Fr Hugh’s Homily for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Do you remember the Kipling poem ‘If.’
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or being hated, don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;”
Then it ends in good Empire-building Victorian language:
“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, and—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”
He wrote this in 1910 to encourage his son, John, at the end of the Edwardian era. Little did they know it, but the First World War was soon to break out in four years time which would hasten the end of the Empire, and in which his son would die. St. Paul’s piece today is not really for reading. We tend to think of him sitting down and writing convoluted passages that would baffle anyone, and are hard to read in church, and perhaps the letter to the Romans is a bit more like that. But, in fact, he dictated his letters and wrote them as if he was speaking directly to his congregation. So in today’s passage he is speaking to the small church of Philippi on the northern Aegean shore, and trying to encourage them in their new faith and the new experience of knowing the Risen Christ…
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