Born circa 634 Cuthbert is a saint of the early Northumbrian church in the Celtic tradition. He was a monk, bishop and hermit, associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne in what might loosely be termed the Kingdom of Northumbria, in North East England and the South East of Scotland. After his death he became one of the most important medieval saints of Northern England, with a cult centred on his tomb at Durham Cathedral. Cuthbert is regarded as the patron saint of Northumbria. Cuthbert grew up in or around Lauderdale, near Old Melrose Abbey, a daughter-house of Lindisfarne, today in Scotland. He had decided to become a monk after seeing a vision on the night in 651 that St Aidan, the founder of Lindisfarne, died, but he seems to have seen some military service first. He was quickly made guest-master at the new monastery at Ripon, soon after 655, but had to return with Eata of Hexham to Melrose when Wilfrid was given the monastery instead. About 662 he was made prior at Melrose, and around 665 went as prior to Lindisfarne. In 684 he was made bishop of Lindisfarne, but by late 686 he resigned and returned to his hermitage as he felt he was about to die, although he was probably only in his early 50s. He died on 20 March 687. After Cuthbert’s death, numerous miracles were attributed to his intercession and to intercessory prayer near his remains.
REFLECTION FOR THE DAY
The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” John 7:46
If we’ve ever been part of a conversation grappling with the mystery behind a newcomer’s background, we may find it pretty easy to slide into the back-and-forth of the crowd in this discussion. Who is Jesus, really? A prophet? The Messiah? No, the Messiah can’t come from Galilee, can he? What does Scripture say about him? Where does this Jesus come from, and where does he belong? The most sincere assessment comes from the guards who had just been in his presence. When questioned about why they didn’t apprehend Jesus as ordered, they answered simply, “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” Having no preconceived opinions, they spoke only from their experience of the moment. What the guards witnessed told them that this man’s words held healing and welcome and drew them in. It’s the same story for us, today and always.