Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Second Sunday after Trinity - 25 June 2017

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

The Holy Gospel for this Sunday can be found in Saint Luke chapter 14, the verses 16-24. It is the well known parable of the Supper, which could not be organized, because all those invited had all sorts of excuses not to come. In the end the organizer of the supper instructed his servants to go down to the highways and byways to invite the poor and the suffering.

As a Priest with a Mission I celebrate Mass every Sunday, you can also use the term "the supper of the Lord" to describe this service. This supper is important as
The Priest offers the sacrifice of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ in remembrance of His Death and Passion and Resurrection and when taking Communion one hears the words:" The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, preserve thy body to everlasting life. Obviously for you and I this is a supper that we do not want to miss if at all possible.
The elements of the parable remind me of all the excuses I get to hear when I invite people to join my Mission and partake in Sundays Holy Mass.From time to time I find too that I need to take my Ministry not only to the highways and byways, but also to the resthomes, nursing homes and hospitals.

Again I say to you, it is not too late to join me in Holy Mass on Sundays and at other times and obey our Lord's commandment " Do this in remembrance of me".

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church/Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia


Saturday, June 17, 2017

The First Sunday after Trinity 18 June 2017

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

1 John 4:7 -21 and Luke 16:19-31

"Father Abraham," replied the rich man, "if someone would only go to them from the dead, they would repent."  Abraham said to him, "If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead." 
I don't think that you and I could hear the story of the rich man and Lazarus without having some pangs of conscience. It seems as though Jesus is really pointing a finger at us, at all of us, about riches. If you read the Scriptures, particularly in Luke's Gospel, you can read many statements that Jesus made about people of wealth. It seems as though Jesus is very much against it. For example, in an earlier part of this same chapter from which we have the Gospel reading this morning, Jesus says this, "No man, no servant, can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or be attentive to the one and despise the other. You cannot give yourself to God and money." In another place, Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 

So what are we supposed to do? Give away everything that we have? Establish some kind of commune? Is that really what Jesus had in mind? Even when Jesus says this and other things about riches, his behaviour is quite different. There was another man named Lazarus who was a good friend of Jesus. He was the brother of Martha and Mary. They lived in Bethany, a suburb of Jerusalem. They were quite wealthy. Jesus spent a lot of time with them whenever He was in Jerusalem. Jesus could say that the birds have their nests and the fox has his den but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. He was quite dependent upon the largess of other people. 
But does it mean that He was so against having wealth that He would tell all of us to sell everything that we have, give it to the poor and follow Him? There was another individual called Zaccheus. You remember the story. Zaccheus was very short.

"Vertically challenged", we might say today. There was a crowd around Jesus and he couldn't see him. Because he was so short and the crowd was so large, he did the next best thing. He climbed a tree so he could look down. Jesus called him down from a nice sycamore tree. When the crowd murmured about Jesus striking up a conversation with Zaccheus, the tax collector, he stood before Jesus and said, "Lord, you know, I give half of everything that I have away." Jesus said to him, "This day salvation has come to this house" (Luke 19:1-10). 

So should we give away, if not everything, half of what we own? What is it that Jesus is trying to say to us about wealth? Is He saying to us, "Don't have any"? Or is He saying something different? If you listen to the parable in today's Gospel, you will understand Jesus' attitude toward wealth here. 

Here is the rich man who partied every day. He lived it up. He had a big fancy house. He had guests over every day for one endless party. He ate well, he drank well. He lived well. He dressed in purple. Only kings dressed in such an expensive garment. He had everything he wanted and everything he needed. 

Then there was Lazarus who was sitting out by his gate begging. Jesus presents, as only Jesus can, this pathetic figure of Lazarus at the gate begging, covered with sores, filthy. The dogs in the area would come up and lick his sores. He just yearned for a little crust of bread that would drop from the rich man's table, but he'd have to beat the dogs to it. What a pathetic sight. When the rich man came home, he'd have to step over this individual in order to get into his house. 

