During the coronavirus there are no weekly pew sheets but Fr Yenda is giving out notices during his daily mass.
These are available on our Facebook page and the latest one is also below...
Monday 29-06-2020 St Mary's
Bishop of Bedford's reflection from last Sunday
ANYONE WHO WELCOMES YOU, WELCOMES ME
One of my favourite saints is St Alphonsus Rodriguez (1532 – 1617) A Jesuit brother, he served for forty-six years at the Jesuit College in Majorca as a humble door-keeper. Like his brother Jesuits he sought to see Christ in the present moment. ‘Lord let me know you and let me know myself’ he would pray.
Every time the doorbell rang, he would look at the door and imagine that it was God who was standing outside seeking entrance. On his way to answer the door, he would say ‘Lord, I am coming’.
Seeing God, seeing Christ in the other person, is writes St Matthew at the heart of welcome; at the centre of generous hospitality. To welcome another is to welcome Christ; and to welcome the Son is to welcome the Father.
It is the openness to meeting Christ in the other that opens the door to fellowship and friendship, that breaks through all barriers of difference, fear and otherness. ‘Lord, I am coming’ prepares us to acknowledge the preciousness of the other person, whatever their flaws and fallibilities.
It is the openness to meeting Christ in others that fired Mother Teresa in her sacrificial care of the poor on the streets of Calcutta. In her words, “Seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, and his hand in every happening; This is what it means to be contemplative in the heart of the world. Seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread, and in the distressing disguise of the poor.”
It is the openness to meeting Christ in others that has the potential to bring reconciliation where there is division. As long as we distrust the other, fear the other, hate the other we will dig deeper chasms between us. When we begin to see Christ in our neighbour, slowly but surely bridges are built.
When we do not see Christ in the other person we oppress them, we devalue them and we abuse them. We are racist, homophobic, misogynistic, misandistric or more. Recent events have reminded us how all too true and prevalent this still is.
One of the marks of this lock-down period has been the power and example of neighbours caring for neighbours. Amidst all the cynicism about human nature we have seen the human capacity to serve and to care – all the more in those who work in the NHS and other health-care services. We’ve applauded them, rejoiced in them and given thanks for them. We know what goodness looks like; we recognise love in practice. How much more then do we who know Christ need to be agents of sacrificial love – serving because we know that we meet Christ in those we serve.
Another of my favourite holy people is Fr Greg Boyle – another Jesuit Priest. Fr Greg is still alive. He is the founder of Homeboy Industries the world’s largest gang intervention and rehabilitation programme based in Los Angeles. In his book Barking to the Choir he describes how in the late 70’s as a school teacher he was having a welcome coffee break between lessons. With him is Fr Al Naucke. Suddenly the door bell rings repeatedly. The bell rarely rings, and when it does it is usually a homeless person. The two Jesuits look at each other and eventually Fr Al gets up and goes to the door. About ten minutes later he returns. Takes his coffee, sits down and starts reading the paper once more. ‘Well?’ says Fr Greg. ‘Well, what’ replies Fr Al. ‘Who was it?’ From behind his paper Fr Al says ‘Jesus, in his least recognisable form’.
Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me. It is the Gospel. It is radical. It is our calling. ‘Lord, I am coming’.