A few years ago I was walking across the North Quad of the Christchurch Arts Centre as a mother was hurrying her toddler pulling him by the hand as he resisted and gazed into the sky.

The mother was getting more and more frustrated as the child tried to convince her that there was a church floating in the sky. She had no patience for her child’s fantasy and became more frustrated at the little boy’s resistance.

The last sound I heard as I left the quad was the child through tears insisting again: “But mummy, there IS a church in the sky.”

And the toddler was right.

Suspended high between the old stone buildings was Neil Dawson’s Echo sculpture, easily missed by passers-by more interested in their feet or their phones. It took an elevated glance to notice the sculpture and needed a child-like attitude of wonder to appreciate and delight in the work.

While it’s easy to quickly say that something or someone is wonderful, a child is more likely to gaze at the world as one full of wonder. Unfortunately as we “grow up” and try to take control of our lives we un-learn the ability to appreciate all that surrounds us.

Now take a moment to read today’s gospel.

Filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said:
‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see,  for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’
An Invitation
  • Practice using your physical senses, hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch to deeply appreciate with wonder the presence of Jesus with you today.
  • Take a few minutes in stillness and silence to savour the fact that the Father has entrusted the gift of faith of you, not because you are learned and clever, but simply because you are you.
13 Responses to "wonder-full"
  1. Thank you Father John. I find one of the blessings in being a grandparent, is that l can stop and engage in the ‘awe and wonder’ of a child as they look up. The clouds have many awe and wonder moments in them.

  2. Blessed way to begin my day. Going to slow down & enjoy the day with all it presents to me. Thank you for helping me journey through Advent in a faith filled way this year. GodBless you.

  3. Not being as mobile as usual, I have been forced to stop and take a long look around me. One of my favourite things is to sit in my garden and take in the beauty that is present in each bloom and plant. Then to see and feel God’s presence in each one.
    Infirmity has its blessings!

  4. What a wonderful and precious gift to celebrate the gift of hope as I endeavour to live my journey of faith within a place where many choose not to venture into. May the spirit of the Lord long live in you.

  5. Good daily readings thank you Fr.John. Unless we become like little children who are non judgemental, and enjoy the Little things of life.

  6. Thank you for your daily thoughts for Advent. Today’s story reminds me of all the pictures I found in the sky when I was a little girl. God has always been very close to me in the beauty of His creation.

  7. A couple of years ago I was driving with my four year old grandson in the car along the Petone Esplanade on a beautiful day. Hoping to help him start coming to an appreciation of God and of his love and kindness, I said ” Thank you God for this beautiful day !” Then a little voice came from the back: “You’re welcome!”

  8. Thankful for the pure air cavorting over 120km today around the buildings. Looking out it’s a “Windhover” day. Thankful for Gerard Manley Hopkins who gifted us with a poet’s eye and who expressed wonder-full in such rich symbolic language about Christ.

  9. Thankyou Fr John. I light a candle on my kitchen table and have Mother Mary holding baby Jesus beside it. It was lit all this morning and it provides a calming presence, invites you to pray.

  10. Love your awareness and sharing these wonderful times with so many. Great feed back also. I’ve often said children and travel are one,s best education. I
    must start adding nature to that statement.
    Thanks John

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