The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Love One Another.

Read 1521 Times
It was a cold winter’s Sunday morning and the car park was slowly filling up, as people arrived for Sunday Mass. Hunched against a wall at the end of the car park was the crumpled figure of a man. He seemed to be asleep and was wearing an old coat that was almost in shreds, it had a hood which was pulled over his head so that you couldn’t see his face. He wore shoes that looked about 30yrs old and from which his toes stuck out into the cold morning air. People parked their cars and either looked across at the man or ignored him completely as they made their way into church. Inside the church, people commented over the ragged figure asleep in the car park, but no one seemed concerned enough to see if he was alright. Suddenly the figure appeared to awaken and standing up he shuffled his way to the church entrance and slumped onto the grass beside the church door. Again people entered the church and ignored his plight, with one parishioner suggesting they call the police and her friend saying that he wasn’t doing any harm sitting outside.

It was now approaching 10.30am; time for the start of Mass, and they were waiting for the Priest to appear and commence the Mass, suddenly the door at the back of the church opened and the homeless man entered the church. He shuffled slowly down the aisle towards the altar and sat on the steps of the chancel, then bowed his head as if in prayer. People gasped, whispered to each other in disbelief, that this should happen in their church and again the parishioner suggested she should call the police. Just then the man stood up, threw of the ragged coat and hood and there
before them stood their Parish Priest. He held his hands in the air and said, ”Peace be with you,” to which the people gave the response. The Priest went on, “If you will start singing the first hymn, I will change and be with you shortly.”

The Mass commenced before a shocked congregation and when the Priest came to the lectern to give his homily he started by apologising for his little ruse, which he realised may have upset some people. He went on, “This little drama was designed to make us all think that being a Christian and attending Mass is not enough in itself, we have to act out in our lives what we profess to believe in each week. How many people wondered if the man was ill and needed an ambulance, or was he simply lacking in food? The good Samaritan set us all a prime example when he showed love for a complete stranger.” After Mass, as the Priest said goodbye to his flock, he had his critics but most of the congregation said he had certainly made them think again about the plight of the homeless.

“Life is a pure flame and we all live by an invisible sun, deep within us.”

Published Tue 22nd Sep 2015 16:16:37
Last Modified on Tue 22nd Sep 2015 16:16:37

Share This Page