Fr John’s Reflection – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 28th June

Nurturing the holy

Many of us have an intuitive sense of what makes for a holy person but we find it hard to give expression to this in words. They speak with words which are heard by the ear of the heart and seek to articulate our deepest longing for God. This is not something that we can manufacture or produce but rather it is an invitation to participate in God’s creative plan for us. Often the holy person is discovered in the ordinary events of our lives. It is that innate sense that in believing that God communicates with us through everyday graces that we discover that God does not leave us orphans.

In the Gospel, it is that attention and hospitality which sees the holy in each person we encounter. By providing a simple glass of water to a stranger we may entertain a saint without knowing it. The discovery is that the knowledge is not something that we just pick up from books but rather an expression of who we know ourselves to be. In seeking the holy in each day, we transform not only those we meet but also those who encounter us. It calls for us to be present to the ordinary tasks of our day with an abiding spirit which builds up the other.

We also know that it is in these simple acts of surrender that we encounter the source of our life. It may feel at times like little deaths where we deny ourselves to consider another. Yet in this way we acknowledge that our lives are not centred upon just our own desires but on God’s providence to be present in our actions. The central question is who do we nurture when we sit down at the table? We do not feed simply on food but on the presence of the one who joins us. God comes to us disguised as our lives.

Fr. John Armstrong