Monday, 29 November 2010

Entrenched in Good Works.


It the same in most churches I suppose. People volunteer to do certain jobs and they become entrenched in these positions.

Mr Petroni and Mr Richards always stand at the back of the church and welcome people in. They hand out the hymn books and take the collection aided by Mr Harrison and Mr Gregory. They’ve been doing this for years and will probably continue to do so for ever more.

Mrs Florenti has played the organ for years too and does not see herself ever stopping Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. Weddings and funerals too.

Miss Jemeson leads the church choir, Mr Duke trains and organizes the altar servers, Mr Malek cuts the grass and does the gardening, Miss Henderson and Mrs Polanski clean the church and undertake the flower arrangements … and so on and so forth. I need not name them all.

Father Ignatius … well, he’s busy every Sunday of course, and he’s grateful for all the help he gets from his faithful parishioners.

One Sunday he faced the congregation and started his sermon thus:

"I’ve been your Parish priest for almost twelve years now. I’ve seen many people join this church, many couples married, many new babies baptized and taking first Communion and Confirmation, and sadly many people dying and departing to be with our Lord.

"I’m very grateful for all the people volunteering to do all the various tasks there are to do in a church like this one. I couldn’t cope alone without your help.

"And in my time with you here, I have seen something else too. Sunday after Sunday as I face you here to preach my humble sermons, and do my best to keep you awake. I want to show you what I see from here.

"Could you all please turn round and look at the stained glass window high up behind you."


"Do you see what I see?

"You must have observed it time and again as you leave the church after Mass.

"There’s a huge cobweb up there that’s been growing year after year. I first noticed it about eighteen months ago when it became more visible and dirty.

"At first I thought of asking one of the more athletic people amongst you to get a ladder and clean it out; because I doubt that I can raise my sixty-three years old bones all the way up there and do it myself.

"But then I thought 'No … I’ll leave it a while and see if anyone else notices it'.

"And I’ve seen it grow week after week after week.

"The reason I mention it today is two-fold:

"First, I’d be glad if someone could help with cleaning it out. But that’s not important.

"The important thing is that the cobweb up there reminds me of sin.

"We all get busy in our lives doing this and that; and in church we volunteer at doing the various tasks which are needed to keep a church like this one going strong. That’s our outer visible self, as we see ourselves, and as we wish others to see us.

"Yet, deep within our souls, in our private lives, we may well hide a sin or two. Small ones at first … hardly visible like the first spider’s threads as they are stretched from one point to another.

"Then to this are added other threads, and others too until we have a whole spider’s web. Mostly invisible at first, unless the bright sunlight shines through that stained glass window to reveal the whole outline.

"In time, dust settles on the web until we have the large cobweb you see up there.

"The small sins are hidden by bigger ones which go un-confessed and hidden from view. Until they are made visible by the bright light of Christ as He enters our lives.

"So let’s all use that cobweb as a reminder to look deeply into our souls and undertake some spring cleaning by seeking the Lord’s forgiveness for our sins."

18 comments:

  1. Amen to that Victor,, we all have those cobwebs.

    I admire the faithful servants who are there to make the church run smoothly. What absolute devotion.. Many take them for granted, I have never been faithful at serving like that on and on in the same place year after year. Their hearts are in the right place and their love is apparent.

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  2. Oh my!! What a wonderful analogy!!! A terrific reflection on SIN! Thank you!! Wishing you well! Cathy

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  3. A great analogy. I will think about that today. Thank you.

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  4. I was looking at the cobwebs outside my house today. They are covered in bright snow. Maybe I need to get my inner workings examined by God's light.

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  5. What a great reflection to start our Advent! Thanks once more!

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  6. Greetings Crystal Mary, Jackie, Cathy, Mary Christine, Shadowlands and Doreen,

    How nice to see you all visiting me today and taking the trouble to write in. Thank you so much.

    I suppose we all have cobwebs hidden deep within our souls; and how glad we are that our Lord is so loving and forgiving.

    God bless you this Advent and always.

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  7. As I get ready to make my Advent confession, I will think more about those pesky cobweb sins. Thanks and God bless, Victor.

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  8. I had cleaning on my mind today, too. Both exterior and interior :) This was a great story to start off Advent with, Victor. I bet you've nudged many people toward the confessional with this one! I loved the way you compared cobwebs with sin. May this Advent be fruitful for you. I am keeping you in my prayers.

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  9. Thanx Karinann and Mary for writing in.

    I hope and pray that God is limitless in His forgiveness of our many failings. Thank you for your much needed prayers.

    God bless.

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  10. I know I have cobwebs Victor, and I seem to be in the cleaning process daily.....:-)Hugs

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  11. I know what you mean Bernie. No sooner I seek forgiveness for some sins than I have to start again ... oops ... sorry God!

    Blessings and best wishes to you Bernie.

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  12. Cobwebs of sin. Perfect analogy. Most cobwebs really are only visible in the light. All sin is visible only in the light of Christ. Your post prompts me to step out into the light and brush off those cobwebs of sin.

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  13. Hi Barb,

    Thank you for writing in. I suppose we all have some cobwebs of sin hidden away deep within our souls. Thank God for His forgiveness.

    God bless.

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  14. A great post, Thanks! God bless.

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  15. Okay, that might be one of your best analogies yet. And now I feel like I have a bunch of spiders crawling around inside me. Thanks a lot.

    Thanks for another thought-inspiring post. God Bless you.

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  16. Perfect analogy, Victor. I never thought about how I might be trying to hide my shortcomings by busying myself with good works.

    This very night I had to spend some time on my knees letting God clear away the cobwebs. When I came into His light, I was so ashamed of all the shortcomings that came to my mind. But He cleaned me up and cast away my sins as far as the east is from the west.

    God is good!

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  17. Thank you Colleen, Michael and Sarah.

    God bless.

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God bless you.

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