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Fr Tom Lavin
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The following meditations are taken with permission from Intercom Magazine
Sunday, 26th November 2017
SEEING YOUR LIFE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS
1. The story sees a mixture of religion and politics, a potentially explosive combination. Jesus does not ask us to avoid politics, but that our involvement in the affairs of the world be informed by the perspective of the reign of God. How does the gospel give you a vision of how your involvement in society should be?
2. Pharisees and Herodians were not natural allies but a shared dislike of Jesus brought them together in an attempt to discredit him. Perhaps you experience the same opposition in society today when you profess to being a Catholic. Jesus did not get into an argument with them but simply professed his belief in the priority of God in his life. What have you found helpful in bearing witness to the fact that you are still a Catholic?
3. Jesus recognises that we can be faced with conflicting claims for attention. He does not tell us how to solve that dilemma, but challenges us to make sure that our allegiance to God takes priority. When have you been faced with a conflict of loyalties? What helped you to get your priorities right?
John Byrne osa
The greatest evil is that in our own hearts, but God is greater than our hearts. When we sin against our brother or sister we sin against God. Charles de Foucauld spoke of seeing Jesus in every person: ‘Above all see Jesus in every person and consequently treat each one as an equal and as a brother or sister, but also with great humility, respect and selfless generosity.’ The other person is the brother or sister for whom Jesus died (1 Cor 8:11f).
John O’Brien OFM, With Thee Tender is the Night
THE DEEP END: What sort of king is this?
From a very young age, children tend to hear a lot about royalty. Popular fairytales, many of them around for hundreds of years, tell tales of beautiful princesses, brave princes, and noble, wise, old kings and queens. They transport children into a world of extravagant palaces and riches beyond anything they could imagine. Modern children’s stories and cartoons continue the fascination, but many now turn the traditional stereotypes on their head. Princesses no longer wait around to be rescued, but take their fate into their own hands. Princes don’t necessarily want to be brave or to become the next king.
In the time of Jesus kings were powerful rulers, and some were tyrants. We know from earlier in Matthew’s Gospel that King Herod was capable of brutal acts. There were expectations too about the great Messianic King who would lead a rebellion and establish his kingdom on earth.
The king that Jesus talks about turns these images upside down. He is a fair judge, a shepherd who looks after his flock, inviting all who act with justice and generosity to take their place in his kingdom. He is also in solidarity with the ‘least’ of his people. Who ever heard of a king who knows what it’s like to be in need of food, clothing or company? But Jesus is a different sort of royalty. His kingdom is not based on power or riches, but charity, compassion and forgiveness.
Athlone, Co Roscommon