Benedictine Rule teaches the discipline of being content. This is a difficult thing to achieve in our world of consumerism. One has to look at the adverts in the paper and TV which are always screaming you need this to be this. Learning to be content with ourselves begins within. Stability teaches us when to say yes to a move and no even if the move is attractive. It is the Achilles heels of the corporate world, that to move is to get ahead. Question is? Is this True? People in the corporate world tend to be on the fast lane and at what price? Loneliness, families in disarray, high divorce rates and children raised by nannies. Stability is crucial to our wellbeing, for we learn to appreciate life. We are able to take deep breaths, smell the flowers, watch the Red Robin in the garden and feel the gentle breeze on our faces; things we call life’s pleasures which you cannot buy. Stability teaches us, to persevere and not to flee at the first sign of trouble. The Benedictine Rule teaches about standing firm in times of trouble or trail. Marriage is based on this rule, couples need to stand firm in the time of trails, and this echoes the marriage vows, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, in prosperity and poverty. Sickness does not necessary mean sick in bed, but it could that a partner has a weakness and many couples has prayed for healing for weakness of their partners and healing has been granted. We are taught to give in too quickly when it comes to marriage. As a childless couple we have really learnt and understood what it means to say, “I do” and “I love you,” words which we live by daily. We do not flee, but we stay, and we have discovered love and freedom, tremendous freedom. This staying power has become the corner stone of our marriage. God is our stability; we are utterly depended on God. God is reliable and his presence ever true. This has prevented us from tearing each other apart, by pursuing meaningless goals, to replace the missing child. For we have learnt that the two of us are what matters at the end of the day. We have to be happy with and within ourselves with or without children. Stability says, “God is present whatever situation we are in, “and we must take comfort with this thought or this truth. In scripture our Lord Jesus said to us, “I am going to be with you until the end of time.” What reassuring words from our living God and this should give us stability? God is here right now, we have no need to fear.” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The Kingdom of God-Compassion
Jesus said to John’s disciples , “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard …the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” The ministry of Jesus was divided into two the first being the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. That is the word. The second part is that of action. The healing of the sick, exorcism, restoration of sight, restoration of life, forgiveness of sin. The teaching of Compassion was highlighted by Jesus on several occasions. In the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus says to the crowd, “let the one who has not sinned stone the woman.” We are told that one by one the crowd left the woman alone. Jesus turns to the woman and says to her,” where are they that wanted to stone you?” Jesus, says to her,” I do not condemn- go and sin no more. “The World needs such examples of compassion. The parable of the Prodigal Son is yet another example of love and compassion. The young son spent the father’s money on a life of debauchery, but the father welcomes him back with open arms love and compassion in action. The Kingdom of God challenges us as Christians to show love and compassion in areas of our lives where we are easily given to judgement and condemnation. We called to love the unlovable. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is an example of love and compassion in action, she extended the Kingdom of God to the untouchables of India that they too could experience the love of God. The untouchables of India are those born in the low cast who are condemned to exist in the low cast all their lives, born poor and die poor with no hope of every rising to the top. What condemnation! It is another form of slavery. The Kingdom of God is about spreading the word and equally showing compassion. Our Parish feeding scheme is an avenue to show compassion to those who live on the streets and we need to support it financially and volunteer every Saturday to help with the feeding. The basket which is brought every Sunday with tinned food has been empty of late and the food collected helps the Wednesday feeding at the front Office. So please let’s use these avenues which we have in the parish to help the needy. The Kingdom of God is both Word and Action.
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
The three Gospels all mention the Transfiguration event that took
place on Mount Hermon. (Luke 9. 28-36, Matt 17. 1-8, Mark 9. 2-8) The
Transfiguration simply means change. We celebrate the Transfiguration on the 6th of August. Change took place this weekend. We all can agree that something great took place this past weekend. We were all changed.
We had the mountain top experience. We encountered the Triune God,Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We experienced the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit revealed gifts people have in this parish. From the planning of
the event to its execution, it flowed like a running stream. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. You have changed, I have changed, the way we view our relationship with God and with each other is for ever
changed. As parish priest what came through to me was that I am being called to
encourage ministries to flourish, to create enabling environment in the parish
that would allow people to thrive under God. My role as a Parish Priest after
this mountain top experience, is that of a facilitator who will encourage the
participation of all, and to ultimately build a parish that is lay centred with
its Parish Priest being the facilitator or the one who draws people to serve the
one true God. Last weekend will for a long time remain in our memories as an
event that changed or gave birth to a new awareness of God. When we celebrate
this anniversary year after year, we now have a measuring stick of how far we
have travelled with God since we experienced this awesome change.
I am excited as your Parish Priest about what has happened, and what we
are seeing today and the immeasurable possibilities that await us in the
future. The voice that spoke on Mount Hermon, “this is my beloved Son, listen to him”, is
the same voice that spoke to us and continues to speak to us today! We are tolisten to Jesus his son and to discern where the Holy Spirit is nudging us togo as a parish and individuals. Last weekend was an awesome weekend, and like the disciples, I would have loved to remain on the mountain top, but ministry takes place at the bottom of the mountain too and this is the place where God is asking us to use the gifts we have, and those that have been bestowed to us to extend the Kingdom of God.
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