17/18 February £781.32
My dear friends,
For a number of years now, the revolution in ‘instant’ things have been growing. It started with the basics like milk and coffee, and then we had soup, car washes and shoe repairers. We have instant relief from pain through drugs, and instant relief from boredom through the plethora of games and entertainment that comes via various kinds of media. Even marriage can be a fairly instant affair, with the venue being less Gretna Green and more Vegas. In the supermarkets there’s quite a selection of ‘ready meals’ now, but they’re never quite taste the same as a home cooked meal.
The digital age has seen the advent of ever more inventive and creative ways to deliver the product or service ‘instantly’ – the development of APPS is one that comes to mind. This age of the instantaneous has encouraged a certain expectation where we want results quickly, waiting has become a grind, and inconvenience sparks irritation.
Yet, if we look at the natural world around us, everything has its own pace; if you plant a seed, you must wait for it to grow! We know with ourselves that to build a fulfilling and meaningful relationship with someone takes time and effort - along with many other factors. To grow in wisdom and maturity as human beings is the job of a lifetime.
Taking short-cuts in order to save time and effort is not a bad thing – it can be a good thing. But like many things in life, ‘there’s a time and a place’. You can’t short-cut the growth of a meaningful relationship – you have to work at it. There’s no APP for bringing up your children well – you have to work at it. There’s no button you can press for acquiring a skill – you have to work at it. There are certain things that require patience, time, effort, commitment, perseverance and a positive attitude that says, “I’m in this for the long-haul”. This is very much the case for the spiritual life. There are no short-cuts or easy options, as Jesus demonstrates in and through his journey. This does not mean to say that it is not fulfilling or joyful, more like it will have its challenges.
In the gospel, we hear an account where Jesus is momentarily transfigured with glory; a glimpse of who he was and what the future has in store. But St Paul tells us that the glory which belonged to Christ as the Son of God was put aside when he assumed our condition, so Jesus doesn’t rest on his status and glory, it doesn’t become a short-cut whereby the rest of his journey is evaded. Quite the contrary, this transfiguration event both consolidated and reinforced his conviction on what direction he needed to take.
Let’s pray that the graces which the transfiguration event bestowed upon the disciples, will be bestowed upon us, reinforcing and re-energising our commitment to follow Jesus.
Have a good week.