Homily for the Last Sunday after Trinity

Hayley Painter, one of our licensed Readers, writes:

This year as we all know, has been a real test for relationships.

Some people have made it through much stronger.  For others the rifts have widened.

Some have spent too much time apart and others too much time together.

Trying times make or break relationships.

At the beginning of this pandemic, you could really sense the togetherness of the nation.
We all pulled together.
We worked  for the good and concern of everyone.
There was a real sense of community spirit.
Neighbours helping neighbours they'd never even spoken to before, doing their shopping.
Checking on the vulnerable.
Clapping every week to show the NHS we loved them and were with them all the way.
And who can forgot how  Colonel Sir Tom Moore kept everyone's spirits up and gave us all hope to carry on!

But as time has gone on and the virus still hasn't gone away,  we have seen the other side of the coin.

The strain of it all has caused, anger, frustration, flouting of the rules, which as only helped to prolong the agony.

And even the belief by some that the virus is not real.
Even though there has been over one million deaths worldwide.

Over the years we learn some hard lessons in life. Unfortunately if they are not learned the first time around - we continue to learn the same lesson again and again. As the quote says- If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Could that be what's happening now? as we continue through this very hard lesson we are all going through together.

We all know what to do now to love, help and protect, each other.

As the saying goes!

But maybe we have become complacent and maybe even bored of it.
So we try to go back to our own way of doing things.
Thinking it won't affect us or others.
We stop listening to advice.
Complacency is dangerous for relationships and pandemics.

Lack of communication and complacency, taking each other for granted, not talking or not listening to each other. can break the strongest of bonds.
But communication isn't always straight forward is it!
On occasions it can be hard to understand where the other persons viewpoint is coming from.
Barriers can get in the way- for whatever reason.

But just occasionally you can have a friendship or relationship with someone and you just bond with them right from the word go- communication seems effortless and you feel like you've known each other years.- those sort of relationships are far and few between - treasure them, because more often than not God puts in our path those that are difficult to love or communicate with. those that we have to overcome barriers with- they can be the people we learn life's lessons from.

Maybe now is the time we really need to follow God's commandments to love him and our neighbour?
Not take God and each other for granted.
What a different world it could be!
We have seen a glimpse of it this year
Through Faith, Hope and Charity.  
Once again think back to the beginning of lockdown and remember the 'community spirit'
You could feel the love towards each other.

God's rule for life is LOVE.

His first commandment that we hear in the reading of Matthew today is-
Love God first with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind.
His second commandment is Love your neighbour as yourself.

There will be times in our life when relationship with God can break down too and needs work, commitment and real communication.
Not on God’s part, for God is perfect in his love for us, always there waiting to listen and love you.
We stop connecting with Him!
Communication can become one sided. Maybe you have barriers. -so if God our Father, shows you a problem in your relationship with him, He also has the solution.
You only need to go to him in prayer.
Sometimes we need to be still and listen to him.
Spend more time with him.
Fall back in love with him.
God asks us to love him with all our heart all our soul and all our mind .

We don't need to socially distance with God - he can embrace us.
There is no rule of
With him,
but with him only