Carol Kidd

24 posts

Homily for Patronal Festival

Preached by Carol Kidd LLM on the evening of 26 July 2020: St James West End Patronal Festival

May I speak in the name of Jesus Christ who calls us to follow him, Amen

Six short verses from Mark’s gospel provide word-pictures of Jesus that have echoed down the years: The Sea of Galilee, working fishermen – boats and nets. Jesus calling people to follow and proclaiming the kingdom is near!

Images portraying Jesus calling the fishermen to a new direction in life; and their reactions in immediately leaving nets and following.

Calling and following – two essential factors of discipleship.

Hearing Jesus’ call, and choosing to follow, changed James’ and the other disciples’ lives. How do we hear the call, follow and serve Jesus today? Nowadays the tendency is not merely to follow directions and commands – but to chase alternatives. By applying freedom of choice, we follow orders and advice, but often only on our own terms.

Sadly, some Christians even apply personal boundaries in deciding who is good enough to help build God’s kingdom by choosing to invite those of physical or financial use, or who share the same mind-set as themselves. Not so with Jesus’ inclusive invitation – the call to ‘repent and believe in the good news’ was the message to any and all who came out to hear Jesus preach.

James’ faith was sufficient to leave his father’s business and follow with no clear vision of where it would all lead. For us too it answering the call to follow is a leap of faith. Jesus’ invitation will mean leaving behind familiar aspects of our lives with an unknown path ahead, one thing we do know is that as for James, life will never be the same again.

Invitations to ‘follow’ are central to this era of social media and decisions often speedy. The ‘follow’, ‘like’ or ‘share’ options are chosen as instant emotional reactions to a headline or an image, often because friends, people we know, have already responded.

James and John would have known Simon and Andrew, maybe seeing their friends already following gave them the impetus to follow too. Yet Jesus did not just call them to follow he also provided a purpose: they were specifically chosen to be ‘fishers of people’ – to share the gospel message. Even today Jesus calls everyone for a purpose and each of us will have a role to play in bringing others to faith – Jesus needs ‘fishers of people’ as much today as when he called the fishermen of Galilee.

So, how do we follow the call to share the good news in the circumstances where we find ourselves?

During lockdown sharing the gospel message and worship moved to the internet: to Face Book, YouTube, Zoom and other resources. Face Book informs each account holder how many ‘followers’ they have and suggests names of people to invite to ‘like’ their page…. Yet this does not tell the whole story.

Jesus’ call to ‘follow’ expects readiness and willingness to engage – to actively share with others his good news – not just to click and send a quick emoji response – for surely being a Christian is not just about ‘liking’ and ‘following’ from our computers – as in a hobby or brief interest – but calls for commitment, prayer, perseverance, repentance, letting go and stepping out on a new path.

It is imperative to remember that many do not have the technology or skills to engage with online resources so to encounter those from our congregation, our community and new seekers, we cannot simply send a ‘link’. Jesus ‘went out’ – we need to determine to serve him not only via computer screens but in finding new safe ways to go out into this world of social distancing in the power of the Spirit, and in his name, to meet and share with those who have not yet heard the good news.

James left overhauling and mending his nets. Given a new sense of reason and purpose his life was renewed but not without challenges to be faced. Are we prepared for the challenges that Jesus’ invitation brings, as well as the joys that it offers? Are we ready to embrace Jesus’ call to follow him, to repent of our failings and, like James, be strong in discipleship through good and difficult times?

Every day Jesus calls us, as individuals and as a church, to seek ways to renew our faith – to react to Jesus’ calling – to be prepared for the consequences of following. We need to work together to find new ways to follow Jesus’ call to share the gospel message.

So, are we ready to leave our safety nets, put old ways behind and take fresh steps forward filled with faith and purpose? Let us consider, pray and discern what it is that Jesus is calling us to do at this particular time and then work together for the good of God’s kingdom as we journey on with Jesus as our guide. For, what better purpose is there for our lives than serving Jesus who calls us to follow?

A few thoughts for our Patronal Festival.

Amen.

