Pastor's Desk: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 24th July 2010 in Pastor's Desk

This week’s article comes from Fr. Tom Cahill, writing for Intercom magazine.

Hardwired for God

I don’t know if our genes are, but according to scientists our brains are: hardwired for God. They’re programmed to discover supernatural reasons for life’s mysteries. Our brain organises the information, our senses send it to discover cause and effect. Since babies only 12 months old can do this, it seems to be innate rather than acquired. So, the findings of researchers at Bristol University studying the development and workings of children’s brains are not surprising. They indicate that belief systems offer a possible evolutionary benefit to people.

An itch to ask the question ‘why’ is not the only thing that’s innate to us. There’s the universal hope, expectation even, that good will conquer evil. Just read your novels, watch your films. Don’t you feel more satisfied when the good guy wins?

Even books and films with ambiguous endings aren’t as emotionally satisfying as those with a clear-cut victory where the one who is good wins out against all the odds. That feel-good factor when good conquers all comes with the job, so to speak, of being human.

It’s this faith in goodness, more specifically in God, that’s the basis for what today’s Gospel reading (Luke 11:1-13) tells us: Ask, and it will be given you; search and you will find… Scripture is telling us that God doesn’t take us for a ride. He’s not a messer, if you’ll pardon the slang. He’s consistent and we can trust him.

That’s the God we’re hardwired to believe in, the one who gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

Fr. Tom Cahill SVD, Divine Word Missionaries

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