Reflection for Sunday 13 February

I’m trying something a bit different. Hope you like it.

Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-8; Psalm 1: 1-6; 1 Corinthians 15: 16-20; Luke 6: 20-26

What do we need now?

Hope seems pretty useful. The way our lives have been a rollercoaster these past two years – are we up or down? – you’d be forgiven for asking: Is anything stable? Is there anything that we can cling to?

As it regularly does, scripture helps give us a longer view. The Psalms that have stood 3000 years worth of famine, war and plague encourage us to ‘hope in the Lord’. This Sunday’s Gospel gives us Luke’s Beatitudes and woes. One can be inclined to write off the Beatitudes as pious-sounding, pie-in-the-sky stuff but Luke then hits privileged people, like me, ‘where they live’ by reminding us as Jeremiah did in the first reading that God doesn’t look at the world the way that humans do. God doesn’t care about status, power and control. God loves every human creation, indeed every part of creation.

‘Hope in the Lord’ can seem naive or simplistic. Yet, taking the long view is a way of riding the storm. Not getting too high or too low. Rather, each of us should focus on acting with love and justice and ask ourselves ‘how am I doing with that?’

But why love and justice? Because they build right relationships, they build community. They bring God who is love to the fore in everyone’s lives and so bring God’s reign closer. Thus by acting with love and justice we bring God closer – and so make hoping in the Lord a reality.

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