Friday 16 February 2018

The Questions that Really Matter

As we approach Lent, it might be a time to reflect on the things that truly matter. This week, someone pointed out a reference in the press to the College that was less than flattering. I nodded, and agreed that it didn’t seem to be a fair assessment and went on my way. I learned long ago both as a Jesuit and a soldier, that when you seem to be very good at something (some people use the word ‘elite’, which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion, but being ‘elitist’ is not good) other people’s response to that is to challenge you. So it may be with our community. Personally, I don’t care how other people outside our community perceive us. Or what they may say about us. Because they haven’t had our experience and don’t know us as a community. Our mission as a community is the same as the mission that each one of us was born with: To become the person that God created us to be. That means asking the question: “Who do we desire to be, as a community?” And its follow on: “How do we become that community?”

If we answer those two questions and strive to live them out consistently, it doesn’t matter what people say about us, since, as long as we are true to ourselves and reflect honestly about how well we are becoming that community, then the outcomes will reside with God, not what anyone anywhere says about us.

The interesting part is that if we are true to ourselves and our mission, regardless of what people say about us, we will attract people who are interested in the things we’re interested in, no matter what other people say about us. Things like faith, hope, love, service, community and just taking care of one another. Things that can be quite countercultural in our world. Let’s let them talk, while we live out our commitment to the Gospel together. In that way, we can stay focused on our pilgrimage together to become who we’re supposed to be. Together.

 

This week’s reflection:

Where is it that I need to be? What are the landmarks I can use to guide myself there? Can I be grateful for the things and people I find along the way?

Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse, Kangaroo Island

Fr Jack McLain SJ