Fr John’s Reflection – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 24th January

The Kingdom is close at hand

 Our mission field is provided by the one square metre in which we live. This becomes more self-evident when we become aware of physical distancing in this age of the pandemic. Often this can feel like holding people at arm’s length for fear that we may be infected by the virus. There can be a suspicion which eyes off what the other person is doing and whether it conforms to our understanding of the safeguards that have been put in place. Yet whether it is border closures, travel restrictions or simply the daily movement around people we are called to attend to what happens to the spirit within us. We want to ensure that we do not become distant from the spirit that dwells within.

Thus while we can be aware of the constant flow of bad news which can fixate us on events beyond our control, we can miss how our lives can make a difference in the place where we live. There is a need to discover as the disciples did how we are called to become people who transform our local environment. This means that we not only recognise and develop our own skills and talents. It also means that we need to discover how these can build up the realm of God in our own space. 

We are called to become people who seek to accord our actions with the promptings from within. That is not just to seek our own good but the common good. This calls for our lives to witness how our prayer and reflection guides us to grow closer to God in our own community. By paying attention to what brings life rather than a disaster. By converting our own hearts, we become present to the living heart of God in our community. Our lives proclaim that God is at the heart of all and in all.

Fr. John Armstrong