On the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS

Preached by Carol Kidd on 5 July 2020: Fourth Sunday after Trinity
Psalm 145:8-15 / Matthew 11:16-19;25-end

 May I speak in the name of God, whose kingdom is everlasting: Amen

Today’s psalm reminds us that the kingdom of God endures throughout all ages – a fact truly worthy of praise – and in our intercessions we will be giving thanks for the NHS which has endured and has proved invaluable in this generation especially during this current crisis. For this week it is the 72nd birthday of the National Health Service: the institution that has served every single one of us and for many, myself included, has provided a journey of vocation and service.

Now, when the demand on the NHS is high, is surely the right time to celebrate the diversity of its inclusive teams, the amazing spectrum of expertise, and the deep desire to provide holistic care that matches the founding principles to:

  • meet the needs of everyone
  • be free at the point of delivery
  • and based on clinical need, not the ability to pay

Thursday evenings are no longer marked by applause and praise yet everywhere you go rainbows remain visible – the banner in the churchyard continues to express love for the NHS.

As lockdown is eased it is even more important than ever that we pray for the staff who, day by day, night shift by night shift, enclosed in claustrophobic PPE, continue to be active in serving, compassionate in caring and dedicated in distributing a sense of hope in the midst of the ongoing pandemic for which, as yet, there is no vaccine, no definitive end.

The ability to communicate a sense of hope, to be alongside sharing and supporting in situations of joy and thanksgiving, as well in times of despair and conflict, take its toll. Yet staff, weary from carrying the heavy burdens of life and death situations and decisions, are often seen paying respect, offering encouragement, lovingly applauding, as a survivor of Covid leaves the hospital where, for many weeks, the nurses and doctors have been their closest comfort in times of real fear and danger. Importantly, within the inclusive team, hospital chaplains provide a source of hope and solace, supporting staff as much as they are alongside patients and families, following Jesus’ example, they are there for people of all faiths and none.

Surely, they mirror God’s characteristics by being ever available, non-judgmental, and gracious in their generosity of spiritual care and prayer.

For we know that: ‘The Lord is gracious and merciful – the Lord is loving to everyone.’

Even more amazingly: ‘the Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all those who are bowed down.’

In the New International Version of the Bible the word ‘merciful’ is translated as ‘compassionate’: ‘the Lord is gracious and compassionate – he has compassion for all he has made.’

Having worked for the National Health Service for 40yrs [from 1976-2016], firstly as a Registered Nurse and then for 35 years as a midwife, I particularly remember the ‘6 C’s – the benchmarks of excellence: ‘competence, care, compassion, communication, courage & commitment.’ As a Christian, these attributes play an essential part of growing in faith and recognizing Kingdom values – they are a part of my past and are woven into my present as I strive to take them forward in my Lay Ministry.

I would like to suggest that – even if you have never worked in the NHS – the 6 C’s can provide expressions of wholeness that enrich the relationship Jesus invites us to share – for if anyone is competent in judgement and leadership it is Jesus who is full of care and compassion, communicates with us in a myriad of ways and we know from the gospels how his commitment and love for us led him even to the Cross where his courage knew no bounds.

Our past is part of our present and we bring with us attributes learned through our life experiences – during lock-down the experiences people have faced – even that of their own mortality – have in many cases resulted in increased care and compassion for others; has brought the discovery of new and better ways to communicate and it has taken courage to cope with days fraught with anxiety and loss.

Yet sadly while a commitment to care for others has been a priority for many, the competence of some decisions has been questioned.

Now restrictions are being eased what will our response be? Will the goodwill and thankyous continue? Will we speak out for the vulnerable when we see flaunting of guidelines and question inappropriate decisions? Or will we prefer to spend time joining in the grumbling we hear around us without attempting to make a difference?

Jesus warned against being churlish and childish like those in the market square – instead we need to be open to new understandings – as children are when they are loved and encouraged to learn by discovering new wonders that are all around. It is in being open to the wondrous signs of God’s Kingdom [that was and is and is to come] and how we respond to Jesus’ call, that we will come to know more truly God’s will for our lives and be encouraged to follow where he leads for: ‘the Lord is sure in all his ways, and faithful in all his deeds.’

