Cohen @ 80 and courage …

I sat at Mass in Kilmovee this morning and listened to Seán Moran read the First Reading from Isaiah.  The opening line is so direct: “Seek the Lord while he may still be found” …

I had a few words loosely prepared and they floated around somewhere in my head. Seán’s line seemed to displace them – as if they weren’t already displaced enough!  I read the Gospel Passage about the workers going into the vineyard at different hours of the day, even to the final hour and each receiving the same wage.  The grumblings of the early morning worker are quickly voiced but the “Landowner” reassures he has done nothing wrong or underhand.  If he chooses generosity that should not be the cause of any grief.  A story of jealousy, envy but above all of the Love of God for all who turn towards his Vineyard with an open heart and working hands ….  A lot there!

Everything in me wanted to forget about that passage and chance a one line homily!  I even told the people that.  I said I often wished I had the courage to just say one line and sit down.  I told them too that I realised many present would support me in that and hope “today’s the day”!!  Well it sort of was and it wasn’t.  I told them if I had that courage, I’d just say:

SEEK THE LORD WHILE HE IS STILL TO BE FOUND …..  and sit down

I sort of did that but not quite.  A few words around it but really there’s plenty in that line so for anyone (myself included) sitting in front of these words right now, maybe it’s time to “Seek the Lord while he is still to be found”.  Don’t let distance of time or place obscure the search.

_________________________

Leonard Cohen at the Arena in Geneva, 27 October 2008

From cbc.ca website

At the end of Mass I mentioned that today is Leonard Cohen’s 80th Birthday.  He is someone I’d love to meet, though I am certain that will not happen.  There’s something about his words, his grace and style that combines to say so much.  I mentioned the chorus from his famous “Anthem” and offered it as a Post Communion Reflection.

“So ring the bell that still can ring
forget your perfect offering
there’s a crack, a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in”
 

Let’s recognise that crack today, be it a hairline fracture or gaping hole and allow it bring light to darkness, hope to despair, faith to doubt …..

Happy Birthday Leonard

ANTHEM

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
Be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
The signs were sent
The birth betrayed
The marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
Of every government
Signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
A thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring

You can add up the parts
But you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
There is no drum
Every heart, every heart
To love will come
But like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.

3 Comments:

  1. Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful song love Leonard Cohen wonderful artist great lyrics.

  2. Love Leonard Cohen his lyrics are so meaningful a wonderful artist thank you for sharing this.

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