There are two main challenges with creating a sermon on today’s parable. The first one is its renown; so much high-quality artwork and literature have been produced that my attempts can only be extremely dwarfed. The second challenge is the parable’s richness. Once I delivered a 30-minute sermon, touching various aspects of the story. Rest assured, I’m not going to make you suffer for such a long time today!
It’s a bit strange to hear the story of Jesus’ transformation on a Sunday in Lent. Calls for repentance, conversion, reconciliation and other attitudes traditionally associated with Lent would seem to be more appropriate, because that’s want Lent is about, isn’t it? Today’s gospel seems to be misplaced. But it isn’t. In fact, today’s gospel is another step we are supposed to take in our journey through Lent.
Recently I’ve replaced the carpet in my sitting room. Mainly because it was completely worn out and due to be replaced. Secondly, because I had quite a collection of planks I’d taken out of my eyes; it would have been wasteful to simply throw them away. Now my sitting room looks better with the new floor and I’ve incidentally produced storage space for more planks I will take out of my eyes in the coming days, weeks and months. Thankfully, there’s more carpet in the parish house in need of replacement, so any planks in the future will find a useful purpose.
‘If you want something done ask a busy person.’ This popular saying seems to be counter-intuitive. But its popularity is in itself a proof of its veracity. Busyness is quite commonly considered a sign of the right attitude, responsibility for one’s own life and so on. Busy people usually are reliable, because they have developed all the necessary skills to deal with multiple tasks. Skills like planning ahead, dividing the whole challenge into smaller, manageable sub-tasks, steps necessary to achieve their goal or to solve the problem. On the other hand, people found to be reliable are getting busier, because we all prefer to work with individuals who’ve proven themselves trustworthy. So, busyness and reliability go hand in hand. (https://bit.ly/2Gxq826)
I’m Father Tad. T-A-D. I’m not Father Ted. That’s a completely different character (I hope). From my accent you can rightly guess that’s I’m ‘nae Scottish’; or – to be more precise – neither was I born nor brought up in Scotland. But, according to my DNA research, I’m 11.3 percent Scottish. Is that good enough? Well, I hope so. I certainly love Scotland; otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed here for over 11.3 years. As for the rest of my genetic composition, I’m Central European, Baltic (very appropriate for weather in Aberdeen) and Jewish. To make things even more confusing, I’m legally British. In other words, I am a pure breed mongrel – and proud of it. What am I doing here, in this parish? Dare I say, I’m responding to the call from today’s first reading: ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you came to birth, I consecrated you; I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.’