Monday, 29 May 2017

JUNE - a meditation on the Anglican calendar 10 of 12

June runs headlong with a fickle sun and a faithfulness warm to vocation's call, the ordination of those whose lives will be founded or founder on the rock of faith, keyed with responsibility, binding and loosing the graceful people with the ties of life, the bonds of love and the freedom of forgiveness. Deacons and Priests will emerge like butterflies, caterpillared through their formation, their exams, their agonies of soul searching. We hope.

The abbess of Ely, Etheldreda, rises the tide of our summer expectations that life will be full, adventurous, and the chase of chastity will pursue us past the longed for consummations of our desires. Her faithfulness a complete contradiction to the impetuous month in which we live.

For us to survive, succeed, we shall need the encouragement of a Barnabas, resolute against the anger of the humourless Paul bent on pushing Peter off his day, and the resolution of a beheaded rough man, the wild honey like Samson's lion, succoured in the body of his giving, like his cousin's.

Barnabas grimly holds a compassionate line for John Mark as Paul rocks the boat, confusing failure with damnation. Barnabas, unflinching, teaches Paul what faith is all about and abandons him to his cleverness.

Cousin John, looking for a kingdom he cannot enter but in which he is the greatest, sits waiting for death as the last of the Old and perhaps the first of the New. This true Pontifex, building a bridge between two covenants, between Man made God and God made Man declines the verb to be and is not.

The month ends as Peter patiently shares his single day with Paul, who never understood him, and who, in any case, has his own day five months before. Such it means to be vicarious, Christ's little rock built on the greater. To be overshadowed by those whose brilliance and passion confuse desire with holiness. Peter's hand slips to the keys and the kingdom unlocks before him. Peter, keeper of the gate, turns it wide and lets Paul through, as only he can.

Smiles and congratulations sound round many a cathedral close and the newly exposed infant clergy take the limelight as parents, spouses, children, laugh and wonder at whatever happened to the people they knew. June is no longer in the frame. Her work done she retires to a warmer climate.