think again

Dec 13, 2022

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“Jesus said to the chief priests and elders: What is your opinion? A man had two sons:. Mt 28:28-32

I imagine the father standing with his two sons surrounded by many workers. One son sought to keep the peace and lied to his father “yes I will go”, but had no real intention of going to the vineyard. The second son was at least more honest and up-front: “No I will not go”.There is some integrity in acknowledging this resistance to the will of the father.

Christians are often accused of being hypocrites, saying one thing and doing another, and I admit that I’m a bit like this professing belief in Christ and failing to live this.

Note that the turning point in this encounter was when the second son, moved with repentance, changed his mind and decided to do what the father asked.

He thought again.

In this re-thinking and about-turn he becomes an example of living in harmony with his deepest desire, that is the desire of God for him.

I’m writing this late on Monday evening, just home from the Mass and dinner for the three priests of the Christchurch diocese who have celebrated significant anniversaries of ordination this year. It was a great gathering, good company, great stories and some good laughs.

One of our jubilarians, celebrating 25 years or ordination, is a young man in his 50’s currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. His reflection repeated the word gratitude. He spoke of his gratitude to God for so much. His sharing was rich with joy and hope.

As I drove home I was pondering Benito’s testimony and was moved enough to stop the car and sit in stillness and silence to consider all of this in the fading light of the day.

It wasn’t a particularly spectacular sunset by Canterbury standards, but Ben’s words were enough, causing me to think again and savour my own many reasons for joy, hope and gratitude.

“We listen to views that make us feel good,
instead of ideas that make us think hard.”
“Think Again”  Adam Grant

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Fr John
    Putting some of your words together, I think you were talking about Fr Benito. He is remembered I’m sure with great affection for his time in the North Parish a few years ago now.
    Fred

    Reply
  2. Fr Benito has always been a Priest of joy and gladness with his love of Mary and Jesus. His happy disposition was always infectious and it is always a treat to be in his company. Keep him in all your prayers especially over this happy festive season

    Reply
  3. Kia ora

    Reply
  4. This is one of quite a few Gospels that makes me squirm! Thanks for the encouragement to think again and think hard, and God bless Fr Benito.

    Reply
  5. Think again is a fine piece of advice. This gratitude thing reminds me of another question to think harder about. “Who am I being to make your children and friends eyes shine?”

    Reply
  6. Thanks for your reflection. we relate to Benito’s story as Mary is currently undergoing chemotherapy. for ovarian cancer . It is a challenge to be grateful for the chemotherapy for the first few days but we are grateful it is doing its job and that we can have treatment.

    Reply
  7. Grateful for the time Benito spent with us as our Parish Priest. He was always so positive and happy and was an inspiration to us. May his treatment go well.

    Reply

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