Under the care of the Discalced Carmelite Friars
`I am a great king says the Lord of Hosts and my name is feared throughout the nations.`This is how the word of God opens today in a passage from the prophet Malachi, and as we listen we must be tempted to shake our heads . Is the name of the Lord feared among the nations? It doesn’t appear as if it is.
The militant atheist Richard Dawkins has a new book out , nicely illustrated and it is called `The Magic of Reality`. The man who regards all religion as mere superstition or worse, is happy to use a banner headline with the word Magic to describe his own take on the world. Now magic and superstition are very much the same , so the question arises , is he contradicting himself? Richard Dawkins and his associates have a message for the world but so have we.
`Who do you say I am.`
This will remain the bottom line when all our discussions and our ideas have dried up.
Everyone ,young and old will have to face this question -
`What influence am I going to allow the message of Christ to have in my life.`?
`Who do people say I am.` `Who do you say I am`, unfortunately nowadays the question is answered less and less frequently , along the lines of Peter`s reply, You are the Christ , the Son o fthe living God. ..Lord to whom shall we go – you have the words of everlasting life..
I mention this scene from the gospel even though it is not in today`s gospel. I mention it because the theme today is about leadership.
Leadership is crucial for the smooth working of society. We see how a huge crisis has arisen over Qantas. It seems to me from the outside loking in that this is partly about leadership. The workers at Qantas do not trust their leadership. There may be more to it than this of course – it could be a clash over who calls the shots, the leadership or the workers. In any case the whole dispute is a minefield and it is the public and the economy that will suffer the greatest casualties. Everything slows down, even the subsidiary side of things – as someone said, there won`t be as many people looking for coffee lates and muffins at the airports for the near future.
People today need to meet Jesus Christ as our Leader and we know we can trust him.People need to get to know who he is..and this is the indispensable beginning of a life based on religious values.
Why is this?.
Its because Jesus gives us an authentic picture of God.We cannot really live in any satisfactory sense until we get this right.We may exist alright, we may even have a good job and an adequate family life , but there will be something missing.And it`s this – to the degree to which we fail to reflect and own the values of Jesus Christ and the model he gives us of relationship with God – to that degree our lives will be a failure..they will fall short of the target or miss the mark – that`s in fact the meaning of the word sin in the Scriptures…
So what was the quality of the relationship Jesus had with God his father..?
Jesus conversed with God in an intimate way and in his private prayer he developed this into a one to one relationship calling God Abba or `daddy`. He also knew God under the feminine image of holy wisdom.
This experience of God is that of a God , a power and a spirit who is benign, a God who is on our side and all for us.This is a God who loves and conserves all creation but especially human beings. He is a God who is wholly committed to ther wellbeing and happiness. So the mainspring of the whole of the life and being of Jesus is this image he gives us of a God who loves us and sets us free.
This is moreover a compassionate God whose heart went out to human beings. We were to love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves , as we had in last Sunday`s gospel, because this is the whole meaning of God`s law and the prophets. And it also responds to what is deepest in the human heart.This is what God urges on us – because this is what God is like.
We as a Christian community here are called to exercise our gifts and talents in the service of Christ our leader. In doing so we contribute to spiritual and religious progress in the world. And when all is said and done this is more important than economic success in any given society.
Fr. Tadgh Tierney ocd