Friday, June 25, 2010

Monday Reflection - Adrian Stark-Ordish

This homily was given by Adrian Stark-Ordishk, a second year ordinand, at Evening Prayer on Monday 20th June 2010. The readings was Romans 11:25-end;

I want to spend a few moments this evening thinking about leaving.

St Aloysius left family and wealth to become a Jesuit. He, as patron saint of youth, also provided the name for Sebastian Flyte’s teddybear in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Sebastian is in love with his youth and struggles to leave it behind.

We here are coming up to the end of term and a leaving of our own, albeit a temporary one. Some of our community have already left for the next stage; a rather more permanent leaving. I wonder whether our, temporary, leaving is an opportunity for us to prepare for when we leave for good, whether that’s in one or two year’s time.

We have to choose between St Aloysius and Aloysius the teddybear. Will our time here be such that we are enabled to leave and move on, looking with gratitude on all that God has given us during our time here? Or will we find our time here hard to leave behind, wishing that life could remain always as it is now?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that living in Christian community is not the norm; it is a blessing and must not be taken for granted. We must see our time here together in this way. We are together now, but it will not always be so. Our summer vacation is a taste of this.

How can we learn to follow the saint and not the teddybear? How can we leave energised and forward-looking rather than looking backward? We are a transient community for we are called to be ordained ministers, not seminarians. How can we prepare for this? The habits that are being formed in us here will help, but the answer will be different for each of us. However, I believe that the answer will come down to learning to love God and to love our neighbour, however these are expressed in our individuality.

This summer is an opportunity to reflect on what is ahead of us and review our preparation for it. May it be fruitful.

Let us pray…

Gracious God,
we pray for those from our community who are to be ordained this Petertide. We pray also for ourselves as we seek to follow your call and deepen our love for you and for one another.
We ask this in the name of Jesus.