I trust you have all survived four whole weeks without these particular insights and suggestions? There is a suspicion that the break has done me good, and a hope you will have benefited from other wells of water? What we all too frequently overlook is that the richest of all wells is our own, individual, well – the one that often lies untapped within each one of us!

Take a look at the first few verses of
THIS SUNDAY’S OLD TESTAMENT READING [EZEKIEL 2: 2 – 5]. There we hear that “the Spirit entered into me and set upon my feet, and I heard him speaking to me …” Too often we sell ourselves short by not recognising the life of the Spirit that exists within each one of us …. we seek inspiration from ‘foreign’ sources forgetting that deep down inside ourselves there exists the well of personal experience. Therein we should discern the Spirit’s strength that finds its source within both our successes and failures.

The Spirit, indeed, has entered into us, and we have been set upon our feet. On our feet we must learn to
STAND UP STRAIGHT AND BE COUNTED. Why counted? For the simple reason that, as Ezekiel tells us, “Son of man, I send you … I send you to them.Each one of us has been sent. If sent, we have been chosen. If chosen, then it indicates we have been seen to possess the ability for the task for which we have been sent.

Of course standing on our feet does not mean (it never should) that there is no need for constant growth, wider knowledge, newer insights, deeper understanding and the honing of our personal abilities, particular gifts and talents. So, the thoughts of others are always important. I may not always agree with everything communicated but I should know clearly why I do not agree. However, one basic value must remain undisputed – the value of God’s word and sacraments.

TODAY’S PSALM [123 or 122) provides this foundation: “like the eyes of a servant on the hand of her mistress.” It follows then that my insights into the weekly scripture readings may well be helpful but you have to evaluate them as you integrate them into your own ability to stand on your own feet, recognise the presence of the Spirit within yourself, and accept the call that you, too, have been sent to them.

Always be wary of seeing yourself merely as a sponge that soaks up! A sponge needs to be squeezed. It needs to give out in order to absorb more. In all of this we should never overlook the value of personal experience. While I experience Word and Sacrament, as I absorb and squeeze out, I am living a life of human proportions, experiencing something which is very different from your own ….. my successes, failures, challenges, limitations and sinfulness {Saint Paul reminds us in
TODAY’S NEW TESTAMENT EXTRACT [2 Corinthians 12: 7 – 10], “a thorn was given me in the flesh … to keep me from being too elated … my power is made perfect in weakness“}. All of this has to be integrated into my sponge while, at the same time accepting that, as our Psalm indicates, I am always a slave whose eyes are on the hand of the Lord.

However, as we move into our worlds we need to know that we encounter rebels and those who are stubborn (see Ezekiel). In addition,
TODAY’S GOSPEL [MARK 6: 1 – 6] indicates, as we teach there are those who will take offence.

To teach is to witness. Witnessing is not always in speech – often silence is more effective, and action is more powerful than either.