Fr John’s Reflection – 6th Sunday of Easter

6th Sunday of Easter – 17th May

Who will bring us hope?

This seems to be the longest two months in history. Many of the things that people have taken for granted such as freedom of movement, public gatherings and group activities seem to have disappeared overnight. We start to connect more online with each other and in a way come closer even over the distance which separates us. Yet there is a deeper longing which sustains us which calls for us to hope in something deeper. This is especially true as people have lost jobs, battle with both their physical and mental health but also the sense of isolation. The truth that we seek is not paper-thin and we seek to discover something more than headlines and information, important as that may be, for helping us to make good decisions.

What seems fundamental in this time is which voices allow us to be formed and reformed in the image of Christ. This is not by just paying lip service to the Gospels but a genuine seeking to live as Christ intends. Our prayer and our lives have a divine interplay which forms the basis for who we are called to become. Our hope is not just based on wishful thinking that one-day things will get better. Rather we are called to be people who are well-founded in our faith. This means that we cannot just do this on our own. We need to be people who gather together in prayer to share our stories. These are stories which reflect on how the Good News forms how we respond rather than react to the world around us. It calls us to know what is actually happening in people’s lives and be prepared to listen with the ears of the heart. Not just to what is said but what the quiet inner voice desires. This may actually lead to a transformation of people’s lives.

This transformation is not just achieved by hard work. It is not just a simple following of the rules but rather a discovering of a rule of life which allows a person to journey with others. It calls us to become people who care for others and not just for ourselves. This is a way of abiding in the presence of God each day. This way of allowing each moment to open our hearts and our eyes to where God leads us allows us to become people of hope. No longer is our life just formed by what we do but who we are becoming. Each day allows us to be present in all that we are and all that we do.

Fr. John Armstrong