29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 18th October
Each of us from time to time would be concerned about our financial wellbeing. We are called to be people who do not live beyond our means but also become accountable for how we spend our money. This is one of the difficulties in many settings at the domestic level, in our local parish community, in the policy of the government and in the way we act as good stewards of the things entrusted to our care. In some cases it can seem that money dictates what we can and cannot do in life. Yet in reality, it is only a tool which can help us to recognise our priorities and what we truly need.
In modern life, we are often “sold” an image of ourselves or of the perfect life. We can rely very heavily not just on what is in favour but also what seems to add value to the person we are. This can at times seem elusive and ethereal. Just as we buy something because of its looks or its utility we find that it never works like we see on tv. We seem to fall for the dream of the perfect body, the perfect home, the perfect family and ultimately the perfect life. The danger that we encounter is that these dreams seem fleeting and can be disrupted or interrupted by events beyond our control. These times reshape our thinking and call us to consider what is truly important.
At the heart of the Gospel is not that we abandon our daily activities or our responsibilities to our communities but that we see them in the right perspective. We are created in the image and likeness of God to cooperate with that creative vision of building the kingdom. This is not just an external structure or a home run into heaven but rather a disposition of the heart which informs, forms and transforms our way of being present to our world. It sees the centre of our life shaped in God’s creative vision for humanity which promises faith, hope and charity as the KPI’s of our lives. These are difficult to measure but essential for lives. They shape who we wish to become and where we spend our time and money. In this, we daily seek to encounter God in our prayer so that we can encounter each person as a graced moment. There is a capability to see that God is present in each encounter enabling us to grow in faith, hope and love.
Fr. John Armstrong