So what are we to say about this rich man? What was it that Jesus was really telling us about this individual? That he was rich? He did not condemn the man's riches. What He did condemn was the fact that the man didn't care. After all, Lazarus wasn't somebody who lived far away from him. He was right at his gate. But the rich man did not care. He would pretend that he didn't even see him. And it was precisely this lack of concern that Jesus would condemn. 

The story continues: they both die. Lazarus now is in good shape; the rich man isn't. He pleads with Father Abraham, "Just have Lazarus dip his finger in some cool water and touch my tongue to relieve some of the torment that I'm experiencing." Abraham says, "No, you had it well when you lived. Lazarus didn't. Now the roles are reversed." "Well, at least, send him back to my brothers. I've got five of them. And they're living as wildly as I did. Let them be warned so that they don't end up in this place." And what was Abraham's answer? "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them." 

The Word of God should be sufficient for them. The Word of God should be the sum and substance of the faith and belief of a good orthodox Jew. This Word of God speaks volumes on how they were to behave; how they were to live; how they were to care for one another. The rich man said, "They won't listen to Moses or the prophets. They don't read the Scriptures. They don't read anything. But if somebody appeared to them from the dead, that would shake them up and they'd change their ways." "If they don't listen to Moses and the prophets," responds Abraham, "They aren't going to believe, even if someone comes back from the dead." Those are Luke's words as he wrote them in the year, roughly, 80 A.D. But Jesus said to him, "This day salvation has come to this house" (Luke 19:1-10).
 
What is it that Jesus really wants us to understand about this whole episode? About riches versus poverty? Jesus would say, "Whatever you have is a gift from God; use it. In other words, be a people who care about one another because this will truly identify you as My followers. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples." So what are we to do? Whip out our Visa cards and take care of whoever is around us in need? See if we can alleviate some of the grossest injustices that we see? That isn't what Jesus has in mind at all. For some, perhaps that will work. 

Jesus is saying, "What I want you to do is understand this. Everything that you are, everything that you have is a gift from your Father. Everything. And because everything is a gift from your Father, be generous with those gifts. Love one another. Share with one another." One of the hardest things that I find about myself is that I really don't always want to give of what I have. For instance, my time. Sometimes I really don't want to listen to that individual. Sometimes it's a bother. That person goes on with an interminable story that I've heard fifteen times before. I don't want to hear. Jesus is trying to tell me that is not what I am to do with the gift that I have. Sometimes our generosity means lending a willing ear to someone who needs that ear. Sometimes our generosity involves a simple touch, a hug for someone who needs it. Maybe it's just a word of comfort. 

But, you see, if we are all so busy, or if we don't really want to be bothered, then there is something wrong with us. We are like that rich man: so blessed, and yet we don't give anything away. We don't want to get involved. Jesus is saying that is not the way it is to be with you and me. We are to give what we have to those who need it." 
Did you hear those beautiful words in the first letter of John this morning? Not only does he give us that marvelous definition of who God is - that God is love - but he concluded our reading this morning by saying, "If anyone says, 'My love is fixed on God', yet hates his brother, he's a liar. One who has no love for the brother he has seen, cannot love the God he has not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: whoever loves God must also love his brother." That's a hard saying. It's difficult. And yet, this is what will identify us as a Christian people. 

This is the gift that you and I offer to our Father through, with, and in Christ in this Eucharist. The bread and wine that we place on the altar are symbols of ourselves, the gift of ourselves. All that we are and all that we have, that God has blessed us with, we say to God our Father this day, "We offer this to you, Father. We offer ourselves to you, body and soul, everything that we have and everything that we are. We place them at your disposal, Father, as you show us your will. Help us to do your will in the way that we deal with one another. 

What a gift we offer to our God this day! Let's not hold back. Let's understand that like the rich man, we have a choice. We believe in Someone who rose from the dead. Because we are believers, our behavior reflects it. We love the God that we do not see. We also love the brother and sister that we do see.


Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania
Australia

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Corpus Christi

 
 
Dear Fathers,Friends in Christ,

We’ve come to church on this Corpus Christi Thursday to do what we do
each and every Sunday, and some of us each and every day: to take part
in the central act of worship of the Christian Church, as small discs of
bread and a chalice of wine is blessed and shared, because two thousand
years ago a Jewish man told his followers to ‘do this’ in remembrance of
him on the night before he died.
 
But, unlike on Maundy Thursday, when the Church calls us to remember
in particular Christ washing his disciples’ feet, his perfect example of selfabasing,
loving service, today we are called to rejoice in the other gift of
that night, the gift of the Eucharist, the Mass, in which ordinary bread
and ordinary wine become the Body and Blood of Christ himself.
Maundy Thursday is filled with the poignancy of the Garden of
Gethsemane and the impending events of Good Friday; today is a day of
rejoicing that, in this and every Mass, we experience the miracle of
Christ’s promise made true to be with his Church until the end of time.
For many years of Christian history people received Holy Communion
infrequently, usually at Easter and sometimes only on their deathbeds.
Nowadays, we usually receive Communion every time we come to
Mass, and that, of course, can be nothing other than a good thing. But,
to quote the old adage, familiarity breeds contempt: and, though we
might not be contemptuous about the Mass, what we are doing and who
we receive, the familiarity of the rituals and words can breed
complacency, as we become inured to the wonder and power of the
mysteries we celebrate.
 
So what’s going on when we ‘do this’ in remembrance of Jesus? The key
word here is ‘remembrance’: of course, this word brings to mind
commemorations at the Cenotaph, poppies and bugles; it also conveys a
sense of ‘not forgetting’. But this is not what we do when we ‘do this’ in
remembrance of Jesus in this and every Mass. Yes, we are not to forget
Jesus, his life, death and resurrection; his example and all he taught us
about our humanity and God; but we are also here to remember in
another sense – to re-member Jesus, to bring him out of the past into
the present as we ‘do this’ with bread and wine.
 
But we are here to remember in another sense as well, or, to make the
same request of Jesus as did the penitent thief who hung beside him on
his cross. We are here to say, ‘Lord, remember me…’ And, as we say
that, we’re not saying, ‘Jesus, don’t forget me,’ but, ‘Lord, re-member
me, recreate me, take my brokenness and put me back together again,
as you made me to be, in your likeness.’
 
And that is why we are here: we gather as Christ’s body in the world,
broken, fractured, dislocated; we gather to remember Jesus, and
ourselves to be re-membered as his past becomes our present, as we
are fed with his divine life, as we are healed, forgiven, put back together
and sent out to share that love, life, forgiveness and grace with God’s
people in the world.
 
This is both the mystery and the miracle of the Mass: that the same Jesus
who walked this earth, died on the cross and rose again, is as present in
bread and wine as he was two thousand years ago. But it is also that,
through the mystery and miracle of the cross, Jesus continues to pour
out his life, love, forgiveness and grace so that, being broken for us, we
might be made whole, and as we remember him, be re-membered by
him, re-created, healed and saved.
 
But that’s not the end of it: the Mass is both the source and summit of
our worship as Christians; it is to the altar that we come day by day and
week by week so that we might live better lives as Christians, and be
nourished for our Christian pilgrimage through life. But the Mass is also
the beginning of our mission: of our being sent out into the world to be
Christ’s body, Christ’s presence here, now, today, as we witness to
God’s transforming love at work in our lives, and seek him in the faces
of our fellow men and women.
 