Jesus promises that when we take up the yoke of discipleship he will share the load during the difficult times – so let us echo his care and compassion – let us communicate his love to others by sharing the wonderful promise he gives to all of us to strengthen our resolve even when our courage falters and trust him to remain faithful when our commitment is wavering: Jesus says: ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’

May that precious rest be with all NHS workers as they continue to serve the sick and suffering – and when we are brought low with the tiredness of trying to find a way out of this confusion and crisis let us always remember that it is in resting in Christ and sharing our burdens with him that strength can found – then restored and renewed let us dedicate ourselves to his service, following his example of serving others, and like the psalmist tell of the glory of his enduring kingdom never forgetting to make known to the next generation the wonders of his mighty acts.

Amen

Trinity Sunday 2020

Preached by Carol Kidd LLM on 7 June 2020: Trinity Sunday
2 Corinthians 13: 11-end / Matthew 28:16-20

May I speak in the name of God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Amen

Today marks the ‘Feast of the Holy Trinity’ when we celebrate the three in one relationship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus sent the disciples out to minister and evangelize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. As brothers and sisters in Christ, charged with continuing the mission of Jesus – albeit in new ways due to current restrictions – St Paul’s farewell words to the people of Corinth should guide our lives. When we share the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit we follow in the footsteps of the early Christians and Jesus’ great commission.

God the Father, not only dwells with us through the gifting power of the Holy Spirit [celebrated last week at Pentecost] but extends an inclusive welcome through the love of Christ His Son. All are invited into the relationship of grace, mercy and love that has existed since Jesus and the Spirit were with God when the world was created. The co-equal relationship of the Trinity is not exclusive and inward-looking but inclusive and outward-looking, gathering in believers, seeking the lost and inviting everyone into a loving community of faith. We are welcomed at our Christian baptism in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and at Christian funerals the departed are entrusted into the care of the Holy Trinity.

In our worship, forgiveness is granted and blessing made in the name of the Trinity. And in our worship, we praise the united Divinity through the ‘Glory be’ at the end of Psalms and the Gloria, as well as within the Creed and the Eucharistic Prayer. Today Vicky will introduce the Peace with a three-fold greeting that we will be invited to share.

Martyn Percy recently stated that: ‘Social distance between God and humanity is abolished in the Incarnation.’ [1] In this strange time of social-distancing personal relationships are struggling due to separation and we are physically isolated from community activities that nourish and enhance our lives. Many are lonely and especially miss gathering together to worship, pray and receive the Eucharist. How reassuring then that God is not just watching from a distance rather He desires to be with every single person.

It is through the unity of the Trinity, [revealed at the Annunciation, in the Incarnation and at Jesus’ baptism] that Christ desires to gather and support, to come near to and to be at one with us.

There is the well-known saying, “two’s company, three’s a crowd”. That may be so in a close one to one relationship where a third person is seeking inclusion and feeling excluded – but that is not so in the Trinity. Rather than being in a competitive relationship Father, Son and Holy Spirit make up a perfect united community and all God’s people are invited to know the freely given hope, joy and love of Christ and the strength and peace of His Spirit.

As Christians we are tasked with helping others become adopted children of the Heavenly Father. That will only happen when, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we display the inclusive love of the Trinity in our own actions. It is not in turning away from those we do not understand, or blaming God for tragedies, that will help usher in God’s Kingdom but by offering the welcome Jesus exampled and sent His disciples out to proclaim.

In the book: ‘Love’s Endeavour, Love’s Expense’[2] William Vanstone equated the Trinity to a family who allows each member to flourish – he described the Trinity as a community, seeking to extend their generous, never-failing, circle of love to those who are lost and unloved, including the rejected and the suffering.

Christian discipleship, how we relate to God, is defined by the Trinity. Christian life must be loving and inclusive because God in Trinity is loving and invites all; Christian life should be communal, transparent, humble and joyful, because God in Trinity is communal, transparent, humble and joyful. Within the community of the Trinity there’s no jealousy, no conflict, no disrespect. There’s no lying or hiding, and no blaming. Within the community of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit there’s just love: perfect love, perfect unity and open communication. The Holy Trinity reaches out to humankind with a peace beyond understanding. It is not for us to strive to make sense of the mystery of the threefold Godhead but rather we are called to enter into and accept the love that is offered.

