One Report on the Third Test of The Ashes, wrote on miracles. Ben Stokes got 135. Jack Leach did a magnificent job – he scored 1. England beat Australia. The Report continued. Ben Stokes needed two miracles for canonisation. Those two have happened. He carried England in the World Cup (50 overs). He carried England in the Test. It was unbelievable. It was unexpected. It is inexplicable. Ben went from Zero to Hero. His redemption is complete.
Lost for words:
This weekend demands eyes that are big and can see – the daily miracles in life. Some words annoy me. ‘Wow.’ ‘Cool.’ ‘You know what I mean.’ ‘Amazing.’ ’Absolutely.’ ‘Look.’ ‘Like.’ ‘You know.’ If I had a wife, who indulged in such language; I wouldn’t last the pace and she wouldn’t last long either. The Reading from Hebrew today evokes crazy words. It stops us. Sensible words fail us. What is God like? What is Heaven like? What does a Holy Place look like? We are lost for words in the wonder of a moment. We respond with gibberish. We resort to clichés. It is all too big for us.
Rumours of angels:
A real problem in life for many of us is – to miss the ‘talking moments’ when God whispers. We simply aren’t sufficiently aware/attuned, when the ‘world of God’ assaults our senses. Wonder. Mystery. Beauty. Holy Ground. Burning bushes. An apparition of God. This is where humanity is at its richest; when it wakes up to the inexpressible, irrepressible and irresistible. We need to find our own such moments. The birth of a baby. A sunset. Death. A word. A friend. A touch. A smile when needed. Beauty anywhere. A real Liturgy. Any mountain. Music. Poetry. Art. Love in all its expressions. Tony Coote’s ‘Walk while you can’ and his book ‘Live while you can’ stirred many of us. He put the spirit into us with his courage, his honesty and his ability to find hope. He saw God and treasure in the midst of Motor Neurone Disease. So yes. ‘Wow’ and ‘Amazing’ is sometimes all we can respond. God-moments and Good- moments are precious. Treasure them as Tony did.
Jesus loved eating. He seemed to be always hungry. He needed a Table. A Meal was never a fast-food quickie. He craved company. It was the time at the Table; talking; sharing; story telling; and then a little food. Rushed-food is not a Meal. Or cannot be a Mass either. The stand-out word of course is: Hospitality. Food isn’t always just about a Table either. It is when we make room for others; make space to listen; have open minds to learn and hear differing views; believe that we can learn from others. Find what excites the palate of the imagination and the taste buds of the heart. The Reading from Ecclesiasticus talks of an attentive ear and suggests that a proud person who can’t learn, lacks the very essentials of humanity.
Open heart surgery:
The message then is: Learn from every day. Hear the God who speaks. Be hospitable to the revealing mystery. Never shut the ears of the heart or eyes of the mind or the stirring touch of the imagination. Eat healthily of the ‘food for life.’ God is the Great provider. There are miracles everywhere and every day. If Ben Stokes could be a revelation. If Jack Leach could achieve so much and do so little. If Tony Coote could put on a masterpiece of the miraculous. We have to do it also.
Seamus Ahearne osa
(The fingers have given up).