As we are sent out from the Mass, filled with the very life and presence
of Jesus himself, he says to us: ‘What you have received is me, so that
you may become like me, and live as I intend life to be. And now I want
you to re-member me; to be my body in the world, as you offer your
lives in the service of others, being broken in the costly service of love.
And when you’ve done that, come back again and feed on the living
bread: be nourished for another week of service; forgiven for the times
you’ve got it wrong, and put back together to live life in my name.’
As we gather once again at the altar, as countless Christians are doing
around the world today, and have done over the past two thousand
years; as we gather to fulfill Christ’s command to ‘do this’ in
remembrance of him; we do this so that we may fulfill our vocation to
be Christ’s body in the world, his living presence calling people into the
fellowship of his life and love; but we do so as well, so that, as his
broken people, we may be healed, forgiven, and sustained by the very
presence of Christ himself.
 
This is why we are here; this is why we come back time and time again;
this is why the Mass is so special, so important, so central not only to
the life of the Church, but to the life of the world as well. And we will
keep doing this throughout our Christian pilgrimage on earth, because,
however long it takes, in ordinary bread and ordinary wine, we express
our deepest longing to be re-fashioned in the likeness of Jesus, and remembered
when he comes into his kingdom.
Amen.

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania
Australia


 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Trinity Sunday

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

Revelation 4: 1-11 and John 3: 1-16

Nicodemus retorted, "How can a man be born again once he is old? Can he return to his mother's womb and be born over again?"  
Jesus replied, "I solemnly assure you. No one can enter into God's kingdom without being begotten of water and the spirit."  

 
My friends, as I have been ordained a priest over six years  years or so, I approach the Feast of the Trinity, as I do each year, with no little fear and trepidation. How do you preach about such a profound mystery as the inner life of God himself? What is it that I can share with God's people on this very special day? It seems to many people that the Trinity is more a toy for theologians to play with than anything else. It is so difficult for us to understand that, therefore, it has very little practical relevance. Some people would maintain that. I hope this morning you and I would all agree, after my remarks, that this is really not true. 

What is it that we can say; what does our Church teach about this dogma? That God is One and that he is Three-In-One. That the Father is not the Son nor is the Son the Father and that the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. There is one God and there are three distinct persons in that one God. All of this, of course, is a mystery. 
It is the favorite technique for preachers on this day to recall the symbols that have been used historically to point out the oneness in unity in the three distinct persons: the use of the shamrock by St. Patrick; a triangle, three points and yet one; three rings that are tied together as one. Yet none of these symbols can ever fathom the mystery we are confronted with. Hence it is very possible for some people to think that the Trinity is a toy for theologians to play with. Maybe it's just as well that they play with it so that they don't get into trouble with other things! 

But if we look to the Sacred Scriptures, when God burst forth into our history, perhaps we might get a little different idea about the Trinity. Within the Scriptures, the Word of God is revealed to us. God himself teaches us about his inner life and the reason why that life is so important to us. In order to begin with the Scriptures, we have to go nearly to the end of the Bible, to the First Letter of John to find a definition of God that is so beautiful and so perfect - and so simple. Here's what John wrote: ". . .God is love. And he who abides in loves abides in God and God in him" (1 John 4:16). What a definition of God this is! God is love! Not some sentimental notion of love, but love that means an emptying of oneself for the other. For that is really what love is about. Why were you and I created? We were created because God loved us. That's the only reason. But what a reason! We were created by God out of love. 
We were created by God for a purpose: to know him and to love him and to serve him in this life and to be happy with him in the next - an old catechism definition of why we were made. God made us out of love. He made us for himself and he intends us to be happy with him forever. What a mystery that is. If we take a look at ourselves, we might say, "I don't find anything that is that particularly lovable in myself that God would create me." But God created us out of love. 

The whole history of the people of God that we read in the Old Testament is a history of that love continually surprising God's people. How often did they reject that love and go their own way and God continually called them back, renewing the covenant with them; that special relationship that he, in his love, had with them. He did not abandon them. "Can a mother forget her infant? Be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even though she forget, I will never forget you" (Isaiah 49:15). That is how much God loved us. 

