There is a lovely story told about Pauline Baynes who was invited to illustrate the pictures for the book by C.S. Lewis ‘The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.’ Pauline said that she had great difficulty drawing Aslam the lion; as she would break down and cry and could not finish the drawing knowing that Aslam would be killed. Eventually, however, she did finish all the illustrations. Weeks later she suddenly realised who Aslam was – he was, of course Jesus Christ.
This story just demonstrates that the purpose of every human being, without exception, is to know Jesus and Jesus will never exclude his friendship to anyone. In my life I came to the conclusion, especially when I became a parent, that two people were critical in my life, Jesus and His Blessed Mother. When I was in trouble and in difficulty these are two people I turn to without exception. The prayer to Our Lady of Good Remedy is a must every day and I recommend this to everyone, and if I know of someone experiencing any difficulty in their life I will send them this prayer. There is a wonderful story involving John de Matha who founded the Trinitarians and in 1198 he was given the task of raising funds to buy Christian slaves and free them from slavery. John de Matha and the Trinitarians put their faith in Our Lady and money poured in. Over the years thousands of Christian slaves were freed and in honour to Our Blessed Lady, John de Matha gave Mary the title ‘Our Lady of Good Remedy.’
Every Gospel reading leads us to Jesus and this week’s Gospel is no different; the Pharisees try and trick Jesus with inane and ludicrous questions and there are people in our society today who do the same. But, sometimes it takes a poet such as Leonard Cohen who wrote and sung about Jesus in a memorable and notable fashion which takes us to a different level of spirituality in thinking who Jesus is and what he means to us. I used to play this song constantly in my car and then I sold the car and I forgot to remove the CD!!
“And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank
beneath your wisdom like a stone.”
Everyone needs help in their lives, especially in these days of Covid-19 which has brought us down to earth and the days of being self-reliant are gone. Today’s Gospel message reminds that being a hypocrite is not the way to God and Jesus makes this abundantly clear to those who try and hoodwink Him with crass and stupid questions. Jesus had his most critical opinions for the Pharisees because they lived their lives as hypocrites. Let us pray that we are humble and prayerful and that we rely on Jesus and Our Lady and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit.
God Bless. Duncan