Ampleforth Abbey

24 November 2017

Echoes of the Word 10th August 2016


Commentary on Luke 12:32-48             We are not to be afraid

Jesus often invites his disciples not to be afraid. In this case, it is because we are assured of the Kingdom, which is given to us. Sometimes referred to as the Reign of God, it suggests a relationship with the king, rather than a place or state of being. With Christ as king, we can afford to divest ourselves of all possessions, investing rather in the relationship with Christ which cannot be pilfered. In this relationship we stand alert, our lamps lit, ready for every occasion which can deepen it. Such opportunities may come upon us suddenly, so we need to be particularly awake. We are servant-disciples in this Reign of God, but like the disciples at the Last Supper, we can be served by the master, not as a right or a privilege, but by way of example. Thus we have responsibilities to serve others of God’s household, using that authority given us by the master, and not abusing it for our own purposes. We can all share in the knowledge of God’s will and in the furtherance of his Reign, accepting that responsibility insofar as we have been entrusted with it by the gift of God.

Fr Christopher Gorst OSB, Subprior

St Laurence (225 – 258)

Lawrence (or Laurence) of Rome was one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome under Pope Sixtus II who were martyred during the persecution by Emperor Valerian in 258. He worked in the city caring for the poor and the sick and was responsible for the administration of the Church’s material goods. He is often pictured holding a money bag.He was arrested by the Roman authorities who wanted him to surrender the riches of the Church so Laurence brought out all the poor, sick and elderly people he had been caring for saying, “these are the riches of the Church.” This so infuriated the Roman prefect that he had a great gridiron prepared, with coals beneath it, and had Laurence's body placed on it (the gridiron is another symbol of St Laurence). After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, a legend concludes, he made his famous cheerful remark, "I'm well done. Turn me over!" From this derives his patronage of cooks and chefs. The Abbey at Ampleforth is dedicated to St Laurence and his relic (part of his arm bone) is kept in the monks choir near the entrance to the sacristy. It is exposed each August 10th on the Saint’s feast day.

Fr John Fairhurst OSB


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