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Fr Tom Lavin
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Reflections taken, with permission, from Intercom Magazine
Sunday, 27th November 2016
SEEING YOUR LIFE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS
1. The ‘coming of the Son of Man’ can be applied to the end of the world, to the moment of death, or to any moment of grace. We are not given advance notice as to when any of these will happen, so the message is to be alert and ready. When have you found that your alertness meant that you were able to receive an unexpected grace (e.g. take an opportunity which presented itself, or respond to a hint from another person that you might easily have missed, etc.)
2. One of the enemies of alert living is constant busyness. Have you ever found that being caught up in your own agenda makes you less sensitive to what is happening around you? Recall times when you paused in your relentless busyness and were rewarded by a significant interchange with another person, a moment of grace.
3. You probably know the difference between being ready for a visitor and the unannounced caller who catches you unprepared. Let the memory of the discomfort of being caught off guard spur you on to a constant readiness for the coming of the Lord.
John Byrne osa
You know that feeling of waiting for something or someone? It is a feeling of excitement or maybe anxiety. For most people, waiting is not a very popular pastime, it can be seen as a waste of time. If we allow it to, waiting can be a creative time, a time of high alert, where we may even be more aware of ourselves. Our senses are heightened especially when we are waiting for important news or results or waiting on a loved one to call or to arrive. Waiting is not always seen as a good thing but it can be a time for growth. And so, we enter into the season of waiting: Advent. The Gospel reminds us to be alert and use this time to prepare. What will our preparations be like? God is with us in many different ways, trying to catch our attention in the midst of our busy days. As we fight our way through the queues in the coming weeks, can we use 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 20 mins … to stop, be still, to ask God to enter into our hearts and lives once more.
The Deep End • Living transparently
How many of us can truly say that our lives are an open book? ‘Transparency’ is a bit of a buzz word in the media these days. With every scandal that hits the headlines uncovering the corrupt practices of some public figure or another, our trust is shaken. When it is a person from whom we would have expected better, or whose actions have hurt countless others, we are left to ponder the whys and hows of it all – How could they live a double life for so long? Why did they feel the need? And how on earth did they think they would get away with it?
But when we think about it, how many of us are living truly transparent lives? Do our outside selves always match our inner selves? We may be harbouring grudges or nasty thoughts about family members, friends, colleagues or acquaintances. Maybe we are cheating or being dishonest in some small way, or cutting corners in our work. It is likely that we have built up some habits or practices that we would rather no one knew about.
In our second reading today, Paul talks about the ‘things we prefer to do under the cover of the dark’, and urges us to ‘arm ourselves and appear in the light’. As we enter into Advent, it is the ideal time to examine our own lives – to come out into the light.
Athlone, Co Roscommon