In the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Isn’t it funny how the gospel works, one of the things that I’ve had on my heart for the last week or so is an email from a local Labour councillor who described certain people in Hayes as undesirable. These are the people that she doesn’t like, the homeless, the destitute, the alcoholics, the drug takers, the drug dealers, those with violence in their hearts.
And who can blame her from a human perspective, we don’t want to be around these people. From a human perspective. But we are called to more than that, we are called to invite in the undesirable.
When we as humans start using the language of undesirable people, we start putting people into categories, which means we can start treating them as something other than human.
There was a human who did just that not that long ago, who called certain groups of people undesirable. He put them in trains and sent them off to camps.
Language matters, what we call people matters how we treat people, matters. How we treat those people we don’t like, shows the depth of our character. Who we welcome to our table shows the depth of our faith.
And so be assured, my friends, all undesirable people are welcome in this place, all undesirable people are welcome at the table of Saint Anselm, all undesirable people will find peace and a welcome in this place.