Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.
 

Sunday 22nd July 2018
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Jeremiah 23: 1-6     Ephesians 2: 13-18     Mark 6: 30-34

A Bit of Peace and Quiet.

It’s getting harder to escape from noise. It started in restaurants where no meal was complete without Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and it soon moved to supermarkets that enticed us into buying soap with Country and Western. Now dentists play New Age music to mask the sound of the drill, and it’s impossible to travel two floors in a lift without being serenaded by Mantovani. We’ve given in to the idea that noise is normal and quiet is abnormal. Yet the opposite is true.

If we fill every moment of our day with doing and getting, hurrying and scurrying, eventually we will come to a grinding halt. We need time to recharge, take stock and evaluate where all our activity is taking us. If we don’t do this then time dictates to us rather than the other way round.

From time to time the Gospels recall that Jesus had to create some space of his own in order to keep on top of the mission that his Father had entrusted to him. If he had not done this then he would have been less effective. So we see him going off to think and pray before many of the key stages in his ministry: being baptised; choosing his apostles; accepting his sacrifice on the cross; and several other times.

If Jesus had to do this, then certainly each of us will find it very hard to function without creating these moments of reflection and prayer. And they have to be created; they do not just present themselves. They may seem like a luxury in our busy timetables, but they are in fact necessities. If we are never alone, then we will never know who we are. And if we do not know who we are, we cannot know what God is asking of us.

Being alone does not mean that we have to be lonely. We can be alone in a crowd. Being alone means being centred, being in a constant relationship with God, knowing that God is never far from us. To recognise this at the beginning of each new day allows us to call it to mind in the spare moments of our hustle and bustle. It serves to re-focus us, to encourage us and to ensure that no moment of our day is wasted.

Creating these few moments of peace and quiet each day makes us hungry for longer periods in which we can be alone by ourselves. It helps us to get our priorities right and to keep in the right direction. Getting into a boat and finding a bit of deserted seashore was the way that Jesus searched for this inner peace. You may not have a boat, but in every twenty-four hours you’re sure to come across a bit of seashore.

 

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Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2018