I go to Mass in Westminster Cathedral. The Cardinal is there.
The second reading is from Galatians is not easy.
“We acknowledge that what makes a man righteous is not obedience to the law but faith in Jesus Christ.”
Is faith everything? The homily is on the theme of the Gospel: “They were unable to pay so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?” (Luke 7)
MONDAY – St Anthony of Padua
Children from the French lycée come to the House of Commons with parents and teachers. There are sixty people in the room. When I ask them how they would vote in the referendum, nine out of ten are in favour of remain. In the afternoon I chared delegated legislation.
St Anthony is the patron saint of the lost and found… where we would all like to be in politics. Perhaps the story of Jezebel in today’s Gospel is followed by all too many – not to the murderous extent but the use of others.
“In the letters she wrote Proclaim a fast and put Naboth in the forefront of his people. Confront him with a couple of scoundrels who will accuse him.” (1 Kings 21)
In the afternoon I again ask the Home Secretary if cars will be searched at Calais. Again I get a far from full answer.
I go to the National Prayer Breakfast in Westminster Hall. A bit evangelical for me and six of us have to feed ourselves up in the tea room after the scanty offerings. I am happier with going to my daily mass.
“Elijah answered, I have found you out. For your double dealing and since you have done what is displeasing to the Lord, I will now bring disaster on you.” (1 Kings)
Sadly we no longer have Elijahs to deal with double dealers.
There is a fuss about Osborne’s threatened emergency budget which will never happen of course. I intervene on John McDonnell and say many of us feel the real threat to the economy is not vote leave or remain but the tax and spend policies he has spent his whole life advocating.
Today in Matthew 6:1-6 Jesus gives advice that politicians including myself need:
“Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice. By doing so, you will lose all reward from your Father in Heaven.”
Stonyhurst College make their annual visit to the House of Commons. They give Bill Cash the nameplate from his desk from 1955.
I am worried about whether we will fill the hall for our Vote Leave rally the next day so I get 1,500 leaflets printed and we have a nice time distributing them in Gainsborough. Everyone I meet is voting out. I don’t know but at the same time a Labour MP is shot and killed.
The entrance antiphon today: “O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you to be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God my saviour.”
Our event is cancelled as are all others today. I visit Ferndene Care Home in Gainsborough. A delight to meet old people who remember me from years back, including bringing baby Tamara to the count – in a cardboard box as we could find nothing else at the time. And a lady of 104 who is bright as a button.
The Collect: “O God, strength of those who hope in You…”
We try to re-arrange the rally but it is cancelled again, this time by the church. I have done my best.
Psalm 88: “I will keep my love for him always, with my chosen one I have made a covenant.”