March 4, 2021
by Director of Mission, Mr Geoff Brodie
Every Monday and Friday the invitation to prayer in our Chapel is made to students and staff. Every Thursday College Chaplain Fr Eladio leads our community in the celebration of the Mass. I invite you to also share in our prayers by listening carefully to the words of Jesus.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’. (Lk 6:36-38)
This reading is taken from last Monday’s Mass. What a joy-filled and hopeful vision of life Jesus offers. However, Jesus is not some self-help guru espousing ‘pollyanna’ platitudes. This Sunday, those who hear Jesus’ words will “spring to their feet and hustle him out of the town; and they will take him up the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff.” (edited Lk 4:29-30). This is because Jesus is the Word of God, and sometimes the Word of God is too big to fit within our current horizons. In Jesus we hear, we encounter, the truth, goodness, and beauty of God. And these “Big 3” challenge the way we often choose to live.
Every Lent we are called to be people of courage and honesty. Have we fully accepted as our own the truth Jesus proclaims to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”? Are we willing to accept as our own the goodness Jesus proclaims to, in a favourite phrase of Blessed Edmund, “give to everyone who asks”? Are we willing to accept as our own the beauty of a life that loves unconditionally, even if it means the Cross? But we take great hope, because Jesus has already shown us that all this is possible, if we accept the gift of God’s love that floods our hearts and expands our horizons so as to welcome all truth, goodness, and beauty.
The riches of a life lived perfectly in love, truth, beauty, and goodness are revealed for us in the Gospels. An invitation of Lent is to spend time in the presence of Jesus through the Gospels, let him gently take us by the hand and to listen carefully to the fullness of life he offers as a gift. Let us exclaim with C.S. Lewis a reason to believe in our Christian faith: it is a religion that no one could make up, because all the lasting joys in this life are always received as a gift from those who love us.