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Feed my lambs, feed my sheep - a Reflection by Chris McDonnell
The days and weeks that follow the Feast of Resurrection take on a different hue to those that we have experienced walking with the Lord to Jerusalem.
From the dusty road to Emmaus to breakfast in the early morning light by the shore of the lake, the Jesus we are shown transcends that of earlier Gospel stories. It is a transformed Lord who has gone before his companions into Galilee. It is this transformed message that as Christians all these years later we are charged with following and showing to others.
The days ahead in the UK will no doubt be dominated by the forthcoming General Election, when various political groupings, of both the Right and Left attempt to persuade us that they have the vision for the next five years. Promises are made and surety offered of a better future. After all the dust has settled, compromises reached and a new government formed, we move on.
When it comes to Church governance we have to seek compromise on issues that lend themselves to compromise. But how might they be defined? Too often that is where the difficulties start, on what might we compromise? The black and white sharp edged issue can, so easily with the passing years, be shown to have a blurred boundary that was not at one time evident.
The common thread of Paschal time is the sharing of a meal, be it in the Upper Room, in the village of Emmaus or when breakfast is cooked on the shore of the lake. Even the forgiveness of Peter is offered under the semblance of food, "feed my lambs, feed my sheep"
It all emphasises the centrality of the Eucharist in our journey of faith. And that is why the present crisis in vocations to the priesthood is so serious. The Eucharist sustains us in good times and difficult times. It is not a reward for good behaviour but food for a journey during which we try to achieve goodness.
It was reported in the Tablet last Thursday, 09 April, that one of the famous reporters of the Council, Robert Blair Kaiser, who worked as the Rome correspondent for TIME has died.
Embedded within this report is his Tablet lecture for 2012. It is well worth re-visiting, for he not only succinctly summarises the years of the Council but also the movement and developments since. It is an ongoing event and we are part of the continuing story.