30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 25th October
If there is one thing which unites all of humanity it is what is considered the Golden Rule: To do good to the other that you would do for yourself. It is at the heart of our welfare system and seeks to ensure that each person is respected as a person made in the image and likeness of God. Yet the reality of how we actually live that rule can cause tensions to arise not only in its application but also in how we see the other person as equally deserving of God’s grace. Much of this is contained in the declaration of human rights which seeks to preserve what is vital to human life. We seek to share the world’s goods and preserve the environment not just as a gift for ourselves only but for generations yet to come. This is where the difficulty of living this rule arises because it calls us to notice that its application depends on where we are standing.
I believe this is where the rule to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind allows noticing what is important for us in life. The order of discovering what is placed on our heart orientates us towards what we consider vital for our lives and what we think about and apply our minds to. It is from this point of view that we start to notice what it is that we love and how we love ourselves into being. At the heart of the matter is the need to ensure that our hearts and our actions are in accord with each other. When this happens we naturally seek the good of ourselves as influencing the good of others. We no longer live for ourselves alone. We see the value not only in what we do but in the contribution it can make to the common good.
So at the heart of prayer, reflection and action we need to consider what is the next obvious step that we can make for the good of ourselves and the good of others. In living this out we make small but profound changes to the way we live in the world. No longer do our lives centre solely on what we need but on what God desires for the good of all. Our lives make a difference in helping others to live well.
Fr. John Armstrong