Fr Tom Writes

Hi, this is my message to the Parish this week,

It’s coming home…but just not yet!

It was a great ride, great fun and for once a joy to watch England play football. Even when Croatia equalised I thought ‘at least I am watching a match’. Its okay to go out when you have given your all. But it’s over now, England fever that is, well at least for the short term. I am sure waist-coat production has been planned to coincide with the Euros in two years’ time, just two years everyone! It has been a surreal few weeks and a nice distraction from the realities of everyday life.

It is funny how the British turn satire into something serious. William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ was a satire on the evils of the industrial revolution but now we sing it with pride as if it is another national anthem. ‘It’s coming home’ was also a satire composed in 1998, on the back of the 1996 World Cup run where we got into the semi-finals. But it was a satire, now we sing it as if it a national sporting prophecy. I think it shows that the British are good fun, we don’t often see that in our selves but we are good fun. It seems like we need a bit of British-ness to come home, the bit where we can be happy and not anguished or angst ridden. Football has helped us become happier for a moment but unfortunately it cannot bring lasting happiness.

Only God can bring lasting happiness. God is our creator, he is our origin, he is the source of joy of peace and happiness. He is our home. The proclamation that God is our Joy was at the heart of the Franciscan Movement that swept Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It was God as Joy, as Holy, that was at the heart of the life and Mission of St Bonaventure. He dedicated the first part of his life to teaching, learning and writing at the University of Paris and then he dedicated the second part of his life to Pastoring, directing and troubleshooting the zealous and chaotic fledgling Franciscan Order. He did that because of his sense of Vocation, of being called into God’s service, that drove him and enabled him to undertake and exacting and difficult role as Head of the Franciscan Order.

Our saint is an example to us of someone who used his gifts to serve God and the world. Each one of us is called to do the same, whatever our gifts, however big or small. We are called to service, to show our world that God is our true home, we are called to live in him. In a sense the coming of the Kingdom of God is our home coming to us, God in his love giving us a foretaste of his glory. Let us with joy proclaim our God of Glory to our world because our world needs to know that true peace and happiness can only come from the God.

Fr Tom