Philemon 1:9-10, 12-17
24th Sunday in Ordinary time
“if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, anyone who saw it would start making fun of him and saying, “Here is someone who started to build and was unable to finish.”
To me this reading reminds me of a team building activity we play in retreats. It’s called “Tallest Shoe Tower”. I used to run this where the aim to be build the tallest show tower with your shoes in a small group of people. It had to be free standing within the timeframe of 5 minutes. The other day I was running a day on leadership and resilience. One of the things we focus on is the foundations and structure and getting that right first and foremost. Once the group had the structure, I did the most horrible (but intentional in the spirit of learning) and knocked over their shoes towers and told them all they had to start again. The look on their faces 😊. I asked the students about what happens in their bodies, minds and hearts when we experience setbacks, when we have to start again? I was surprised by one student who answered me by saying well we have to think about what kind if structure we are building, if it works? It got me thinking about the foundations we lay and the importance of building solid structures so that when we experience knockbacks, we can have hope to rebuild or reframe or reliance on each other.
This is kinds what the readings are about to me… what do we do when we experience knockbacks, what kind of foundations of faith have we built… how do we work on ourselves so that we can go out to others and be the good news. I think it firstly must start with us and taking time for reflection to build a firm foundation with deep roots in faith, our feet on the ground and our arms reaching out to others.
Jo McDade is the Team Manager for The Passionist Youth Retreat Team. Wife and Mother of 4. Enjoying the sunshine in Brisbane.