at Stanbrook Abbey, Crief Farm, Wass

25 June 2009

Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Saviour of the world

We are called to be part of God’s priestly, prophetic and royal people. We know that; we take it for granted. It should underpin everything that we do, everything that we are; the very way we have chosen to live our lives. We offer ourselves and our world, invoking God’s gentle and transforming Spirit to brood over us with warm breast and bright wings, and so change the deepest darkness into light. We are called to proclaim with the fullness of our lives the wonderful works that God has, is and will continue to work in us and our world. And even now we share in the work of enabling God’s plan of creation and redemption to move integrally forward.

When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.

We are gifted, called and sent to be witnesses. The Spirit of the Lord has anointed us to bring good news to the poor, freedom to those in prison, joy to the sorrowful. Joy even when sorrow is apparently absolute, solid and insurmountable; good news even when all are weeping and prostrate with grief; freedom when the cruel prison of death has relentlessly closed its doors. While we recognise what is happening around us and in our own lives, we are nourished on immortal food and nurtured with words of eternal life: After my awakening, he will set me close to him, and from my flesh I shall look on God…these eyes will gaze on him and find him not aloof.

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

By our vocation to, and consecration in ministry and the religious life, we are called to unite our words, our actions and our lives so that we preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Everything that we do, everything that we are, all that we make and form, all that we see and hear becomes part of the good news. It is not just in quiet prayer, but embraces all our relationships, friendships. Everything has to preach that simple message loud and clear – Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.

What we are doing today is good and right and fitting; for it is in the power of those words we have just heard that we do it. It is part of your journey here and beyond and so we bless and consecrate this piece of ground as a resting place in the hope of eternal life. Your action today proclaims the eternal Truth; your words today convey the message of Hope, and your way of life today demonstrates the already-presence of the World-to-come. And so we can witness, preach, proclaim and live the undying truth which has been passed on to us:

Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus come in glory.