Monday, 7 September 2009

The XXIII Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend saw the exhibition in our hall organised by the allotment holders. Right next to the Vicarage is the entrance for a very large allotment. This space is very busy and there is a very long waiting list. There are many members of our congregation who have their own allotment. It was good to welcome our neighbours in the hall and to see their dedication in producing fresh and organic produce.
The quest of so many people who are keen to make contact with the earth and allow their work to be at the mercy of the elements is indicative of different things. On the one hand you have a great number of people who are tired with buying food which has never touched nature but is all produced in engineered environments to produce a large crop for the cheapest prize. On the other hand, you have people who want to make contact with nature, who want to get their hands busy and dirty, who really need space from the cage of their daily routine and have some quiet space surrounded by nature. But there are also many more factors that lead people to acquire an allotment.
However, just looking at these two factors one can see that the present way of life is becoming heavy, that people need space and need to touch base with their roots, and our human roots are not in the impersonal fields of industrialisation or the endless race of trading as in the City. I think that the popularity of allotments speaks about the need for space, for dignity, for discovering who we are. It is also a way of being in touch with nature, of producing ones own food.
The teaching of the Faith Catholic on the dignity of the human person, of the dogma of Creation and human elevation will strike a cord with these seekers. Hopefully we will find a way how to make available our Faith and hope to some of these allotment holders – keep us in your prayers.
As Harvest Sunday approaches, I can recommend to you two wonderful books I have enjoyed over the summer:
“Creation and Evolution”, The 2006 Sch├╝lerkreis with Pope Benedict XVI, compiled by Otto Horn and Siegfried Wiedenhofer. Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2008 (ISBN: 978-1-58617-234-3)
“Hasard ou plan de Dieu?” by Cardinal Christoph Sch├Ânborn, editions du cerf, Paris, 2007 (ISBN : 978-2-204-08517-5)
Sunday was very well attended indeed and during conversations I had after the Mass I sensed that there is a spring in the step as we head for a new year of work – Laus Deo!
I received sad news yesterday about a friend who died as a result of burns she suffered in her home. Please do pray for Vera – may she rest in peace!

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