8th Sunday C       –       Winter into Spring                                                                                                                                                           

 February is on the wane and springtime in Ireland is in the process of being sprung. The sun appears earlier from the darkness of the eastern morning, looking like a large red flower in bloom. Days are brighter and little green buds are appearing on our branches, and new life is starting to shiver through the black and white thorn bush. Hibernating nature is shaking a leg and the early bird is on the wing and the lookout for the makings of a nest. The solemn bones of winter seem lighter as the dark and threatening pandemic recedes.  St. James has been reminding us this past week or more to look at ourselves in a spiritual mirror and not be complacent; there’s work to be done before we reach the sunny uplands of summer.

Springtime is no time to sleepwalk through life. The piece from Luke this Sunday made me wonder if he and James liked to share a glass of wine on occasion. Both writers give the impression that they experienced a kind of indifference among some who claimed to follow Christ, and felt a need to invade their complacency. Michael Paul Gallagher once identified Ireland’s relationship to the faith as one of indifference, a kind of uncaringness. He believed that indifference made everything it touched meaningless. It is not unrelated to complacency, the contented self-satisfaction of “been there done that” – surely the hall-mark of the stagnant soul!

Many religions and philosophies sound a clarion call to wake up to reality: repent, they cry, there’s more to life than just me and my agenda. As believers we are part of something larger than ourselves. We belong to, and are, what we call the Body of Christ. It took St. Paul almost a decade to figure that one out, and when he finally got it his enthusiasm knew no bounds – 1 Corinthians 12: 27ff.  There’s an invitation and a challenge this final Sunday before the season of Lent begins to check whether our actions, our thoughts, and our words reflect our identity as believers who belong to Christ.

“I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me” – Gal 2:20. As we peruse the scriptures friendly words and phrases leap out, and hearing them as if for the first time, we may sense that someone is standing at our door and knocking – Revelation 3:20. We pause, savour the moment and sit awhile in the silence of life that’s beyond thought and feeling. We live and pray out of who we are, that is to say that Christ who lives in us is like a spring of living water welling up within us. For from the fullness of the heart our daily lives and thoughts and words will flow.

Fr. QQ – 02/23/2022





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