Father Michael Barrow

From the parish of St Francis of Assisi

Reflection On St. Ignatius Loyola and His Legacy "Finding God In All Things" By Fr. Michael Barrow, S.J.

Reflection On St. Ignatius Loyola and His Legacy "Finding God In All Things"  By Fr. Michael Barrow, S.J.
St. Ignatius Loyola

This Sunday, as a Jesuit parish, we are celebrating the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola. He's probably best known as the founder of the Society of Jesus - or Jesuits as we are called. But his greatest legacy, which we have not yet absorbed sufficiently is what he called "finding God in all things."

Just think of the parable in today's gospel: "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it." What is the pearl of great value in your life? For most of us, I'm afraid, when Jesus starts a parable with the words "The kingdom of heaven is like…", we have the feeling that what we value most in our lives is supposed to be something religious or at least directly connected with God – with a bit of a twinge that we are letting the side down by what we really treasure in our lives. It is a pity, and yet it is true, that most Christians have the feeling that the real work of God in our lives is prayer and religious practice. They accept that we have to work and respond to the demands of life, but somehow regard that as time taken away from the real work of God.

No! What we most value, whether it's our job or our family, is nearly always something that is building up the kingdom of God. When parents spend their lives bringing up their children, when builders are constructing a house or a school, when teachers are educating children or young people, even if they have no explicit religious faith, they are working to build up the kingdom of God. Almost everything we do, if it is not directly evil, is working with God.Everything in our lives is sacred and spiritual, if you have eyes to see it - the tragedy is that we do not see it.

Fr. Michael Barrow, S.J.

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