Reverend Jo Kelly-Moore - The relevance of faith in a modern woman’s life
The Very Reverend Jo Kelly-Moore
Dean of Auckland
From the earliest oral and written traditions of humanity we can see that innate within us as human beings is that sense of wondering about the nature of life, about this universe that we inhabit, about why things are the way that they are and how they work, and about how we fit into it all. Recent top ten iTunes hits with lines like “Will someone show me the right way” and “I’m still not sure what I stand for” suggest that the wondering has not gone away.
In my experience being a person of faith encourages me to understand that what undergirds the reason for, and the purpose of, this spinning orb we inhabit, and our often spinning lives, is a profound and eternal love. From that place then, each of us can understand that we are loved and that we are called to live informed by love. That love is not a hearts and roses ‘Love Actually’ kind of love, but rather a love that brings peace and justice, hope and life. That kind of love is challenging. It often requires sacrifice and, while affirming that each of us is loved, reminds us that we are not the centre of the universe. Rather, it reminds us that to be human is to be in community and that our communities should be informed by doing to others as we would have them do to us (The Gospel of Matthew 7:12). It is that simple, and that complex.
It is that understanding of faith then, of love in action, that is absolutely relevant in the reality of our busy lives and work. First it assures us of our own worth and purpose, and that of all humanity. In assuring us of that truth it also calls us to action. Faith, or love in action, informs the way we care for ourselves and those around us with whom we share our lives. It informs how we view the world when our feet hit the floor every morning, the way we work and the decisions that we make. It should also push us out of our comfort zones to reach beyond our own lives to the needs of others, both those we know and those we may never meet. Love in action demands that we feed the hungry, care for the sick and reach out to those on the margins of society. Love in action challenges us to make ethical choices in our business and to use our power and authority justly to seek the common good.
That is why for me, when I was a lawyer and now that I am a priest, faith has been and is very relevant in my life, in my relationships, in my work and in the choices that I make because I think that every time we choose love in action, the world is a better place for all.