Sunday, 3 February 2013

Saving it for what?

Thank you, John, for these thought provoking words:

Save My Soul?

Why are some people
trying to
Save their Souls,
for what I’m not sure?

For some future reward,
I guess.

Rather than trying to
Save my Soul
for some future reward
I’m trying
to Expend my Soul
in Love and Compassion
for others.

did not try
to Save
His body or Soul
for anything;

He Expended Himself
Love of Others,
Love and Compassion
into every one of
His life experiences.

If we go through Life
never having expended ourselves,
never having Loved or been Loved,
saving ourselves
for something,
we’ve missed
the whole point of it all,
the whole point of
this great gift of life.

Don’t Save it;
Use it
or Lose it.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Sorry Luke, I'm rewriting your chapter 4 - Sunday Readings 4th Sun. Yr C

We would like to thank CathyT and Catholica for this reflection.   Please read Luke 4: 14-30 and consider Cathy's reflection.

The original may be read here and you will be very welcome to comment on the Catholica forum.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. What could be more natural, more appropriate, than that Jesus should “officially” begin his mission in his home town?
It was not the actual beginning of his mission, of course. It was hard to pinpoint when that was. For a very long time now, Jesus had been convinced that God was calling him to something out of the ordinary. He had decided to go and receive baptism from this new preacher called John (who, he had been told, was a distant kinsman of his). He fully expected that this would be followed by a period as John’s disciple, during which time, he hoped, his own calling would become clearer. And yet, at the moment of baptism, Jesus became aware of –of what? Surely it must have been the voice of God! In that moment he knew, he just knew, that the path he was being called down was something different, unexpected, a path where only he could be the leader.
He knew he had no option but to trust in God, and to follow where God led. Or where God was driving him rather, such was the compulsion he felt. And so, he found himself alone in the wilderness. Well, not quite alone: there was a “presence” there, something that seemed stronger than just his own inner struggles, something tempting him away from the ways of God. And yet, this experience simply confirmed his sense of having a special call from God. As he travelled around the Galilean countryside, his mission was becoming clearer still.
To begin with, he had set out simply to preach, rather like John had. It was in Capernaum that he discovered he had the power to heal, to put an end to people’s sufferings of both the body and the spirit. Well, of course, the power came from God really. Yet there was more to it than that. He could not bear to see anyone suffering; he had been like that even as a child. When his elders told him that suffering was sometimes God’s will, that maybe the person had even done something to deserve it, he could not bring himself to believe them. And now, it seemed, God was giving him power over suffering, although, he suddenly realised it was not a case of God simply healing through him. What enabled the healing was a sort of “connection”, a relationship. He opened himself up to the suffering person’s predicament, and allowed his unlimited compassion to flow upon them, and this, in turn, inspired and encouraged them to believe that God would heal them. He knew now that God wanted him to do more than to encourage people to live good lives, God wanted him to liberate people from all that enslaved them and oppressed them. But he had learnt in the desert that he had to do it God’s way: not by using the tools of power and privilege which this world offered, but through a life of love and service. God’s reign was at hand.
As he started off towards his home town of Nazareth, he felt excitement and hope bubbling up in him.
Then he began to have doubts. It all seemed to happen so easily in Capernaum, but could it also happen in his native village, among his kinsfolk and the other villagers who had known him from babyhood? News travelled fast in the Galilean countryside; they would have heard about what he’d been doing, and they would expect him to do it for them too. Yes, ever since he was old enough, he had been expected to do things to help the old ones, the sick and the incapacitated, it was what one did. Could they, would they understand that this time, this was something he couldn’t just “do” for them, there had to be that “connection”… And in any case, they were so used to him being the son of the carpenter, just an ordinary villager: could they accept him as a prophet? But he knew that his recent experiences had changed him, and he felt sure it must show. He decided he would read that passage he loved in Isaiah, the one about bringing good news and healing and liberation. Surely that would make them see him in a different light. He wanted so much to free them from sufferings of any kind. In fact, did he want that too much? Would it be hard for him, as well as for them, to accept that he no longer belonged solely to them? God was calling him on a journey, a journey whose ending he was not yet certain of…
There was utter silence in the synagogue. Jesus had just finished reading the Isaiah passage as he had planned, and quietly, yet with great strength of purpose, applied it to himself. Every eye was on him, as though nothing else existed in the world. Then people began to talk. At first, they all seemed favourably impressed. Then someone said, in a loud voice, the words Jesus had been dreading: “But isn’t this just Joseph’s son?” The mood in the synagogue changed, and Jesus could no longer keep quiet: “This is not going to work! You do not understand the calling I have received, not when I’m ‘just one of you”. You will think I have special obligations just to you, but what does our Scripture say? What about that widow in Sidon in Elijah’s time…Naaman the Syrian leper in Elisha’s time.. our God is a God for all!” Naturally, they reacted angrily, but he was unprepared for the violence of their reaction. Just about every adult male in the synagogue was suddenly rushing at him, forcing him out the door, and not stopping there, either. With a flash of panic, he realised these men meant business, and there was no mistaking where they were taking him…that cliff at the edge of the town…as a child, he had always been frightened of going too close to the edge, and there had been stories…
God help me!” he prayed silently. “You protected the prophet Jeremiah from those who wished him harm…is it really all over for me already?”
The crowd around him were undeniably intent on their violent purpose – so intent, he suddenly realised, that their eyes were fixed on their object up ahead, and they were not really watching him. It actually turned out to be quite easy to slip through the crowd and get away.
Capernaum was starting to look like a very good place to make his home base.