Norman_graceVisitors are a blessing. Today Norman & Grace Barnes are coming to lunch. They started Links International and have invested their whole lives in mission. Now in their later years they continue to live with boundless energy in pursuit of God, with Links as a wonderful testimony to their vision always to look beyond the known toward the unknown, the very essence of mission. We look forward to welcoming them into the Oratory today.

At Mass yesterday the homily was on the Magi visiting Jesus in this Epiphany week. The point was well made that having found the manger and the baby Jesus, the object of their long and perilous journey, the Magi returned ‘a different way’. Whilst self evidently we know they avoided Herod, they returned different people because of their encounter with the infant Lord of all. They had stepped from the way they had lived up until that point into the Way of Jesus. The early disciples were known as followers of the Way. Every time we encounter Christ, or experience an epiphany,  we are changed.

A wonderful reflection upon mission as we seek to introduce people to walking in the Way and to turn aside from countless attractive alternative thoroughfares that offer little hope despite the hype and bright lights suggesting glittering prizes for all. As with the Magi the decision to seek may happen some good time before the object of that search is located. Like the Magi the journey may prove uncomfortable and we might need to ask questions as we lose sight of our objective as we surely will.

This message is also true for those of us who count ourselves to be followers of the Way already. We are to keep scanning the horizon to maintain our gaze upon the star, sole indicator of the presence of the Divine. The Church is itself on mission in pursuit of God, as Israel once followed fire and cloud, across the wasteland that is so apt a metaphor for so much of contemporary life.

At the start of this New Year we commit ourselves as the Oratory, and in  the spirit of our guardian and guide St. Cuthbert, to mission, inviting the uncertain to seek a Saviour and to remind ourselves that we too are to maintain our gaze upon Christ amidst the many distractions life presents us with.

Contemporary Magi: Get it On!

Contemporary Magi: Get it On!