And yet even that is not enough for God. As you know, God sent his Son into the world. Jesus Christ our Lord emptied himself of the glory of his divinity, in order to take up this human nature of ours, to be born of a woman, to live among us, to suffer and die on a cross. For what purpose? Because he loved us. God is love. Jesus, our Lord, is the personification of the Father's love for us. 
 
Remember that dialogue between Jesus and Philip? Philip said, "Show us the Father and that will be enough for us". Jesus had been talking about the Father. They said, "Just show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered this way, "Philip, have I been so long a time with you and you still don't know me? He who sees me, sees the Father also" (John 14:9). "You want to know who the Father is? I am the perfect reflection of the Father." 

All that the Father is and has, he has given to his Son. There is a bond of love that exists between God the Father and God the Son and that bond of love is so perfect that it's a person. It is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. On the night before he died, Jesus spoke to his disciples (We read it in the sixteenth chapter of John's Gospel.) about handing over the Spirit to them; sending the Spirit to them as another Advocate, to teach them all things; to confirm them; to strengthen them in the truth so that they would know God. And what is that Spirit, but the bond of love between God the Father and God the Son. And now that Holy Spirit would be poured out upon the world in order that our relationship between ourselves and God would be established from the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. 

Simply put, it means this. God has expanded his family to include you and me. The same love that the Father has for his Son, Jesus Christ, whom he raised from the dead, is the love that he has for each and every one of us. And that is the Holy Spirit. You and I, having been graced by that love, are able - empowered - to return that love to God by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. We are, as St. Paul says, the adopted children of God (Romans 8:15). What a marvelous concept that is. 

This Trinity Sunday is not a day that should be considered merely a toy for theologians. This is our day. This is a day for you and for me because we reflect on the revealed truth that God has deigned to act out of love to share his life with each and every one of us. 

The night before He died Jesus gave himself to us, as he gave us his body as our food and his blood as our drink. You and I this morning will offer to God the Father that gift of Jesus Christ. We will offer it through Christ, and with him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit to God the Father. We will make a gift, a sacrifice, of ourselves in Christ to the Father. We are empowered to do that because we have been born again of water and the Holy Spirit. We have been made the adopted children of our heavenly Father. We have been graced by God himself. In Christ, as members of his Mystical Body, of which he is the Head, we offer a perfect gift to the Father. 
That is the reason we are here. We are here, not to listen to great music. We are not here to hear a sermon. We are here because of what happens there on the altar and because of what happens here at the communion rail, when you and I receive the body and blood of the Lord to nourish that God-life within us. This is indeed our feast, this feast of the Trinity. It isn't a toy for theologians. This feast is a joy for believers.

Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania
Australia 




Saturday, June 3, 2017

Pentecost

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,

"And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" (Acts 2:5-8).

Did the Apostles speak in "other tongues" on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost descended upon them with a sound from heaven "as of a rushing mighty wind"? Were the Apostles given the gift of "new languages," a special new power, when they were filled with the Holy Ghost, who appeared to them under the sign of "cloven tongues like as of fire" that came to rest upon each one of them?


These are, I must frankly confess, "trick questions," since yes, they did speak in "other tongues," and no, they did not receive a new sort of "apostolic power." The "trick" in them, of course, is not God’s doing. God is not a trickster, but the fallen understanding of man is very tricky indeed, obscuring the Word of God if it is at all possible. And here, as is so often the case, the main trick of the fallen human mind is to divert attention from God to man.

The man-centered mind of sin wants us to believe that the Apostles suddenly obtained some sort of "super powers" of their own to use as they wished in communicating with others. Hidden just beneath the surface of this "super powers" theory, however, is the dangerous thought that you or I might find the same magic over language in ourselves, if the circumstances were right or if we went through the proper mumbo jumbo. If the Apostles had power, why can’t we have the same power?
In fact, large numbers of today’s churches are decidedly in the "super power business." And yet, can any of us really imagine the Apostles speaking with other tongues if the subject matter had been the weather or the price of a camel? There is absolutely no evidence in the Scriptures that they could do any such a thing. There is no evidence that they could turn these other languages on and off as they wished. Thus, if we say that "by their own power" or "at their own will" or "under their own control" the Apostles spoke in foreign languages on the day of Pentecost, we have misrepresented the record of what actually happened. We have made up a story that no one has any obligation to believe. 

