Sunday, 16 March 2014

Thoughts from our Chaplain: Just do it!

In Mission Today (Spring 2014) Fr John Hemer narrates how Queen Victoria was giving a state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Whatever was served, it was followed by the use of finger bowls. One visiting dignitary, taking it to be one of the many drinks on offer, picked up his finger bowl and drank it! The people around him were horrified. The Queen saw what was going on and rescued him by picking up her own finger bowl and drinking it. This meant that all present had to follow suit! Fr John brings out how Jesus took our place of shame and how through his passion and cross he made us privileged children of the kingdom of God.

Over the centuries several people have followed Jesus’ example. Fr Maximilian Kolbe, who volunteered to offer up his own life in place of a family man. It also reminds me of my uncle Pé (Piet) and his wife Rika. At the risk of their own lives they saved a good number of young Jews, on the run from the Nazis, by hiding them in their cellar and bunkers in the heather field. After the war they refused to get on e.g. the Queen’s Honours list. Pé’s reaction was, “What we did should be done quite naturally by any Christian”. Being the down to earth man he was he would have said, “Just get on with it”! A good thought for Lent!                                   

Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.  

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