Tony Worner, Leader of Formation at St Agnes’ Catholic Parish, today reads the Gospel of Luke (11:29-32) in which Jesus speaks of the Sign of Jonah.Tony says, the phrase “it is asking for a sign” jumped out at him in today’s Gospel. Tony asks us to think back to Pope John XXIII who called for a ‘renewal’ in the Church by announcing the Second Vatican Council. This Council stressed the phrase ‘Signs of the times’ and that the Church should listen to, and learn from, the world around it. Pope Francis too, drawing upon the New Testament, reminds us that the pharisees, the ‘doctors of the law’, had been blind and deaf to the message of Jesus, unable to read what he called “the signs of the times”. “Why did they not understand?” Pope Francis asks. “First of all, because they were closed. They were closed within their system; they had perfectly systematized the law: it was a masterpiece. Every Jew knew what they could do and what they could not do, how far they could go. It was all systematized and they were safe there”. “Safe” is not the same thing as “right,” and as Francis noted, Jesus did not teach “safe”. For our reflection today and as our parish begins a season of renewal, Tony invites us to ask ourselves, “are we prepared to step outside our safety zone, our comfort zone? Are we prepared to maybe change our closed minds?” Today’s prayer Come, Holy Spirit of Pentecost. Come, Holy Spirit of the great South Land. O God, bless and unite all your people in St Agnes’ Parish and guide us on the pilgrim way of our season of renewal. Give us the grace to see your face in one another and to recognise Jesus, our companion on the road. Give us the courage to tell our stories and to speak boldly of your truth. Give us ears to listen humbly to each other and a discerning heart to hear what you are saying. Lead us into a hope-filled future, that we may live the joy of the Gospel. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, bread for the journey. Amen. St Agnes, pray for us.