25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 23rd September 2018
Happy those early days! When I
Shined (sic) in my angel infancy.
Before I understood this place
Appointed for my second race.
Or taught myself to fancy aught
But a white, celestial thought
(Henry Vaughan 1621-1695)
A Return to Innocence
The poet Henry Vaughan speaks of a pre-natal existence, imagining we all had a life with God before we were born. Wile true, that life began for all of us at the moment of conception, each of us already had a life in the mind of God from all eternity. "Before I formed you in your mother's womb I knew you, before you came to birth I consecrated you" we read in the Prophet Jeremiah 1:5.
The Loss of Innocence
"The good I would, I do not and the evil I would not, I do!" says St. Paul, in Romans 7:19. We have dreams of doing good and deep regrets about the evil to which we succumbed so easily. For most of our lives we have an inner longing to return to childhood innocence. "Oh how I long to travel back, and tread again that ancient track" said Vaughan hoping to reach that "plain where first I left my glorious train."
Walk with Me Programme
Last Sunday we had the first session of the Walk with Me Programme. What joy was displayed on the faces of parents and guardians as the children gave the most enthusiastic and profound answers to the simplest of questions. No wonder St. John Paul II said in his document, Christifidelis Laici (the document on the Laity) that children help to make adults holy.
Walking behind and walking before
Today the disciples are either walking before Jesus or walking behind him - they are not walking with him because they are talking in a worldly adult way. They are engaged in a power struggle, petty jealousies, wishing to gain control of others and even life itself. Jesus speak of the cross and death.
Our whole life and identity is in Chris alone
We have to return to childhood innocence to that dependency on God alone. We walk alongside Jesus with our childhood hand securely in his, walking by his side, walking with others in a child-like manner. Like children, we are allowed the indulgence, to vie with each other, to hold his hand while we walk with Him on the way of life.
Fr. Michael McCullagh C.M.