Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time    Year C     3 March 2019.

I am mindful of the opening words of the Scripture this weekend:

“in a shaken sieve the rubbish is left behind”.

We have all been shaken this week…I, from a distance.

I have been in NZ working with TEAMS in Wellington, Hamilton and Taupo and assisting with beginnings in Auckland. So I have missed the face to face encounters at home:  It has been difficult enough from a distance, I can’t quite imagine what it is like to be on the street at home. That will come.

One possible outcome, no matter the final result, is that the role of the laity in the life of the Church has to be acknowledged and the involvement of our baptised members, many or few, must be accelerated.

Our Church has been through many, many trials since the harrowing death on Calvary. The joy of the Resurrection was attacked by Paul in short time. Then came his and other conversions. Failures brought forth repentance; hope and growth followed.

We read Paul’s words today:

“Never give in then, my dear friends, never admit defeat; keep on working at the Lord’s work always, knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be labouring in vain.”

So it is time to examine how many splinters are in our eyes, all our baptised eyes or, if you prefer, have we been picking figs from thorns?

Being shaken in the sieve is not pleasant, or comfortable or for many, seemingly not just. But shaken we are. Uncomfortable we feel. “What the hell?”  we may exclaim. Maybe we need to pray the Psalm a little more attentively this weekend. I am reminded of those words attributed to Job in the context that it is His Church and that the Holy Spirit remains with us, if we take the good things from the Lord then we must accept the testing things.

All in all, let us continue to “Give you thanks, O Lord ” and pray in big doses for one another.

Mons Frank


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