Fr John’s Reflection – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 17th January

What do we set our hearts on?

 The desire for something or someone greater than ourselves lies at the heart of our quest to be truly human. It is almost as if there is something in our DNA which naturally seeks union with the whole of creation and the heart of the creator. We sense a restlessness which desires more and we can tend to spend a lot of time and money trying to discover that one thing which makes sense of this itch within us. The prompting which calls us to go beyond ourselves and discover new land in which we can be at peace. In the gospel reading, Jesus asks his disciples what are you looking for? This seems to be a straightforward question, but within it lies a fundamental willingness to yearn to be ourselves in seeking out the answer.

When the disciples ponder this question they come forward with their own question, where do you live? This searching and seeking seem to be innate within our human experience. We desire to know where it is that God is and what God is about. In some way we seek to be provided with a clear and simple answer. Like the disciples, we yearn to be at one with God in the midst of our searching. It is almost as if we seek to discover something or someone beyond ourselves who can provide that answer and in doing so become fulfilled.

This is especially true when we see the disturbances all too prevalent in our world. When we are often besieged by events beyond our control and which disturb our imagination. Whether it be the events on Capitol Hill, whether it is trade conflicts, whether it is the haunting spectre of a virus which cannot be contained or simple the everyday worries about where our next meal will come from we can find ourselves seeking a person who can provide the answers to our worries and concerns. Yet when our life is driven by fears of what menaces us, we can become wilful and reluctant to seek the person who is at the heart of all things.

Yet what we discover is the simple response of Jesus to come and see. It is in the very willingness to spend time with him that we discover who we are and who he is. This is not just about stepping aside from our daily tasks to spend time in prayer but discovering how we see the world differently. This seeking causes us to be at peace with ourselves as we discover it is in the ordinary graces of each day that God is revealed. It is about encountering the holy every day rather than in the extraordinary. This is the true miracle of life that God’s presence can be experienced through the graced encounter and the divine touch of human life. The willingness to become at one with God at the heart of all things.

Fr. John Armstrong