REFLECTION FOR THE THIRTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C), Week beginning 23RD OCTOBER 2022
Purely in respect of earthly living, 2 very significant dates await us at the end of this month: (a) at the day’s very end on Saturday 29th October, the clocks go BACK by one hour: Greenwich Mean Time again taking over from British Summer Time; (b) The new Chancellor of the Exchequer (Jeremy Hunt) will deliver his Financial Statement on Monday 31st October. (Predictions expect it to accord with all the ghoulishness of Halloween!)
With the latter of these, we expect society to be taken back much further than one hour – back, rather, to the AUSTERITY of the past decade or so.
As to the noun ‘austerity’, its adjective ‘austere’ does not receive ‘good press’ in the Oxford Dictionary – being defined as ‘severe’, ‘plain’, ‘grim’ etc. Yet also there, it is equated with such as ‘self-denying’, ‘self-disciplined’, ‘puritanical’.
These last 3 definitions obviously speak to our spiritual selves. In a more straitened scenario, we will need to ‘dig deep’ – into our spirit and soul, so that we find an inner strength. In the worst-case scenario, it may resemble something of a ‘Lent’ – not for 40 days but 40 weeks or 40 months!
In these conditions, as disciples of Jesus, we will need to “take up our cross” in an altogether new way – on what might be termed the ‘Via Economica’.
Are there ways in which we can genuinely rein ourselves in, genuinely de-clutter in our daily lives? – not looking to build any ‘bigger barns’ but to be sufficiently happy in our one current ‘barn’, streamlining it and keeping a good, ordered, spiritually tidy home?