11th March

Here Am I, Send Me

I heard the voice of the Lord say ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I, send me’. Isaiah 6: 8

When the Christian King Oswald came to Northumbria’s throne he asked the leaders of the Iona Community, where he had been brought up in the Faith, to send a mission team to his kingdom, so that the English people might be taught the blessings of the Faith and receive the sacraments. The first team leader to come was Corman, a man of stern temperament. He stayed for some time, but the people were unwilling to listen to him, and he returned to Iona.

At a post mortem meeting of the Iona community Corman laid the blame on the Northumbrian people who, he said, were stubborn and uncivilised. The leaders discussed this matter for a long time, for they were keen to evangelise new peoples.

Then Aidan, who was present, said directly to Corman: ‘It seems to me, brother, that you have been unduly severe with your ignorant hearers. You should have followed the guidance of the apostle Paul and offered them the milk of simpler teaching until, as they gradually grew strong in God’s Word, they were able to take in a fuller statement of doctrine and carry out the higher commands.’ As Aidan spoke, everyone turned and looked at him, and they carefully considered his words. The meeting finally resolved that Aidan should be made a bishop and sent to lead a second mission, because he had shown the gift of discretion, which is the mother of all virtues.

So they consecrated him and sent him to preach. Time was to prove that Aidan was not only endowed with discretion and good sense, but with the other Christian virtues also. Above all he was a willing missionary.

Here am I Lord
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
Where you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart
Dan Schutte S.J.