Recent weeks have been a time of considering new developments for Food For Faith. The generosity of supporters has enabled us to work on new website developments including regular Lectio Divina (which will begin later this week) a prayer intention page (now working at this link), and a FFF cafe gatherings page which will also be available in a few days.
This feels like a bit of a Pentecost experience for me, a new beginning. I had little idea of the robust support that so many people have for the FFF mission, wanting it to continue and to grow. I’m humbled, but also challenged to develop the mission in a number of ways. I’m held to the task especially by those who have emailed me in recent weeks asking what’s happened to FFF, we haven’t heard from you! Keep the reflections coming!
Watch this space!
And remember you can adjust your email preferences at this link. (Note that today’s email was sent to everyone on the FFF database) and unless you unsubcribe you will receive these updates once every few weeks. – if you tick the Lent & Advent box you will be signed up for the daily emails for those seasons. If you check regular posts you’ll hear from me whenever a new post is uploaded (perhaps 2-3 times a week), and those who tick Lectio Divina will receive these daily audio reflections.
As well as the evidence of the great support of many people in recent weeks. some have been expecially specific in their encouragement. A friend last week showed me a number of reflection books suggesting that FFF might meet a need in this area adding that podcasts were also a great need directing me to some who already provide resources in this way.
And in recent days I have been pondering the message of Pentecost in preparation for today’s feast. A couple of years ago (2018) Pope Francis in his Pentecost homily addressed the cause of the timidity that too often hides our faith.
The Spirit frees hearts chained by fear. He overcomes all resistance. To those content with half measures he inspires whole-hearted generosity. He opens hearts that are closed. He impels the comfortable to go out and serve. He drives the self-satisfied to set out in new directions. He makes the lukewarm thrill to new dreams. That is what it means to change hearts.
I imagine Pentecost to be the event which made Christians colourful.
At Pentecost last year Francis notes that Jesus did not make the disciples into uniformed robots capable of satisfying little more than the letter or religious law in a way that might be little more than moralism and legalism. Too often religion settles for producing robots – but Jesus respects these characters:
“…some of them were fishermen, simple people accustomed to living by the work of their hands, but there were also others, like Matthew, who was an educated tax collector. They were from different backgrounds and social contexts, and they had Hebrew and Greek names. In terms of character, some were meek and others were excitable; they all had different ideas and sensibilities. They were all different. Jesus did not change them; he did not make them into a set of pre-packaged models. No. He left their differences and now he unites them by anointing them with the Holy Spirit.
Now there’s a challenge which reminds me of the 4th century teacher Irenaeus who understood that the way to decide if we are fully Christian is if we know that we are fully alive.