Weekly Scripture

3rd Sunday of the Year

The call to ‘repentance’ is at the heart of the whole Christian tradition. It echoes throughout the bible. Kieran O’Mahony suggests ‘conversion’ as a better word than ‘repentance’, which can carry a sense of guilt for many people. I grew up with a sense of sin as disobedience, not conforming, the breaking of this or that commandment, wrong actions or words, rather than as a painful condition of the human spirit, a shadow background to life. Like most people I viewed repentance as a way of paying a debt to God, a spiritual transaction, and not as a way of healing and life. Jesus’ call to repentance is a call to a revolution in attitude and thinking. Spiritual writers today like Rupert Spira, Richard Rohr and others encourage us to move from binary to non-dual or inclusive attitudes and ways of thinking. Binary or exclusive thinking sees only one side of the equation - us or them, winners or failures - and is not sympathetic to the whole picture. If anything, it is egoist – a way of reading life from the position of my private self-interest: “What’s in it for me?” It’s the lens through which most people see reality. Most of us use words like good/bad, smart/stupid, nice/ugly…. It works well for conversation, being understood, and getting things done. But…. Jesus was non-binary, non-judgmental. His friends and followers were saints and sinners. He didn’t buy into the exclusionary attitude of his culture. He made friends with both saints and sinners: with Martha and Mary, with law-breakers and law-abiders, with thieving tax collectors and prostitutes…. And he called them all to follow him and adopt the non-judgmental dynamic of the kingdom of God. His attitude was one of “Who am I to judge?” His advice was “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” - Matt 7:1. Paul reminds us that in Christ “there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus” - Gal 3: 27-28. “Jesus’ message reiterates that of the Baptist, announcing the ‘kingdom of heaven.’ This kingdom does not involve the establishment of a new political power, but the fulfilment of the Covenant between God and his people, which inaugurates a season of peace and justice. To secure this covenant pact with God each one is called to convert, transforming his or her way of thinking and living. This is important: converting is not only changing one’s way of life but also one’s way of thinking. It is a transformation of thought. It is not a matter of changing one’s clothes, but one’s attitudes.” - Pope Francis, Angelus, 22nd January, 2017 Fr. QQ – 18/01/2024 Being a Christian is the result of an encounter with a person which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. – Pope Francis, THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. Image: pixabay.com An archive of these Scripture reflections is available on the Carmelite Sisters website here: https://www.carmelitesisters.ie/category/blog/
© 2024 Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph, Kilmacud, Co. Dublin, A94 YY 33, Ireland Registered Charity in Ireland    CHY 6210   CRA No. 20010720 Hosted by Blacknight Made with Xara
St. Joseph’s Carmel
© 2023 Carmelite Monastery of St Joseph, Kilmacud, Co. Dublin, A94 YY 33, Ireland Registered Charity in Ireland    CHY 6210CRA No. 20010720 Hosted by Blacknight Made with Xara

3rd Sunday of the Year

The call to ‘repentance’ is at the heart of the whole Christian tradition. It echoes throughout the bible. Kieran O’Mahony suggests ‘conversion’ as a better word than ‘repentance’, which can carry a sense of guilt for many people. I grew up with a sense of sin as disobedience, not conforming, the breaking of this or that commandment, wrong actions or words, rather than as a painful condition of the human spirit, a shadow background to life. Like most people I viewed repentance as a way of paying a debt to God, a spiritual transaction, and not as a way of healing and life. Jesus’ call to repentance is a call to a revolution in attitude and thinking. Spiritual writers today like Rupert Spira, Richard Rohr and others encourage us to move from binary to non-dual or inclusive attitudes and ways of thinking. Binary or exclusive thinking sees only one side of the equation - us or them, winners or failures - and is not sympathetic to the whole picture. If anything, it is egoist – a way of reading life from the position of my private self-interest: “What’s in it for me?” It’s the lens through which most people see reality. Most of us use words like good/bad, smart/stupid, nice/ugly…. It works well for conversation, being understood, and getting things done. But…. Jesus was non-binary, non-judgmental. His friends and followers were saints and sinners. He didn’t buy into the exclusionary attitude of his culture. He made friends with both saints and sinners: with Martha and Mary, with law- breakers and law-abiders, with thieving tax collectors and prostitutes…. And he called them all to follow him and adopt the non-judgmental dynamic of the kingdom of God. His attitude was one of “Who am I to judge?” His advice was “Do not judge, and you will not be judged” - Matt 7:1. Paul reminds us that in Christ “there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus” - Gal 3: 27-28. “Jesus’ message reiterates that of the Baptist, announcing the ‘kingdom of heaven.’ This kingdom does not involve the establishment of a new political power, but the fulfilment of the Covenant between God and his people, which inaugurates a season of peace and justice. To secure this covenant pact with God each one is called to convert, transforming his or her way of thinking and living. This is important: converting is not only changing one’s way of life but also one’s way of thinking. It is a transformation of thought. It is not a matter of changing one’s clothes, but one’s attitudes.” - Pope Francis, Angelus, 22nd January, 2017 Fr. QQ – 18/01/2024 Being a Christian is the result of an encounter with a person which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. – Pope Francis, THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL. Image: pixabay.com An archive of these Scripture reflections is available on the Carmelite Sisters website here: https://www.carmelitesisters.ie/category/blog/
Weekly Scripture
St. Joseph’s Carmel