On the other hand, we know as a matter of fact that the crowd that gathered on Pentecost heard the Apostles preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their own native tongues. St. Luke recorded their wonderment: "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God" (Acts 2:9-11).

What we have here is not just a miracle of speaking in tongues, but a double miracle of speaking and hearing. And it wasn’t the Apostles who performed this double miracle, but God the Holy Ghost. The Apostles could only speak "as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). What the members of the crowd heard in their own languages was "the wonderful works of God." 

The Holy Ghost, therefore, spoke through the Apostles, by working in them and with them, of "the wonderful works of God." The people heard of those "wonderful works," not because of some personal power of the Apostles, but because the Person of God the Holy Ghost worked in the people themselves for the sake of their understanding. 
The fact of the matter is that no one can truly speak the Truth of God without the help of God, and that no one can truly understand the Truth of God without a corresponding gift of God’s aid. Our Lord was quite specific in his declaration of this double need for the Holy Ghost, both for speaking and for understanding God’s Truth. He told the Apostles at the Last Supper:

If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you (John 14:15-17); and he explained,

These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:25-26).

If there is a "native language" of the kingdom of heaven, it is "the wonderful works of God" because the chief purpose of existence is the glorification of God, first expressed in the eternal and mutual love of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity and then in the love of God’s creatures for their Creator. When the Holy Ghost descends upon the Apostles on Pentecost, it is not to give them strange new powers but to confirm them and the Church in the glorification of God, opening hearts and minds both to speak and to understand how all the mighty works of God glorify his Holy Name and proclaim his eternal goodness.
 
Remember the famous "Grace" of St. Paul: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion [or "fellowship"] of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen" (2 Corinthians 13:14). God the Father and God the Son live eternally in the communion of the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost descends on Pentecost, he brings the Apostles, and through them the other members of the Church, into that divine communion and fellowship. 

The "wonderful works of God" that the Holy Ghost puts into the mouths of the Apostles and into the hearts of their hearers is the record of the Father’s love and good will, enacted through God the Son in all of God’s mighty works, and especially in Creation and Redemption. Even our salvation, bought with the Blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, is a God-centered expression of the Father’s love, proclaiming his perfect mercy. But we can understand none of this glory, or speak of it with any justice or authority, except in the communion of the Holy Ghost, where all this glory exists forever in the Godhead. 

There are no private human powers, no private human knowledge of God, and no private human understanding. Such power, knowledge, and understanding as man possesses are all the work of divine grace and the action of God the Holy Ghost on man’s behalf. Thus, the Holy Ghost inspires the human authors of the Holy Scriptures to speak for God and not themselves. He opens the Apostles’ mouths to speak the "wonderful works of God." He opens hearts today to understand the Scriptures and the Apostles’ preaching and changes those hearts by the gift of faith.

The many languages of man came about by an act of man’s pride. After the Flood, the survivors’ descendants set out to build a mighty tower at Babel, as a monument to mankind’s greatness. When they did not give the glory to God, when they did not speak or understand God’s "wonderful works" on their behalf, God scattered them and confounded their languages. On the day of Pentecost, God the Holy Ghost began to undo this calamity by putting back into the mouth of man the glory of God, and by opening ears and hearts to that glory. On the Last Day, when our Lord returns in glory, there will be no language except "the wonderful works of God," and the language of heaven will be the "native tongue" once again of those reborn by water and the Holy Ghost, through the Blood of Jesus Christ. Even now we can practice that language of heaven, in the grace of Jesus Christ and in the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, by speaking of the wonderful works of God.

Happy Pentecost,

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church/Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston
Tasmania
Australia