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23rd Sunday 22

We have just heard how human reasoning lacks conviction. You may say that here the inspired author is wrong, because after all, in July the news was reported and the pictures taken by the latest space telescope were shown. It was claimed that these pictures allowed us to look into the world from twelve, or maybe fourteen billion years ago!?  Is this possible…, or maybe not at all. Maybe our mind is uncertain- as the Word of God warns today. Why is it that no one or very few of those enthralled by the universe want to recognise that it could not have come into existence by itself? Why is it difficult for humanity today to allow itself the thought of a Creator.

It is unfortunately true that now even many believers do not particularly want to accept the version that God is the initiator and true Author of the universe.  One would like to say that as long our  human reasoning lacked conviction, it was correct. God was God and man was creation, meaning everything in its place. As long as man sought to discern God’s intention, he came to the truth. When he began to doubt, to negate God’s truth, the trouble began. We remember how terribly wrong Pilate was when he failed to recognise the Truth and sentenced Jesus to death.  We see this happening almost every day now. Believers are beginning to doubt whether it is still worthwhile to remain in the Church. There is a fear that what Pope Benedict XVI said in Berlin about twelve years ago is coming true: “It follows that belonging to this vine, the “Church”, is no longer a source of joy. Dissatisfaction and discontent begin to spread, when people’s superficial and mistaken notions of “Church”, their “dream Church”, failed to materialize! It is possible that many Catholics today feel like they are enslaved in the Church.     This is similar to the experience to Onesimus in the second reading. He was unhappy when living in Philemon’s house, so he ran away. Fortunately, he met the apostle Paul and there he understood that being a slave to a man was not yet the worst  thing. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ he found true freedom and was able to return to Philemon

Unfortunately, I think, it has to be admitted that the ‘salt’ of Christianity has weathered a bit and in many situations it is difficult to judge whether this really is still Jesus’ Church. ” Good the salt may be, if it has lost its taste, you cannot make it salty again .”  Perhaps we should tremble? However, one must not give in to despair –  God has already shown more than once that He is able to lead humanity out of the dark valley of evil into broad and sunny pastures where the Gospel is the true signpost.

May Mary grant us the grace of faithfulness and patience as we wait for the paths of the earth’s inhabitants to become straight again – as the Author of Wisdom foretold in the first reading.