Sunday, 8 July 2012

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Shaftesbury

A few weeks ago I was visiting with my family, and my little niece got a talking doll, but her doll wasn't talking. She’s barely 4 years old yet she was able to confidently say that it needed new batteries. And this struck me as interesting, because she doesn't know what batteries are, but she’s heard that this is the problem.
And it seems to me that in this regard she actually sees more than many grown-ups: she sees that there is more to life than what she can understand for herself.
A child’s faith accepts what it does not understand –and this is why Christ praised those who have the faith of little children.

We live in a secular pseudo-scientific world that judges only by what it can see –as many people say, they cannot see God therefore there is no God.
In contrast, Christian Faith, and the eyes of faith, enables us to see a whole different world.
Let me point to three examples in today’s readings:
(a) 2 Cor 12:7-10, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’
-we often demand to see God present in our life, in our suffering, in the thorn in our side.
But God’s presence isn’t limited to what we can see, rather, He is present most of all in our weakness, when we are most obviously in need of Him, even when we deny it and tell ourselves that we’re somehow alright without Him.
(b) Ez 2:2-5 ‘They shall know they have a prophet in their midst’
How shall they know? By God’s power being manifested –but only if their eyes are open to see it.
(c) Mk 6:1-6 ‘Prophet recognised as such everywhere but in his home country’
They didn’t recognise that God was present in His teaching and person
And so He worked few miracles among them
Because their eyes of faith were blind -God’s power was there, but they refused to see it, refused to call upon it.

We know electricity is present by its effects
We know grace is present by its effects -We know it is lacking by its effects, too:
We know the lack of grace in our stress and overworking:
–thinking we can survive without God, working on our own power, forgetting about God during the day because we somehow have ‘more important’ things to do.
We know the lack of grace in our sin:
Either, when we fail in love, and sin -In impatience, in selfishness, in hardness of heart
Or, in our blindness to sin, when we somehow fool ourselves into thinking we’ve not sinned -that there is nothing more that I owe God, my family, my neighbour -that I’m perfect!

These are a couple of the many signs to us that God is present, and that God is absent (absent in that we fail to let Him act in us)
To return to the example of my little niece,
She knows that there is more activity in the world than just what she can see
More than just what she can understand
If we would know that ‘there is a prophet here among us’
Then we must open our eyes too
Whether you’re heavily working, or whether you’re retired,
Or whether you have a hectic household with children,
just about to get more hectic as the summer holidays begin
Whatever our state of life, for all of us, we must open our eyes EVER MORE, Minute by minute,
To know that God is present, that God is active,
And He wishes to be MORE active in us
He is present in the Mass, in prayer, by His grace,
But it a presence we can only see if we open our eyes to see with the eyes of faith

If we do open our eyes to see then we will not have said of us what was said of the people of Jesus’s hometown: ‘He did not work many wonders among them, because of their lack of faith’

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