Working in perfect unity God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, not only looks outward to the world but engages and abides with us, and especially cares for those who so dearly need the courage, strength, care and compassion that ALL are invited to discover for themselves.

Jesus commissioned and sent out the disciples to share His message of good news in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Let us follow that command knowing that He is with us ‘always to the very end of the age!’

Paul, in his farewell to the people of Corinth, gifted a ‘Three in One’ blessing of unending love and fellowship that sustained the early Christians. Today it can be for us a prayer of strength, comfort and affirmation:

‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.’

Amen


[1] https://modernchurch.org.uk/martyn-percy-a-plague-of-numbers

[2] Vanstone WH {1977} ‘’Love’s Endeavour, Love’s Expense” Darton, Longman and Todd

Good Shepherd

Sermon preached on 3 May 2020: Fourth Sunday of Easter by Carol Kidd
Psalm 23 / John 10:1-10

May I speak in the name of Jesus Christ our shepherd and our redeemer. Amen

Today is often known as Good Shepherd Sunday: as God’s word is opened and explored through the familiar words of Psalm 23, and the story Jesus told of the shepherd guarding his flock. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the one who calls us to listen to his voice. It is Jesus who says to all who are ready to hear and draw near: ‘I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness’ [John 10:10 GNT]. A promise of fullness of life – a message you and I, and the whole world need to hear at this time as our lives are affected in so many ways by restriction and isolation, anxiety and danger – but we jump ahead.

In the parable there are many images – for now let us stay with Jesus the shepherd and listening to his voice: The shepherd calls his sheep by name, goes ahead and the sheep follow because they know his voice. [10:3/4]. Sheep in the fields know their shepherd. In the bible the sheep run from a stranger’s voice, if your ever watch sheep in a field they scatter when chattering ramblers pass by, yet as the shepherd arrives there are many welcoming bleats of joy!

The mark of today’s shepherd is not a tea-towel style headdress and a crook but more likely to be the roar of a four-wheeled motorized off-road buggy ridden by a young person in jacket and jeans with their dog enjoying the ride, ready and eager to be at work. The sheep, young and old, run and follow anticipating feeding time for they know the ‘voice’ of the shepherd’s vehicle, the ‘voice’ of the whistle that calls to the dog, the ‘voice’ that is the bark of the sheep dog ready to gather them to be fed. They know the voice that will feed and care for them and when necessary lead them to safety.

Sheep follow the voice of their shepherd who is at the centre of their lives. At this time of pandemic, we need more than ever to keep Jesus, our Good Shepherd, central to all that we say and do and take time to listen to his voice and hear his good news for the world. As we struggle with being isolated from family and friends – from the flock with whom we share so much – statistics and desperately sad news fill our TV and computer screens and are fixed in our minds – and yet – if we take time to listen and hear the truth of Jesus’ good news we can find comfort.

Fear and anxiety are natural reactions when we are concerned for the well-being of those we love and for our own health. Psalm 23 reminds that the Lord is our shepherd who provides for our needs and gives us strength. Anxious and afraid of the Corona Virus – often referred to as an invisible evil – the psalmist’s prayer can be ours:

“even if I go through the deepest darkness,
I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me”

Ps 23:4 GNT

Jesus our redeemer will lead and shepherd us through the difficult times.

This life of ‘lock-down’ will not last for ever – a new ‘normality’ will evolve. It is through hearing and recognizing Jesus’ voice – by listening to him and hearing his call – that his gifts of goodness, blessing and unfailing love will be received and our fears and anxieties for the future be allayed.

It is a fact that many are experiencing loneliness of isolation and hunger and thirst for spiritual refreshment. For the psalmist it is God’s voice that leads him to rest in green pastures and leads him beside the quiet waters – on our daily exercise walks we can find our Lord calling to us through sounds of nature, in the beauty of springtime and in the hello’s of those who we pass by – observing social distancing does not mean we are to ignore and disregard others.

