2 John: 4-9
Luke 17: 26-37
In Australia as in many parts of the world we have become used to being alerted about severe weather patterns, health crisis and economic crises. In today’s Gospel, which we read against the global reality of floods, wars and famines in addition to our daily personal struggles and losses, Jesus is warning of hard times! We are reminded of the fragile nature of human life and the losses that so often break our hearts and challenge our hope. Margaret Silf in her book, ‘The other side of chaos’ says the main point of Noah’s story is the ‘new place’ where life could begin again.
She says ‘the new place’ is on a mountain top. The ark came to rest in a higher place than it could possibly have reached had it not been carried there on the waters of apparent destruction. This is truly a story of transition. We have all experienced those times when life has given us challenges-when bad things have happened-and we find ourselves on a rickety bridge, in a new place, a place of vulnerability, that has required a quantum leap. In this place we discover strengths we didn’t know we had and skills are released by the trauma of the transition and this transition may become ‘the birthplace of joy, creativity and love’ which is how Brene Brown describes as an aspect of vulnerability.
In truth, none of us know how we will respond in the face of challenges that turn our lives upside down in an instant. We do know though that Jesus has lived through suffering and journeys with us. By living into the pain of the passion Jesus came through to Resurrection.
Today we remember all those who have served in the armed forces, risking life and limb in defence of freedom. Our veterans and their families carry the scars of their time in war-torn countries for a lifetime. Today let us pray for all those who are living through painful transitions whether because of a personal loss, service for the common good or because they have stood against injustice. May we all reach that ‘new place’ where life can begin again. May our new place be a place of joy, creativity and love.
Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,