Welcome To The Parish of English Martyrs Danbury and
Holy Trinity South Woodham Ferrers
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) – 13th October
Psalter Week 4
Canon Peter Connor OFS, our parish priest.
Canon Peter writes …
Reflections on the RENEWAL and RESTRUCTURING aspects of the Vision Document continued.
The Uncreated Almighty, who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, infinite in all perfection is enamoured by us, weak, puny, dependent, finite, sinful creatures because He sees so clearly in each one of us the image and likeness of Himself! That spark of Divinity in us is sufficient for The Three Persons to not only want to love us but to desire to incorporate us, take us body and soul, into their life of Divine Love, an awesome reminder to us of how special we are, for only God will satisfy God, The Trinity has no need or desire for anything outside of themselves. And even though He sees us making mistakes, taking wrong turnings in life, sees us when we trip and fall into temptation, when we sin, sees us even when we turn our back on Him, His gaze of love never changes, He never looks away.
This inexplicable and mysterious love of The Three Persons of the Trinity for us caused them to stoop down from heaven, sending the Second Person, the Son of God to become truly one of us in all things except sin; taking on, in His humanity, our natural order with all its limitations and yet not diminishing His Divinity. Jesus Christ, the Son of God now also became the Son of Mary and He came down from heaven as the long promised Bridegroom to invite us to the everlasting Wedding Feast prepared and waiting for us in heaven, not as His guest, but as His Bride! In His miracles, always worked for the good of others, in His words of truth, consolation, encouragement, justice, forgiveness and above all by the action of the loving sacrifice of Himself on the Cross, Jesus was asking the question to all those who saw and heard Him, “Do you love Me and do you want to spend the rest of eternity with Me, in heaven?” Surely only the coldest, most tightly closed, and hardened heart could fail to respond and turn down that invitation; and yet, sadly, many did just that, even in the time of Our Lord, and still do today.
This Divine Lover of ours never gives up wooing us in this crucial time of courtship which we are now living out here on earth. By His rising from the dead, body and soul, on that first Easter Sunday, Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, still with the marks of His passionate love for us on His body, continues His calling to us. That two-part question, “Do you love Me and do you want to spend the rest of eternity with Me, in heaven?” is still put to all of us many times, every day of our lives, and will be until we take our last breath, after which we can make no more choices. This invitation of Our Lord is whispered to our hearts in all the varied situations we encounter as we walk along this path of life, but especially so when we are in danger of not loving Him with all our mind, heart, body and soul and not loving our neighbour as He has shown us how to love them. In other words, during times of temptation Christ is going to say to us, perhaps even more urgently, “Do you love Me and do you want to spend the rest of eternity with Me in heaven, or, do you love this action or inaction, these words or this silence, do you love this person or yourself for a short-lived, empty pleasure, more than your God who has died for you and has won and prepared the unimaginable joys of heaven awaiting you for the rest of eternity, do you really want to risk losing all of that?”
Because Almighty God has created out of love in order to love us, He can only invite us to respond to this love of His and ask us to share that love with others; true love by its very nature has to be given, received and responded to in total freedom, it has to be a conscious, free act of the will. Almighty God does not, cannot, force us to love Him; we who are utterly dependent on Him for our very existence, for every heartbeat, for every breath we take, have been given, by Him, the awesome, “frightening” power of being able to say NO to God, to reject His love and to decide to opt for something or someone whose inferiority cannot be compared to the One on whom we turn our backs. To be continued.
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Our Parish Prayer
God Our Father, give us the grace to go about our tasks in a spirit of eagerness and charity. Grant that we may have the calmness of mind and steadiness of purpose, so that we may do your will in this short life, and obtain happiness in the world to come. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.