Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time – 16th February
I remember in reading one of Brene Brown’s book “Braving the Wilderness p33-36” she emphasises the importance of belonging more than just fitting in. The emphasis that she placed on belonging was the confidence in ourselves and what we believed in. When we just tried to fit in we surrendered our motivations to the person who we wish to please or at least not annoy! Our lives can become one of becoming tentative where we look for threats to our autonomy and those things that may harm us. Of course, there is a place for caution and considering our own safety but when it becomes exaggerated then we become imprisoned in a world where we become too scared to be ourselves for the good of others.
In the readings this weekend we are called to be wise in considering what brings life rather than death in our actions. This daily consideration looks to see how the Lord leads us into life and gives the ability to work for the good of others and not just for ourselves. This is a process of discernment where we learn what sustains life and what enables us to become wholesome and holy. This looks inside for our own motivations or interior disposition, not to judge the inner self but to discover what leads us to become our best self. Often our primary motivation, if we look at first glance, is the attitude of what is in it for me. There is a tendency to value things to the degree which they have benefits for myself. Yet to become wise we need to enter into a prayer which seeks values which are universal and serve the common good. The world is not centred solely on what I consider good but rather on how we are called to live in a way which brings about the greatest good. Each day we are called to consider what we say yes and no to. This will shape our lives either on the false self which seeks to preserve what little we have or the true self which seeks to the greatest good for me, for others and for the greater glory of God. This is how at the end of each day we can examen what we said yes and no to and how it is leading us into life!
Fr. John Armstrong