Reflection 21st January 2018

A Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

MK 1: 14-20 ( )

On regular visits to the west of Ireland I see lake and sea in their various moods: sometimes calm water disturbed only by the hidden, rhythmic paddling of a graceful swan, its only purpose at that moment seeming to be ‘just to be’; at other times, raging sea waves toss large stones inland with Goliathan effort.

Stories are told, and poems beautifully written of fishermen who put to sea in calm conditions with high hopes of a good catch but who shortly afterwards, with empty nets, struggle to save themselves and their boats from an angry, hungry sea. It is not unknown for them to have to cut their nets and lobster pots adrift, never to see them again, in order to increase their chances of reaching the safety of the shore.

The fishermen Simon and Andrew, James and John knew well the vicissitudes of the water – calm, rough, bountiful, mean. But if they were anything like the fishermen I know, where the sea and the lure of the catch, seems part of their DNA, voluntarily leaving their nets behind to follow an itinerant preacher may not have been as easy as today’s gospel suggests! To make such a sacrifice they must have experienced something unusual, magnetic, out-of-this-world emanating from this Man who invited them to leave the familiar and follow Him into the unknown.

May each of us be able to hear God’s whispered invitation to us to cut adrift whatever nets may be holding us back from being our best selves, allowing us the freedom to face in to the unknown with the courage of fishermen and the compassion of Christ, ready to do our little bit, however insignificant it may appear to be, to bring His kingdom of justice, love and peace to those we encounter along the way.

Liam Lally – Liam is the Designated Liaison Person in the Safeguarding Office of the Irish Spiritan Province.