Priest's Perspective

Daily Gospel reflection – Luke 12:54-59

22 October 2021

54Then Jesus said to the crowds, “As soon as you see a cloud rising in the west, you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and that is what happens. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It will be hot,’ and it is. 56You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky. Why don’t you know how to interpret the present time?

57And why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58Make every effort to reconcile with your adversary while you are on your way to the magistrate. Otherwise, he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and the officer may throw you into prison. 59I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the very last penny.”

Jesus continues to challenge us about our physical / material versus spiritual lives. As a Franciscan I believe and teach “non-dualism.”  Everything is spiritual and everything is holy. Our lives in Christ are about being reconnected with God and becoming whole again. Here Jesus challenges the people about their ability to understand the physical world, but the inability to see what God is doing in the world, in their very midst.

As Richard Rohr teaches us, creation is the first bible. If we do not sit at the foot of the first bible and marvel at the greatness of God. If the mountains and the seas and the trees do not speak to us of and about God, then when we read the second Bible, the written word, we will probably misinterpret and abuse it.  

This Gospel passage is a rebuke and a correction to us all. What is your source of information and guidance for life? Are the magazines and the opinion pieces where you draw your inspiration from, is your favourite TV presenter the one you turn to for wisdom? Or is God your source? Note here, that it would be foolish to think that one shouldn’t understand and read the weather. Listening to the news or the opinions of others has great merit; but we need to interpret everything we hear and read and are told through the lens of faith.  Just as God set the weather patterns in motion and we can navigate by his stars, so we can be guided by our education and worldly knowledge, but if we are wise then we will submit that to God and ask for a discerning spirit.

Secondly, and Jesus is an amazing teacher. (verse 58) “Make every effort to reconcile with your adversary while you are on your way to the magistrate.”

As you read that, I bet that you assumed you were the complainant. You were going to court because you were in the right and everyone deserves their day in court. The Pharisees, and us, we live as if we are the ones who are in the right, we are the innocent and justified. Just as we have established ourselves as the superior party in the narrative, Jesus cuts us gentle down to size. Saying you are not the innocent one. Read the book of Job and you will see this whole subject in perspective. St Paul wrote “ all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  Don’t accuse your neighbour, but rather reconcile, because at the end of the day, God will judge you for your actions.  

So don’t be a hypocrite, and actor, who knows the story of this world but fails to see the God who created all things and is sovereign over all things. Don’t make your belief in Jesus an add on, a Sunday thing or a few minutes of prayer and bible reading each day. Let’s you and me, sanctify ourselves completely and see all life all activity all thoughts as; “in Christ.”

If we go through our lives always trying to be right, better, superior, more powerful than others, if we are always looking for the affirmation of our fellow human-beings, always wanting self-promotion, we will fall short. But if we live humbly and seek to do God’s will in all situations, we will live at peace with God and our neighbour and find true joy.

What signs are you seeing around you. Signs that God is calling your closer, showing you love, seeking to reorder something in your life. Noone would plant at harvest time, no one would go seeking a harvest when its time to plant. What season is your life in (spiritually)? What is the Holy Spirit leading you to and teaching you in the circumstances of your life?

As I write this the sun is rising over the sea and the world is coming to life in front of my eyes, and I praise God for a new day to respond afresh to God’s love and serve Him in all I do. I pray too that today you will recognise what God is saying to you and that you will be filled with hope.

let’s pray

Lord God teach us to read the signs of our times, and to respond in obedience and with compassion on others and with hope for the future. 10 Plagues in Egypt preceded the Exodus into freedom. Open our eyes to see the freedom that you are bringing, and the hope that you are calling us to and the love that you are seeking to show us in the everyday events of our lives.

Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus. Amen.  

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