Hosea 5:15-6:6
Luke 18:9-14


I was in regional New South Wales, near Murwillumbah, many years ago. I was staying at a farm, and one day I went for a walk along the road. I passed one farm, part of which had become overgrown. In the fence was a gate, which was also overgrown with plants and weeds. The old gate was no use. At one stage of its life, it had been a vital part of this farm. But now, it was beyond being good for anything.

I thought about that old gate and wondered what had led to its demise. Why was something that once welcomed visitors, goods, food, and family love, now of no worth?

And it made me think: it was no longer any use, not just by the passing of time, but because someone found a better way.

Someone found a better way.

In today’s readings, we are challenged to find “a better way”.

Will we be people who will heal and bind up wounds?

Will we look at ourselves and others compassionately or stand in judgement and righteousness? Personally, I believe I don’t have any right to judge anyone because, quite simply, I don’t know even one-hundredth of their story, let alone all of it.

Even if we have fallen a thousand times, each day is an opportunity to find a better way.

And we can offer that gift to those we encounter along the way.

Peter Gardiner is a Passionist Priest in Sydney. He is primarily involved in outreach ministries.