Thursday 25 May 2023
St Bede the Venerable; St Gregory VII; St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope – Psalm 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-11. John 17:20-26.
May we become closer to each other and to God
An early 20th century painting depicts Bede the Venerable as a white-bearded old man in his monk’s robes, propped up in bed. Bede looks with concentration at the young scribe whose pen is poised to finish the task of translating John’s Gospel. Bede is celebrated in the Church as a scholar, and in the spirit of today’s Gospel from John, as one who made the faith known to people through his gift as a writer and translator. The Johannine community is among the earliest community of followers who shared Gospel stories, spoken first then written. Surely, as with Paul before the Council, those who treasured and pondered the stories of Jesus, who testified to their faith, did so under threat of danger and death. It’s sobering to realise Christians – as with adherents of other religions – still suffer persecution in some places today. At the same time, it is remarkable that Christianity’s earliest stories are still shared, studied, translated and made sense of in the struggles and realities of Christians alive today. May the sacred stories we remember, the stories we hear, bring us closer to one another and to God who is love.