Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 4 September 2022

He is still on that journey…to Jerusalem.

Many are still following him, including you and me.

Lots of pauses, chats, gatherings. They were popular…then and now.

Our Catholic world week began with the two-day meeting of the Pope and some 190 Cardinals.

In Australia, our civic world ended with a two-day talk-fest led by the Prime Minister and hundreds of guests. I wondered if either group heeded the words from the book of Wisdom, “The reasonings of mortals are unsure, and our intentions are unstable”.

Both meetings had huge agendas, each yearning to work for the common good. Each in their own way were seeking to build a tower…but I wondered if they had begun on agreed foundations. Some reports indicate that the image of the two “kings” was not too far removed from the reality! I wondered if either “king” had really sat down to “consider”?

Jesus is still on that journey to Jerusalem, the destination of his “tower”. It is steadily coming closer. The reality of what he is committed too becomes more clear. He can’t allow anything to get in the way. He still loves each of us completely, but he is committed to carrying out the will of his Father.

It is tough!

As scripture history reveals every now and then, “The call of God issued by the Prophet must relativise all other claims on life.” Doing that is the source of complete peace.

Having been made new in Christ Jesus, Onesimus is returned to his master. He, too, is now a Christian. Their relationship is now different, and the call of the Gospel demands that Paul must let go. All three people have been changed. A new way of living is demanded, at a cost to Paul, Philemon, and Onesimus. The civic status may remain the same; for the time being, master, slave, teacher. Nonetheless, the relationship of all has been changed for the better. All now live a new life in Christ Jesus. The tower had been built.

Yet again, these scripture passages remind us that choices cause conflict; in us and in those we love. But if we choose to follow Jesus, we are assured that ultimate peace will be ours, and also for those that follow our example.

Build your tower on his foundations.

Mons Frank