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Language: English / Gàidhlig

Seòmar agus comataidhean

Meeting of the Parliament

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. The first item of business this afternoon is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is Helen Border, chairperson, Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland.

Helen Border (Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland)

Presiding Officer and members of the Scottish Parliament, thank you for the opportunity to share this time of reflection with you this afternoon.

When we took the mercy bus out on the streets of Scotland this year, it was so clear that there is such loneliness and heartache in our world today. I could speak about all the things that are going wrong in our society, but you know about that already. What I am going to speak about is love, hope and joy.

In Romans chapter 15, verse 7, St Paul tells us to

“Accept one another for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you.”

How hard it is sometimes for us to accept each other and to respect each other’s views. I ask you to look into your heart, and if there is anything you are holding against another person, please let it go and you will feel so much better. How can we expect the Lord to forgive us if we do not forgive each other? Forgiveness and mercy go hand in hand. The more we can forgive, the more we can offer mercy and love to others. What better way to show kindness and love than to smile at all we meet. A genuine smile from the heart can be so comforting to another person.

When visiting a shopping centre with the mercy bus, I offered a lady a miraculous medal and a Divine Mercy chaplet, and told her that the Lord loved her. She burst into tears and said, “That’s the kindest words that I’ve heard in years”. How sad it is that some people in our world are so upset, sad and lonely—and it is not just the elderly or isolated groups.

I do not have time to sing this to you, but, as the song says:

“Smile though your heart is aching ...
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile”.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.