Father Michael Barrow

From the parish of St Francis of Assisi

Reflection On The Sunday Gospel By Fr. Michael Barrow, SJ

Reflection On The Sunday Gospel By Fr. Michael Barrow, SJ

If you believe the newspapers in most parts of the world, Christianity is doomed and the Church has no future. There's nothing new in that. It has been like it since the beginning of the Church. When you think how the Church started and the people Jesus chose to establish it, you would be forgiven for thinking that it didn't stand a chance. It was doomed. The man Jesus put in charge from the beginning, "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church", was full of self-confidence: "Even if all the others lose faith, I will not." But when the crunch came, he was the first to chicken out - and the rest of these specially chosen people were no better. What saved the Church at the time of the Apostles was failure, as they came to realise how much they depended on God and not on themselves. They started by failing and failing badly.

A careers adviser tries to help youngsters to choose their career by acknowledging the qualities they have and the dreams of what they might achieve. A boy or girl with some scientific ability and a real sympathy for people might make a good doctor or nurse, a person who loves children and has some gift of bringing out the best in them would make a good teacher.What would make a good Catholic?

The most effective development of a Catholic is to have failed. A person who has failed badly and can understand what it is like to be at the bottom of the heap is one who can sympathise with others. The man or woman who has sinned badly through weakness and knows how easy it is to go wrong will understand those who are written off as being immoral. A person who is reduced to calling out to God in despair because they've made such a mess of things is one who can be chosen by Christ.

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