8th Sunday in Ordinary time, Year C, 27/2/2022 Lk 6, 39-45
The answer to what happens if one blind man leads another blind man seems obvious, yet, we often know where we want to go but have no-idea how to get there. We are blind to the passage between ourselves and our goal. So, we lean on each other and ultimately place our trust in the Holy Spirit leading us in the right direction. Our Synodal sharing and conversations have been held in this way. We have shared our hopes and dreams for the future but are unclear how to make them concrete in a way that everybody is part of what we hope to become. Coincidentally, the Assumptionists received a Letter from their Superior General asking them to reflect on their Mission Statement or motto, Thy Kingdom Come (Adveniat Regnum Tuum). This is, in fact, a mission statement of every follower of Christ. Emmanuel d’Alzon, our founder, knew this. He asked us to live this mission in the best way possible to encourage and motivate others, to inspire and encourage and to show the joys and blessings it offers as well as how to overcome all the difficulties that will arise from living this mission. He hoped to strengthen the faith and fellowship of all by the way we lived.
Although the phrase, Thy Kingdom Come, is familiar, what does it really mean? How do we speak about this Kingdom to people today? Vatican II in the 1960’s offered new models to describe the Church. Rather than call the Church Triumphant, Hierarchical, the Mystical Body, an Institution, it spoke of the Church being a Family, a Pilgrim People, a Servant Church. Rather than being an edifice or structure, it described the Church as a living and growing being. This allows the Church to be more fluid, adaptable and responsive to the reality in which it lived. In other words, the Church is a living symbol of the presence of the Kingdom of God but it is not the Kingdom. We, the followers of Christ, are all part of the Kingdom which is open to everyone without exception, but we are not the Kingdom. The Kingdom could be identified as our life-blood and likened to the Spirit flowing in and through us. The Kingdom lives both within us and around us. In simpler terms we would say that the Kingdom exists wherever we find, experience, sense or feel the presence of Christ, of God and, since God is present in everything but not identified with any one thing or group, the Kingdom is present everywhere. No wonder Jesus wants us to be upfront and honest in the way we speak about our faith, our Church, our communities, our churches, which demand honesty, integrity, dignity, honour and respect. Teachers of the Gospel today need to heed Jesus’ words: A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart not from his head or from knowledge. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.’ Acknowledging the presence of the Kingdom of God allows the goodness and love of God to fill our hearts!
by Fr. Thomas O'BRIEN a.a