“..as for your intention, who could have learnt it, had you not granted wisdom & sent your Holy Spirit from above?” ..thousands of years before the age of spiritual enlightenment when Jesus Christ, God’s masculinity personified, came to redeem the world from its failure, came the fullness of revelation.. ..that wisdom personified was then, & is now, the third person of the Trinity..the feminine dimension of God..his love his intimacy his breath..as you warm this Chapel this morning with your loving presence..
“..melt the frozen, warm the chill..” ; Lord have mercy “..guide the steps that go astray..” ; Christ have mercy “..heal our wounds, our strength renew..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“..who can divine the will of God?” asks wisdom in 1st rdg ..not define/ explain, but divine; seek & find that which is hidden deep within..30yrs ago Abbey & College’s demand for mains water put supply for ourselves & locality at grave risk; as Estate Surveyor then, I asked Yorkshire Water Consultancy to help us with problem..they suggested we reconsider a practice we had used 70yrs earlier to sink our own borehole & extract water from acquifer 55m below us..a reservoir of pure water in vast quantities.. they sent our their water diviners & told us exactly where to drill for water..huge risk, as is any exploration, & I well remember selling scheme to thrifty Abbot & Council, & the relief when we struck water & became self sufficient even to today..& pray what has all this to do with us Fr Bede?..well, we are, each of us diviners of grace, drawing from deep within our hearts from an acquifer of divine love..how many have found it? & how many have tapped into it? free gift no fees no water rates no meters or standing charges ; the only obligations are one way, from the source, the provider God himself, in service of the consumer, thee & me..like an old fashioned water diviner, he took two sticks your mother & father held them tenderly & gently, watched & waited for his energy passion & love to come to life in them/through them, leading them to the source of the water of life we call love..& now, here & now, a moment for us to go deeper & to divine the moment...allow your two sticks, prayer & good works, to be held gently, to watch & to wait until wisdom the power influence of Holy Spirit comes to life in you, & you are led to the very source of divinity God in person in Christ himself..the cross bearer “anyone who does not carry his cross & come after me cannot be my disciple” the cross bearer, the suffering servant, a radically different call & choice..which will inevitably result in separation breakdown; father against son, daughter against mother in law, remember our recent gospel?..hating his father mother sister brother is hard & harsh, yet it makes us think, as they & rest of Catholicism drink from mains water of Sunday obligation, Friday fasting & abstinence, mortal sin & Easter duties “we’ve always done it this way” the call now is for reform risk & change..to let go of the religious backstop, the cautious “just in case” ideology many of us were brought up, not to believe in, but to comply with..”don’t ask why, just do it!”..& now to divine fertile soil holy ground in your home & in our parish for new opportunities ..or like our borehole, for old ones revisited & now found for first time to be potentially fruitful rewarding ..& yes human wisdom & church organisation best practice compliance ensures we do a feasibility study on the care quality & upkeep of this Church building, but it is the two sticks of prayer & good works which excite the holders the diviners you & I to realise the energy the grace-bearing aquifer beneath our feet & in our hearts is potentially life changing, a source of divine energy & love in a reservoir wide deep enough to recreate the face & the spirit of the Church in Ryedale..”can I do it?” ask Rosa Parkes, Mother Teresa, Mary of Nazareth & Clare Jennings “how can this come about?” she asks demandingly even accusatively from the head, world head-centred wisdom, & with common sense, & after a pause of pregnant reflection & prayer, a moment of divining her own two sticks, she came back with the answer..the loving determination to carry her cross, divided from Joseph..remember moment he saw her condition as she returned from helping Elizabeth “let it be done according to your word”..trusting courageously in the divine divining of her womb-space to bring to birth the cross bearer himself..”& the angel left her” & leaves us this morning in the divine presence..each of us diviners of grace..”can we do it?” asks the towerbuilder & the king about to engage in battle..careful skilled calculators whereas we are empowered to be risk takers with passion grace & faith that makes impossible possible..two famous utility companies united this weekend as I holiday on Iona, divining for grace, speculating & taking home prospects for you all to scrutinise before sharing together the risk & the rewards..two famous utility companies, Yorkshire Water & Scottish Power..& what a worldbeating combination they would make..will you change over from mains to aquifer sourced goodness ?..will you?..”I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness which should be spontaneous”..the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit..pure water, pure grace, divinity personified..& taste the difference.. [ 23rdSunYrC ; Lk 14;25-33]