26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 27th September
What we say yes and no to shapes our life. Our choices influence the person we seek to become. They indicate what is our preference and help us to notice what most draws our attention. Yet in our society, we live in a culture which seeks to have us say yes to everything for fear that we will miss out on something. This fear of missing out seeks us to be present to all things with the same level of attention which can often leave us fearful and afraid. If we choose one thing that means that we miss out on something else. We fear been left behind or not having enough interesting stuff to talk to other people about. We feel that there is a drive to be self-sufficient, altruistic and magnificent all at the same time.
Yet if we give our yes’s too easily, we can notice that there is only so much time in the day to dedicate to what we do. We start to cram activities and to-do lists into every corner. We measure our success by external indicators which consume our lives and our attention. Yet in the end, we can be tired, exhausted and directionless until we find another task to be undertaken. The call I believe is to ponder on what is essential and what builds life-giving options for ourselves and for others.
Who are we called to become? This seems to be the central question. By weighing up not just what we say but in how we become present to our choices, this helps us to see who and what is central to our lives. Which voices we listen to, what creates our best self and what enables us to be present to the needs of others. When we say yes too quickly, we notice that we create masks from people knowing our true selves. Yet when we notice our reluctance or resistances, we can ponder more deeply what is the right thing to do not just for ourselves but for others.
Fr. John Armstrong