Homily by Fr Hugh
The Morecambe Bay Poverty Truth Commission is one of a number around the country. (Our diocesan Faith and Justice Commission has some input into it.) The idea is that it brings people who have local power together with those who have none. So, local councillors, police officers, M.P.s perhaps, heads of the local NHS and Social Security offices and so on, those who run things, come together with all those who have little or no say usually, such as the unemployed, single-parents, those with disabilities, little education, so that one group can listen to the other. One of the things the commission does is help the last group to express their opinions, train them to be able to speak, have the courage to get up in front of others, and the other is to get the first group to listen. To hear those who have had training, and with it grown in the courage to speak, is very moving. But both have to happen. One side has to learn how to speak, the other to listen. When we think about it, when we go into a discussion of any kind, we do so with our own preconceived ideas about what is right or possible, and we automatically filter, and judge, what the other says through this. By now you might be asking what this has to do with today’s readings. Well, the gospel is a set of sayings of Jesus, put together by the writer. The central passage is about all our worth, value, self-esteem. And what and who threatens that. These can come in many kinds, they could be religious, military or social ones, those within us, mental ones, spiritual ones, our lack of courage. (The lion on the Wizard of Oz.) But one of the biggest is that we are ignored, or we feel we are. No- one listens to us…..
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