The number one billion used to have twelve noughts after the figure 1, but now it only has nine. This number has been bandied about with abandon since Covid. The Treasury seems to have lost count of the number of billions of pounds it has been able to borrow to spend on so many necessary and worthy causes, and never says how much each earning adult in the country now owes to our notional creditors. When numbers get so big, they cease to have a meaning for most of us.
Another figure quoted in billions that becomes meaningless for us is the number of stars in the galaxy, or the number of galaxies in the universe. Along with these are the distances between the stars, and the years it takes for light to reach us, and the age of all of them and even the rocks that make up our Earth. I’ve been prompted to read the encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’ recently. It is about caring for the earth and everything in it. Instead of talking about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, the Pope invites us to widen our concept of God creating ALL things in Christ, the Word. When we think of Jesus Christ the Lord of the Universe, the feast celebrated this weekend by the whole Church, we can feel our mind and our comprehension expanding so they nearly burst. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory.’ (Jn 1, 1-14) Can our tiny created minds, (or even billions of tiny created minds,) reasonably challenge His ability and authority?
Hopefully many of you will have been praying more specifically this week, with the other members of Lymm Churches Together, for an end to the threat of coronavirus. It is a bit early and maybe presumptuous to see the announcement of the discovery of efficient vaccines as a direct answer to prayer. We are invited, as I mentioned last week, to go on praying together this coming weekend, and I humbly suggest as a starting point this focus on the sheer greatness of God, made known to us in the person of our Saviour Jesus Christ. So many billions, of years, suns, species, people, cells, and the intricate interdependence of all that God has made… ‘Let us come before Him giving thanks, with songs let us hail the Lord… come in, let us bow and bend low’ (Psalm 95)
I’ve had more success this week contacting parishioners, though some remain ‘unable to take (my) call at the moment’, or more frustratingly, unable to hear me even when I attempt to identify myself. I’ve no problem talking to people in Spain or Wales or London, but the Lymm network seems to be full of gremlins. I’m always pleased to hear from you.(even the hero who claimed to lament the end of Donald Trump’s presidency)!
I have a month’s supply of mass intentions waiting to be offered. This week they were for Joseph Higgins who is sick, for James Comerford and John Dodd, in thanksgiving (TW), for a special intention, and on the first anniversary of the death of Peter Verdin.
We pray for the repose of the soul of Audrey Taylor of Agden Brow who has died. Her funeral is on Tuesday Dec. 1. May she rest in peace. Finally, thanks to many of you who continue to send in ‘collection money’.
Fr Tony Elder