Today we contemplate a great truth about our life: you can’t take it with you. The old phrase “There are no pockets in a shroud” is what we confront today, in the preaching of both Ecclesiastes and the Lord Jesus. What Jesus makes us think about, however, is not just this truth, but the consequences of it: if we are not to build up treasure here on earth, what are we to do? The answer is simple: by our way of living we “make ourselves rich in the sight of God”!
What days we are living in. As the sad events unfolded today, I was reminded that I was taught at a theological College (The College of the Resurrection) had a great example of the Sacrifice of Priesthood (Of Martyrdom?) in Fr Christopher Gray who was murdered outside his Vicarage in Liverpool.
"What then does the application of [the image of the Good Shepherd] to priesthood suggest that priests are called to be? People who grow to be like Christ in their faithful service of their flocks even to the point of sacrificing their own lives. Priests are to know their people; to foster their unity; to give them life, and abundantly; to lay down their lives for them. In so doing they will mirror the life of obedience and sacrifice of Christ, and so make that a reality among those whom they serve".
- Fr Christopher Gray (CoR 1989-92); murdered in front of his own vicarage in Liverpool, 13 August 1996. *
Tertullian said that "The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church". We are living in the age of many new Martyrs. Christians are called to pray, and to Pray without ceasing. To pray for Peace, to pray not to condemn, but to forgive. To pray that God will soften the hearts of those who commit violence. To pray that God's kingdom may come, and soon.
An ancient tradition, already known in the 2nd century, gives these names to the parents of the Virgin Mary. The cult of St Anna became popular in the 6th century in the East, and in the 10th century in the West, where she is the patron saint of Brittany; Joachim was added a long time later.
Although the information about Mary’s parents is found in an early apocryphal writing that gives many miraculous and highly-coloured stories about the early life of the Virgin Mary, there is no reason to suppose that such a straightforward fact as her parents’ names should be wrong, since there is nothing to be gained from falsifying it. It does not occur in the Gospels simply because the most reliable evangelists (the only ones whom we have allowed into the Bible) felt they had more important things to talk about.
But what, after all, could be more important than the parents who brought up the Virgin Mary to be the woman she was? At the moment of consenting to the Incarnation she took the most important decision ever taken by any human being, and the fact that she took it is, to a great extent, the work of her parents. The Holy Spirit gave her the strength to take the decision; but her parents’ training gave her the wisdom to choose.
1930 MASS http://ustre.am/UCOl
As I am writing this news of the shocking news of the death of the French Priest - Pere Jaques Hamel, is coming in. Both Masses tomorrow will be offered as a requiem for the repose of his soul.
Jesu mercy, Mary pray. May he rest in peace.
When we see the child in the sweet shop nagging and moaning at mum or dad for something, we probably don’t think of it as a model of our prayer lives! And yet, if we take the word of God seriously today, that is exactly what out faith teaches us to do! The message is persistence - never giving up, even if prayers do not seem to be answered. We shouldn’t ask why they are not answered on the spot (God’s probably got a reason), but should just continue beating on the door of heaven in faith and hope.
We've been unable to connect with the live stream this week due to the BT problems. I hope they are sorted for tomorrow! We will do our best!.
Sacred Hospitality is our theme: as the letter to the Hebrews says: “remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” True hospitality lies in two things: first the welcome, encouraging the stranger to enter the house and be at home there: secondly, the gift - not just of food or drink, but of time: listening to the stranger, and giving of ourselves to them. This is what makes hospitality costly, but holy, and a true service of Jesus Christ.
Hospitality of course, is a theme well known to Benedictines, and one of its hallmarks. "let all guests be received as Christ"
St Henry (973 - 1024)
He was born in Bavaria in 973 and succeeded to the dukedom at the age of 22. He became Holy Roman Emperor in 1014. He was noted for his support for the reform of the Church and for his encouragement of its missionary activity. He set up many bishoprics, and he and his wife Cunegunda founded many monasteries. He died in 1024 and was canonized by Pope Eugenius III in 1146.
St Henry is also Patron of Benedictine oblates, and so we pray for all Oblates today.
1900 MASS http://ustre.am/UCOl
St Benedict (480 - 547)
Benedict was born in Nursia, in Umbria, and studied in Rome; but he was unable to stomach the dissolute life of the city, and he became a solitary hermit at Subiaco. His reputation spread, and some monks asked him to be their abbot, but they did not like the discipline he imposed and tried to poison him.
Benedict organised various small communities of monks and nuns in various places, including the great monastery of Monte Cassino. He drew up a set of rules to guide the communal life of monasteries, and, though not the first monastic rule ever, the Rule of St Benedict has proved so wise and balanced that it has served as the foundation of practically every attempt at communal living ever since. It recognises that people aim at perfection but often fall well short of it, and aims to be a “rule for beginners” in which even the least perfect and least able can grow in spiritual stature. To visit a Benedictine monastery of almost any kind is to find oneself spending time among a group of people who, by their strivings to live and grow together, have become more and more themselves, as God intended them, instead of being crushed into false uniformity by some idealistic and authoritarian regime.
For those of us in the world, too, the Rule of St Benedict has much to say: it drags our eyes up to the stars but keeps our feet firmly on the ground; it calls us to perfection but keeps us sane.
For most Benedictines this is the lesser Feast, celebrating the translation of the his relics from Monte Cassino to Fleury (a contentious issue!). HIs major feast is that of the Transitus on March 21st
ALL SAINTS CHURCH
Whats going on, liturgy, live streaming details, the ramblings of the Parish Priest.