before & after

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St. Teresa of Avila died on the night of 4 October, however her feast day is 15 October. The reason for this is that the implementation of the Gregorian calendar (which we use today) replacing the Julian calendar, required that 10 days be eliminated. This happened on what was therefore the night of 4-15 October, the night on which Teresa died.

So much for the quirk of history. As usual the celebration of the Sunday Mass takes precedence over the feast of a saint. But Teresa is a good example of one who was very aware of the life-giving consequences of living in relationship with Jesus, and the deathly consequences of living at a distance from Him.

This takes us to today’s challenging Gospel: those who were invited didn’t come to the king’s banquet so the king sent out the servants to bring everyone in for the feast. Then the king notices that one of these who had been brought in was not prepared and ordered him cast out. Bishop Robert Barron commenting on this scripture tells us not to read the account as description of the behaviour of God but instead as a wake-up call, reminding us of the serious consequences of our lack of readiness for God.

One of my favourite Teresa quotations: “For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”

At this weekend’s liturgy listen for the Collect – the prayer after the Gloria and before we are seated for the readings.

“May your grace, O Lord, we pray
at all times go before us and follow after
and make us always determined
to carry out good works”

I need this appreciation of a God who not only walks alongside me as companion, but who also leads me (to clear my path) and follows me (often to clear up the mess I have made).

We are surrounded by God.

I have an image from vacation earlier in the year when we walked in the mountains, ascending for a couple of hours not only in silence but also in single file. It’s much easier to walk this way with someone before and someone behind, surrounded by the companionship of those who are seeking the same destination.

 

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