Reflection: Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 2,2012.
Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.
‘This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’
I love liquorice all-sorts! I love to peek into the bag, and pick this one or that one. They mightn’t be good for me, but I love them anyhow. I love the colours, shapes, and layers.
And when Jesus gathered people around him, and invited them to follow him as a community of his followers, he gathered a very mixed bag indeed- his was a collection of all-sorts. Simon Peter, the main man, proclaimed that even if all the others left him, he, Peter, would never leave Jesus; and then went on to deny him three times in front of a young servant-girl.
‘As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be…’ we, God’s greatly loved people, are a mixed bag, collectively and individually. Men and women, husbands, wives, lovers, young men and women, boys and girls, Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious, – all of us are human beings, saints and sinners at the one time, and God is not finished with any one of us. In the garden of our souls and of our communities, there’s a lot of weeding, a lot of stones to be removed, and digging of hard soil, and then, the planting of a wild variety of wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit, with need for plenty of watering, of nourishing, of feeding, of sheltering, until we blossom beautifully. ‘This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me’,- yes, Lord, indeed, but now we want you to come into the garden of each of us and of our church, and do your wonderful work in us, again. The gate is open, and the soil is ready. I bring my own heart back to you, today. Come, Lord Jesus! Come O Holy Spirit!
Séamus Devitt C.Ss.R.