Jesus our Shepherd understands our fear of danger, of the virus robbing us of our freedom, stealing away our opportunities for contact with others and threatening our lives and the lives of those we love. We heard in the gospel story that when the sheep were threatened by thieves and robbers they were led to safety. As the sheep trusted the shepherd for protection so, in faith, we can put our trust in Jesus to be with us in times of danger and uncertainty. The current uncertain situation has robbed us of many things that we have taken for granted and we are having to find alternatives.

Through the challenge of closed churches different styles and forms of worship are evolving, Christians are exploring new ways of being together. Following the theme of the parable: Jesus our Shepherd encourages us to find new pasture. Going on ahead he calls us to follow, to share his message so others will hear and know in their own hearts his voice. As we face challenge and change it is by encircling all that we do and say in prayer, by making all our actions in Jesus’ name and for his sake, that others will want to be a part of his flock and know for themselves the joy of being blessed and held freely in his love.

We are Christ’s sheep. Even when like lost sheep we become doubtful, anxious and afraid the wonderful truth is that, if we will only listen to his voice, our Good Shepherd will always be our guide, guardian and rescuer everyday of our lives even to eternity! Jesus says: “I tell you the truth” [v1] “I am the gate. Whoever comes in by me will be saved” [v9]. To all who hear his voice, listen and follow in his way Jesus declares: “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness” [John 10:10 GNT]

Let us pray:

May the truth of Jesus’ word dwell richly in our hearts that we may not only be comforted when we hear his voice but fully listen to his call, be ready to bring others to hear his message of salvation and follow as he leads all believers to a full life in this world and the next, Amen

Resurrection

After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices to anoint the body of Jesus. On the way they said to one another: ‘Who will roll a way the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ [it was a very large stone].

Then they looked up and saw that the stone had already been rolled back. So, they entered and saw a young man and they were alarmed.

‘Don’t b e alarmed,’ he said. ‘I know you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here he has been raised!’

Mark 16: 1-4; 5b-6a Good News Translation

Reflection: Resurrection

Jesus, you had told your disciples that you would die and on the third day rise again!

Each of the four Gospels contains a different version of how the stone was moved.

Mark’s story describes a very large stone, so heavy the women’s central thought was how to remove it. In both Luke and John’s accounts the stone has gone or been rolled aside. Matthew tells of an earthquake with an angel moving the stone out of the way and proceeding to sit on it.

Lord, may we be known as your disciples through our
reactions to the good news of your resurrection.
Roll away any stones and doubts that close our hearts
and reveal the truth of your saving love.
May we truly declare, and take out to the world, the
Gospel message that you are our Lord and Saviour, our
ever present help in time of trouble, now and for eternity.

Alleluia, Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

Joseph [of Arimathea] bought a linen sheet, took Jesus’ body down, wrapped it in the sheet, and placed it in the tomb which had been dug out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph were watching and saw where the body of Jesus was laid.

Mark 15:46-47 Good News Translation

Reflection: Jesus is laid in the tomb

The darkness falls: the world is hushed.
The Cross stands bare and empty.
The stone cold tomb receives its guest.

As the Sabbath begins: Jesus is laid to rest.

The large stone makes the seal complete.

Hearts are grieving and in pain. And yet and yet;
God ordains what happens next
Lord, be with all who suffer and those who mourn.

Enter hearts sealed by sadness and grief.

Dry their tears: bless them with comfort and peace.

In the darkness there is no darkness
with you O Lord; the deepest night is clear as the day.

[words of a Taizé chant]

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world

13. Jesus is taken down from the Cross

When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus. He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Pilate told him he could have the body, so Joseph went and took it away. Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went with Joseph. The two men took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen with the spices according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial.

Matthew 27: 57-58a / John 19 : 38b-40 Good News Translation

Reflection: Jesus is taken down from the Cross

Blessed Jesus, you inspire acts of love.
Joseph and Nicodemus grew in faith.
Showed compassion and care.

Did your mother hold you one last time?
Were these two men an answer to her prayer?
How deep is our love for you? How sure our faith?
Can we be the answer to another person’s prayer?

