November 17, 2020

View From the Faith Office

A reflection on the Readings from the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being, bless God’s holy name (Psalm 102)

Resentment and anger, these are foul things (Sirach 27.30)
Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive those who wrong me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.’ (Matthew 18.21-22)

Moments of transition are precious moments. Moving from the experience of the past to a vison of hope for the future. 

Moments of transition give you the chance to stop; to take stock; to look back. With gratitude for what has been, or recognition of what has not been and to seek reconciliation, before moving on, wiser, enlightened by the past. Committed to doing things better the next time around.

The Hebrew people spoke of these as sabbatical moments. The quiet and peace of sunset and the evening. Each week, resting on the seventh day. Holidays important contemporary sacred opportunities to take time out and to stop awhile. 

In these unique days living with COVID-19 and the consistently new and changing ways of living and being thrust upon us, these moments of transition are perhaps even more important. For none of us can see too far ahead; where our only reference points really are that which has just been.

No-one is an expert in the skills needed to navigate these days, and we are all relying on each other working together to get through. So for we who now start school holidays, today’s readings remind us that as we stop, we have a wonderful opportunity to let go of any anger and resentment, and to forgive those who may have hurt and wronged us. Psalm 102 in particular reminds us to concentrate on the good and the positive we have received, and to give thanks to God for these blessing.

This will give us the strength and the vision to journey on with confidence and hope.

Loving and compassionate God
We pray in thanksgiving for the many good things
We have experienced and received
And for which we are grateful.
May we recognise them as blessings from you.
We pray for healing upon our troubled world,
Especially for relationships that may be hurting or broken.
May your forgiveness and love flow through us,
That we may have the courage, generosity and compassion
To let go of anger and resentment,
And to forgive.
Receive this prayer of thanks and hope from grateful hearts
Knowing that we have, and will always be,
Loved and cared for
By You, through others.

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