Amma Sue - September 2015

posted 6 Oct 2015, 08:43 by Richard Jones   [ updated 6 Oct 2015, 08:43 ]

Dear Friends

 "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2), such was Juliet’s plaintive cry as she pondered Romeo’s family name.

Names, or at least titles, have been much on my horizon over the last couple of months. At the beginning of June, having served my five year term of office, I stood down as superior of the Order of the Companions of Martha and Mary; and so Sister Judith became Amma Judith as she was formally installed as the new superior. So now I revert to simply “Sister”. (Don’t worry I shall still answer to Amma Sue!) However, Sister is not my only title. I’m also Reverend and Doctor – (that’s Doctor of Philosophy so please don’t ask me for any cough mixture; the only medical “stuff” I know is how to put someone onto the recovery position and scream for help - and I have a tendency to come over all peculiar at the sight of blood!) In addition, from the 20th September I shall have a new title “Canon of Whalleye” (ancient spelling) as I will be installed at the Cathedral at the 4.00pm Evensong on that day.

All those names or titles have a particular meaning in my life and, depending in the occasion or situation differing ones will take precedence. Nevertheless, they have no power to confer either “goodness” or “piety,” or make me any better a disciple than anyone else in the Body of Christ. Regardless of what we have, what we know, or what we do, we are all members of Christ’ Body, the Church, sons and daughters of God who loves each and every one of us more than we can know or imagine. I’m sure that when the day comes and we meet our loving Father face to face we won’t be asked how many titles we have but how much we have loved God and neighbour.

In John’s Gospel, as Jesus said goodbye to his disciples he said:  “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” [John 15.15]. And that is surely the greatest of promises and the greatest of names: “Friend of Jesus”. So, dear sisters and brothers remember you are a beloved Child of God no matter what have, or have not, achieved; regardless of what title you have, or don’t have – God knows you by your name and it will always be a “sweet” name to God.

With every blessing

Sister Sue OCMM