From the Vicar
My dearest sisters and brothers,
Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood
abide in me, and I in them.
We understand what Jesus is telling us. It is the central part of our life as a Church.
We understand what Jesus is saying. The bread is Jesus’ body, the wine is his blood.
But when he first said this, many did not understand: ‘This teaching is difficult; who
can accept it?’ For some today it is still difficult. There are parts of the Church that
do not celebrate the Eucharist, even within our Anglican Communion.
Jesus asks the disciples: ‘Does this offend you?’ Jesus is saying, if you can’t accept this
teaching you are probably going to struggle with what is going to happen. He is
saying, what about if I tell you I will be arrested, crucified, killed, buried? What
about if after three days I will be raised? I will ascend to my father? Can you accept
any of that?
It seems many will not. They liked the Jesus that healed. They liked the Jesus that
fed them. Some even sort of liked the bread and wine. But this is all far away from
what they can be coping with.
Because of this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with
him. So Jesus asked the twelve: ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Those few who
remained, Jesus puts it to them. He gives them a chance to leave. He isn’t forcing
them, he isn’t bribing them, he isn’t even trying to convince them. They are free to
do as they wish.
Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of
eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’
There was no one else. What would be the point in going to someone else? They
knew they were with the one who was the way, the truth and the life, the one who
was the bread of life. How could they leave him? Yet many do.
Many fall away. Sometimes the teaching is too difficult. Sometimes following Jesus
is too hard.We gather, through good and bad times.The times of heightened joy
because of the intimate presence of God in our lives,and the times when it feels as if
he is so far away that it is hard to believe he is with us.
We are like Peter, knowing Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. Peter’s words
are our hearts knowing:
Lord, to whom can we go?
> Vicarage Building Fund: the Women’s Fellowship has soup and home baking
available again today in the hall after Mass. Your generous donations are appreciated.
> Meditation Group meets in the Lady Chapel, Wednesdays 12 noon.
Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Pat Evans (358 0127).
> Centre for Ethics and Spirituality Christ’s College: the role of photography in public
perceptions of private suffering. Thomas C Brauer, Vicar of Sumner–Redcliffs,
questions whether such photography helps grow compassion, or creates compassion
fatigue. Does photography of violence educate and inform, or perpetuate conflict and
pain? Thursday, 7:30 pm, in the Chapman Room. Details on poster.
> Devonshire Cream Tea: Saturday 2:00 pm at the Cathedral. Details on poster.
> Bible Study Group meets next on 3 September, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge.
Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
> Anglican Care AGM: 10 September 5:30 pm. Details on poster.
> Three mannequins needed to display vestments in the church in Heritage Week.
If you can help please speak to Gloria Moyle.
> Double knitting or 4 ply wool, any colour, needed to make hats etc for
distribution through Walsh House. Please place in box at the back of the church.
> Electronic Devices wanted for recycling: old mobile phones, tablets etc.
> Book Swap: in the parish lounge. Koha to parish.
‰ Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts
of groceries and other household items, particularly during the winter months.
Suggested items: baked beans, spaghetti, tinned soup, tinned fruit, cereal,
toilet paper, toothpaste and soap.