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In today’s Gospel reading at mass there are various accounts of the risen Jesus appearing to a number of people. There is a lot of disbelief when those who saw him reported what they had seen.

One can hardly blame them. I can imagine them saying that this was wistful thinking, that they had imagined it; using today’s language, that it was a case of auto suggestion.

We all have expectations of how things should be; often based on past experiences. What has happened in the past is never fully forgotten, or does not affect us in some way, at least in the unconscious or deeper conscious. This is not bad in itself; we rely on memory, it is vital. Just imagine if you had to remember what is good or bad for you every time you come across something to eat.

I learn a lot from animals. I love animals of all forms. I believe that they proclaim loudly something of the amazing mystery of God. One of my observations is that they are mostly creatures of habit. When I kept chooks in the past and went to feed them wearing a different hat, they did not recognise me. They did not approach me in their normal calm way and were very nervous at my approach, very unsure of themselves.

God is a God of surprises. The early Christians were utterly surprised by the resurrection of Jesus. Why should they not be! It took a while for them to accept that Jesus, who was truly dead, was now truly alive again!

Do I allow myself to be surprised by God? Naturally we think ‘as people think’. The scripture tells us to put on the heart and the mind of Christ. I need to keep reminding myself to think beyond my immediate feelings, anxieties, fears and self-doubt. The Resurrection is a constant reminder of allowing ourselves to be surprised.

Living in the moment needs constant practice for me. My mind tends to run ahead with all types of possibilities and tends to act out of so many presuppositions.

I heard a long time ago that God gives me grace to deal with the now, now. Prayer helps us to connect with God and to put on the heart and mind of Christ; like Jesus, we are invited to constantly say to God, ‘Your will be done’. Through Jesus, we know that God loves us beyond our dreams and expectations, as indeed God loves everybody else including the ones I love and cherish and the ones that I experience tensions with.

By trusting that doing God’s will for us is about being fully who we are meant to be, we can move found in faith and deal with whatever unfolds. Trusting in ‘Holy insecurity is our best security!’

God Bless you today.
+Bishop Charles Gauci
Bishop of Darwin