Notices

SET ASIDE SOME TIME

I settle myself ... perhaps in front of a candle or a cross. I may repeat a favourite phrase, or close my eyes. ‘What will you show me today, Lord?’ I read the passage from Luke’s Gospel. It may be familiar, yet I try to approach it as if for the first time. What strikes me? Maybe there is a phrase I have not ‘heard’ before. A man is asking Jesus to settle a dispute within his family. I pause. Can I see parallels between this situation and my own? Have I ever asked the Lord to take sides in a conflict around me? I speak to the Lord, honestly, telling him what is in my heart. I listen. Perhaps I am drawn to reflect on the parable that follows. How much does wealth matter to me? What are my own riches, material and spiritual? How much do I share them with others? I consider how everything – wealth or poverty, success or failure – has the potential to lead me to respond more fully to God’s love for me. If it feels right, I ask for the grace to lead a life which will make me rich in the sight of God. When I am ready, I go forward ‘In the name of the Father ...’ (Australian Catholics—Courtesy of St Bueno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham, UK) Thomas O’Loughlin (www.Columba.ie) when commentating on today’s Gospel and ‘extremes’ writes: One extreme is to be so wholly focused on heaven that one is ‘no earthly use’. The other extreme is to be so enmeshed in material pursuits that one becomes just another material object. He says, The really difficult calling of the whole church and of each of us individually is to embrace the tension, and seek to wisely judge between extremes each day. This is not only the wisdom of prudence, but it is more difficult because it calls on us to think about situations carefully, and it is tiring for we have to keep at the task day-in and day-out.” He goes on to say: We have to find the balances between:

Love of Self / Love of Others Appreciating the material creation/Knowing its limited existence

Bodily health/Penance Service to neighbour / Prayer and Reflection Enjoying God’s gifts/Fasting Liturgy as ritual/Liturgy as working for justice

‘Both-and’ is more demanding than ‘either-or’