November 22, 2013
During last week
we welcomed eighty seven of our children to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time . It was a moving
experience for all of us.
One image that
stays with me is the look of innocence in the eyes of the children as they came to encounter the mercy of God in
the Sacrament. They knew it was a special and sacred event in their lives. They knew they were supported by
their parents and all who had helped them prepare. They knew too that somehow they were getting in touch with a
gift of forgiveness that is as simple as their childlike view of the world.
The wonder in
their eyes said it all.
left one longing to re-visit that place of simplicity, clarity and unencumbered love.
As life rolls on
we all manage to muddy the waters somehow, such is our original sin!
become wounded and complicated. They require delicate handling and excellent footwork. The rumblings in our own
hearts cause us grief, lead us to complicate our lives in ways we’d rather not, and the age of innocence becomes
well and truly a thing of the past.
Our faith as it
grows, moves from being a simple encounter with a loving God to a series of difficult and often unanswerable
questions. Suffering has a part to play in the unfolding of these questions, as does our struggle to live simply
Moral values which
were once simply understood, become bruised with compromise and excuses and sometimes end up in the too-hard
basket or the why-bother bin!
survives with a modicum of truthfulness and bucket-loads of compromise. Our political world is shot through with
a mixture of idealism, good will and self-interest.
Our Church is a
community of the broken, the lost, the holy, the self-righteous and the heroic. Our sins as a Church are on
display for all to see and for many our claim of moral authority is damaged beyond
How can we
possibly un-clutter our world when it has become so scarred by our wounded human
Jesus warns us
that unless we change and welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child, we’ll miss his meaning altogether.
We long for that
simplicity of life, that clear vision, that sureness of faith. The look in our children’s eyes tells us that
such things are possible.
We glimpse this
hope at other times too.
The look in the
eyes of parents as they present their child for baptism tells us that they know that they are onto something
The look between a
couple as they commit their lives to one another in marriage tells a similar
This week we
celebrate with our brother Willy as he is ordained as a priest in our Marist community. The clarity of vision
that he brings as he embraces his mission as a priest is an inspiration to all of us.
The eyes of a
dying parishioner receiving the healing touch of Anointing and a last Communion brings one back to the simple
truth that simplicity of heart is not only possible but is something real and living among us.
We thank God for
our children and their wide-eyed wonder. We thank God for the way that their innocent eyes tug at our hearts and
call us back to the simple truths that nourish, refresh and make whole.
Jesus is still
with us in Spirit and promises that a return to wholeness of heart and holiness of life is within our reach,
such is his great grace.
This week, may you
find a way back to the simple faith, the truthful spirit and the joyful trust in God’s promises that our
children are here to teach us.