In a world of communication overload, if an announcement is to become life-giving and growth producing, we need to make a deliberate choice to ‘listen’, shifting our focus from hearing words to discerning the message behind them.
This is the technique underlying the Word of God and exemplified by the parables. By tapping into the life experience of his contemporaries, Jesus drew the attention of his hearers to hearing the words and then to listening to the message. Whether in a desert place, out on the sea, on top of a mountain, fishing on a lake, in temple precincts or sitting by a well in Samaria, Jesus proclaims and reveals the active presence of God at work where people are, in the ordinary unfolding of our ordinary lives; and the location, often unexpected and unwelcomed, gives a heightened strength to the message proclaimed. God is active and present in the ordinary, and God must be found in the ordinary. That is the key assumption underlying these reflections on Saints and Seasons.