perfect tree & instead to get cracking in the vineyard Jesus has seeded watered & nurtured for your enjoyment & your stewardship..”my son my daughter, you go & work in my vineyard today” ..the choice is yours..it isn’t a letter of intention, it’s a contract of employment for life..zero hours & the adventure of a lifetime..& if Sr Margaret can do it at 75yrs of age don’t be seeking age related exemption or waving a disability badge..”life in the kingdom doesn’t consist of an inscription; entrance to the kingdom requires a living & continual “yes” to the acceptance of Gods will for us..on the contrary, what is constant with us is our unfaithfulness, a way of escaping God’s will while believing one is doing it..it’s possible to think profoundly of something, to taste it & make much of it in one’s mind, & yet live in a wholly different manner. A certain deformation in our attitude prevents us from measuring the gap.. however, there is no definitive settling in the kingdom of God..if we do not seek to enter it at every instant, we leave it without even noticing we have done so.” ..Filey or Kings Cross?..it’s your call.. [ 26thSunYrAMt 21;28-32 ]