News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool
Sometimes when I am making a speech or passing a comment I inadvertently say the wrong thing. Usually I am aware of it and can correct it immediately. But if I am unaware of my mistake at the time then I can come in for a lot of criticism afterwards. The golden rule is not to dig myself into a deeper hole if I know that I have ‘mis-spoken’, to use a Trumpian word. You can imagine that I felt some sympathy for President Trump when after his conversation with President Putin he really put his foot in his mouth when referring to the possible Russian involvement in the United States presidential election. Instead of quickly retracting his words he tried to make sense of what he just uttered and caused a tremendous furore amongst his aides who had to speak up for the President of the United States. The fuss lasted for a couple of weeks and has left us all wondering whether we can trust his words in future.
In Jesus’s day people did not know which political and religious leaders to trust. The religious leaders had divided into parties and many different interpretations of Holy Scripture were offered, and on the political front the Jewish kings had married outside of Judaism and colluded with the occupying Roman forces. Who were they to believe? But we read in St John’s Gospel that Jesus spoke with authority, unlike the Scribes and Pharisees. In our time we can turn to Jesus’s words in the Gospels and find that they have the power to help us find our way through words spoken and ‘mis-spoken’.
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool