Viewpoint from Fr Adrian Ling for 8th July 2011
Fr Adrian Ling, Rector of Hemsby,
Winterton, Somerton & Horsey
Every day, at ten to eight in the morning a young man, went into his parish church. He was in there for two minutes and then he left. Someone living nearby watched him, and alerted the vicar thinking that this young chap couldn’t possibly be up to any good, he must be casing the joint, looking for an opportunity to steal something.
So the Vicar waited inside the church just before ten to eight, and he watched the young man come in, go to the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved, and sit down; after a couple of minutes, he got up and left. One day the Vicar approached the young man and asked why he came in for these short visits. The young man told him that he went to the altar and looked at the tabernacle, where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved, and he said ‘hello Jesus, it’s Jim.’
A while later Jim suffered a nasty accident and was in hospital. The Vicar went to visit him, and the nurse told him how glad they were to have Jim as a patient. Despite his injuries, he was the happiest patient on the ward, always smiling, cheering up and encouraging the other patients. When the Vicar asked him why he was so cheerful, Jim told him that every day at ten to eight, he felt that Jesus came to his bed and said, ‘hello Jim, it’s Jesus.’
Knowing that his Lord was with him gave him deep joy and reassurance that he was not alone. At the end of Matthew’s gospel Jesus tells his disciples that he will be with us always even til the end of time. Christians must go to him in prayer, however simple, that he may meet us there. We are fortunate to be able to leave the four churches in our villages open every day, to enable people to have five minutes with the Lord, to find peace and sanctuary; churches are the natural places in which to find him, but of course we can pray to him anywhere. How we get to him is not important, it’s the getting there which counts. We should not be strangers to him, but renew our acquaintance on a daily basis, because if we are faithful to him, Jesus will be faithful to us. Wishing you God’s blessing.