Lord, we seek a deeper relationship with you.
We wish to grow in faith and trust.
Inspire our witness, fill us with compassion.
May we always be sensitive to the needs of the living,
the sick, the dying and those who mourn.

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world

12. Jesus dies on the Cross

Standing close to Jesus’ cross were his mother Mary, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there.

It was about twelve o’clock when the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country until three o’clock; and the curtain that was hanging in the Temple was torn in two. Jesus cried out in a loud voice: ‘Father! Into your hands I place my spirit!’ He said this and died.

John 19:25 / Luke 23: 44-46 Good News Translation

Reflection: Jesus dies on the Cross

Love and sacrifice. Darkness and dying. With his mother and close friends standing by Jesus gives up his spirit to redeem the world.

Thinking of his suffering renders us speechless. Jesus falling silent places himself in God’s hands.

Accept his gift of eternal love and everlasting life. He is with you always, even to the end of time. Do not speak, in silence let him into your heart.

Lord, we offer you all that we are, all that we have,
and all that we do.
We place into your hands all our hopes and fears,
praying may Your will be done.

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world

11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Two other men, both of them criminals, were also led out to be out to death with Jesus. When they came to the place called ‘The Skull’ they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left.

Jesus said:
‘Forgive them Father! They do not know what they are doing.’

Luke 23: 32-34a Good News Translation

Reflection: Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Dear Lord, the horror of your agony is unimaginable.
You taught love yet you experienced such hate.
Even as you felt the nail s driven into your tired flesh
you still spoke words of forgiveness.

Lord, we may not know, we cannot tell, what pains you
had to bear, but we believe it was for us
you hung and suffered there.
Help us to understand the immensity of your gift to us,
We pray:
In your mercy, forgive us our sins.

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world

10. Jesus is stripped of his garments

They took Jesus’ clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier.

They also took the robe, which was made of one piece of woven cloth without any seams in it.

The soldiers said to one another:
‘Let’s not tear it; let’s throw dice to see who will get it.’

John 19: 23-24a Good News Translation

Reflection: Jesus is stripped of his garments

The soldiers had no respect, empathy or compassion. Jesus you know what it is like when others make us feel exposed and unfairly scrutinised.

When they treat our wellbeing as a game
Be with us in our vulnerability, when we are rejected;
It is not our outward appearance that matters to you
but rather the person you created us to be.

Lord, may we show care for those who are stripped of all
their dignity through no fault of their own.
May we ever strive to realise our full potential thanking
you for seeing us as we are and loving us always.

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world

9. Jesus falls for the third time

Sometimes they strew his way,
and his sweet praises sing, resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King.
Then ‘Crucify!’ is all their breath,
and for his death they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run, he gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries! Yet they are these
themselves displease, and ‘gainst him rise.

‘My Song is Love Unknown’  S Crossman (1624-83)

Reflection: Jesus falls for the third time

Was it tiredness, muscle cramps, dehydration or dizziness that caused him to stumble?
Exhaustion bringing him to despair?

We too have times when we feel we cannot go on. When the heavy daily load brings us to our knees. We may face circumstances in our journey through life when the future seems so bleak, we feel we are falling and are tempted to lose hope.

Through the words of the hymn ‘Father, hear the prayer we offer’ let us truly pray:

Lord , be with us in the hours of weakness,
in our wanderings be our guide,
through endeavour, failure, danger,
Father, be thou always at our side.

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world

8. Jesus speaks to the women

A large crowd followed him; among them were some women who were weeping and wailing for him.

Jesus turned to them and said:
‘Women of Jerusalem! Do not cry for me, but for yourselves and your children.’

Luke 23: 27 28 Good News Translation

Reflection: Jesus speaks to the women

Who were these women who were so distressed?

Maybe they had heard his teaching, seen him perform healing miracles and had hoped for greater things. They may have shed tears of self pity that Jesus had not become the kind of messiah they had expected.

Lord, forgive when we weep for unfulfilled desires and
fail to give thanks for the good times.
May we pray for others as much as for ourselves,
knowing there is a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance.

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world