Thoughts for Saturday

You may have noticed the last verse of yesterday’s first reading (Acts 18:18) where we are told that St Paul ‘had his hair cut off, because of a vow he had made.’ Many of us are glad at the moment that we haven’t made such a vow as we can’t easily fulfil it! (my wife is preparing to help me out but it hasn’t happened yet).

In today’s first reading (18:23-28) St Paul, with his new haircut or perhaps now completely bald continues his travels and we encounter at Ephesus the figure of Apollos; this picture of them both (it looks as if it’s El Greco) doesn’t suggest a very severe haircut (Paul is on the left). Apollos was an important figure in the development of the early churches in this region; later Paul has to act to prevent followers of him and of Paul himself setting themselves up as rivals; a good time for us to pray for Christian unity, central to the Novena to the Holy Spirit which we traditionally keep in the run-up to Pentecost.

God bless and take care
Fr Ashley

 

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I indicated on Thursday that ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4’s Today programme by the Rector of the Anglican church near Piccadilly (St James’) was very good – you should be able to listen to it here:¬†https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08dszsd.

Similarly yesterday’s by the former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, about next week’s Jewish feast of ‘Shavuot’ (=Pentecost), in which he reflected about the book of Ruth, was also good: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08dwz18. His new book ‘Morality’ is excellent and worth reading – I have written a review which will be in the July issue of The Pastoral Review.

I have felt during lockdown that we’re very fortunate in this country to have the BBC – and for there to be a religious ‘slot’ every day in the Today programme. This Sunday is World Communications Day so it’s a good time to be thankful for the BBC and to pray for journalists. In a time of crisis – and when there are is a lot of falsehood around – we need good journalists to pursue truth and hold our rulers to account

God bless and take care
Fr Ashley

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