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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 31.08.2014


Consider two scenarios. Scenario 1: a young child playing with the pet dog in the house bumps a table and a vase falls to the ground and smashes. Deliberate or accidental? Accidental. Scenario 2: a young child, upset with older sibling’s refusal to share computer game, pushes vase off the table and blames older sibling when fronted by questioning parent. Deliberate or accidental? Deliberate. In both scenarios the result is the same: the vase is smashed but the acts are different. What makes the difference is the thinking or in the accidental scenario the lack of thinking behind the act. What goes on in our minds is very important. We need to get our thinking straight to ensure our actions are honourable and good.

Thinking features in all three readings today. Jeremiah prays that his mind would stop prodding him into denunciations of the evil behaviour of the authorities and people of his day. Peter is sharply rebuked by Jesus for suggesting that a messiah should be protected from suffering. God’s thinking and evaluating is different to human thinking and evaluating. Paul challenges his friends to let their behaviour be modelled on the new minds they have as a result of their committing themselves to Christ.

We are thinking beings but our basic principles have to be solid and sound. The most basic is love of neighbour which means we are to be more conscious of the needs of others and do something about them before we do something for ourselves. Putting our needs first sees us deliberately refusing a fellow motorist change lanes, continuing conversations on our mobiles in buses, lifts, trains and checkouts, ignoring the loss of self-control that comes with alcohol and drugs, physically and verbally abusing those whom we judge annoyances, denying children a chance to live because we see them as an inconvenience, cheating on our spouses because we are not getting what we judge is our due.

The above list deals with serious and less serious matters but all the actions flow from what we have deliberately planned to do. All of them flow from human thinking, not God’s. We take the words of St Paul to heart and commit ourselves to letting our behaviour in all circumstances be modelled on the thinking of Jesus.

Fr Adrian Farrelly

Date Posted Title Listen Download
Oct 20, 2014 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 31.08.2014 Listen Download