Fireworks greeted the beginning of the New Year just a few days ago. None of us could have considered the ecclesial and civic fireworks that have accompanied the deaths of Benedict XVI and Cardinal Pell. John the Baptist’s pronouncement, “Look, there is the Lamb of God” was, in comparison, hardly newsworthy, though the promise, “that takes away the sin of the world”, provoked many a query in the days that followed.
The politicisation of the deaths is uncalled for so, too, the proposal that one should be immediately a doctor of the church and both subject to the call, “subitio santo”. Last Tuesday was the feast of St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers. He died in 367. Pope Pius IX. declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1851. Likewise the declaration of Sainthood demands a degree of patience let alone the other necessary conditions.
In spite of all this and the enduring lesson, “you know not the day nor the hour”, we set out once more trying to make sense of what has been revealed to us by the scripture.
What are we called to?
What is expected of us?
As we journey away from the Christmas festivities and, that journeying like the Magi by a different way, we must look again at our Sunday scripture with newish and strengthened eyes.
So, some brief points this Sunday:
- Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.
- Let us make that an invocation each day this week.
- I will make you the light of the nations.
- Let us aim to have the oh so many lights of our faith and commitment, of our teaching and practise, overcome the darkness of our faults.
- You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings, but an open ear.
- Away with ideologies, allow the pursuit of truth to be our mark.
- Our lives have gifts.
- We all have interests.
Let 2023 be a year of positive response to God’s word enabling each of us to be true lights in our current troubled world.