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Please click on the link for the full newsletter 13th Sunday Ordinary Time


Foxes, birds and ploughs – Jesus often used images of his surroundings to help us understand the depths and truths of the Kingdom of God. He grew up in the fertile region of Galilee amidst farming areas. He often found himself on mountains or near lakes. He spoke of the flowers being clothed with more grandeur than Solomon’s robes and the splendour of a healthy harvest.

Some have called Jesus an environmentalist however he was also very real about the challenges of the natural world – the weeds which choked, the branches which did not yield and the grass which is here today but, gone tomorrow.

Jesus took the time to notice and to wonder at the events of the natural world which revealed so many truths about its creator. He taught us that it is one thing to see a tree. It is another to wonder at its splendour and its longevity. It is one thing to take the spoils of the harvest. It is another to give thanks for the goodness of God and God’s commitment to the creation.

What do we notice? How often do we allow ourselves to stop and to appreciate the presence of God in the everyday?

For some, the everyday is dodging traffic, making the next appointment and gulping down a meal. Our days are dominated by demands upon us which are not God motivated but rather for selfish gain. Expressions of love and peace and justice are in our hearts but, not always in our diaries and, why should they be? Probably because some lives are so busy that we might need to make an appointment to experience these things. The trouble is, these can be easily postponed if something work driven comes up.

“Stop and smell the flowers,” is an expression from a novel about a golfer. Now, there is a game which sums up life. The odd good shot keeps you interested. The rest get you frustrated. The ball lands on a good lie and the next it is in the sand or the water. The lie of the green is not always what we expected (well, that’s my golfing experience). Stopping to smell the flowers is good advice amidst anxious times.

The point is, Jesus did stop and Jesus did notice and if we do it more often ourselves, how much more may be revealed to us about the goodness of God and how much more meaning will be given to our lives.

Fr Bob Harwood


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