Reflection: 22nd July 2018

A Reflection for the Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

MK 6: 30-34 (

To go to read different Jewish and Christian sacred texts is to ask God to be with us. We do that explicitly and willingly, and welcome whatsoever follows.

We begin with a prophet, Jeremiah, sharing the message he channels for us from God: God making clear His personal and individual attention for each one in each moment in life. Should HIS appointed and voluntary agents fail, God promises to be personally active to supply what is not working because the human appointed agent fails. Here is the answer to many a failure, many a deception and all sorts of real and imagined hurts.

Considering the teachings he had given to the people in Ephesus, Paul teases out what the doctrine means for them in their time, but equally for us. Our text applies to our world and the people among whom we live now. How much richer is our society, in the differences that it has to deal with, than ever was the world of Ephesus!

The poem opening with the line “The Lord is my shepherd………………” is an artist’s way to engage with a truth he becomes aware of, and Psalm 23 is a fine example, the mere few words setting off endless resonances in the lived experience of both child and adult. As is frequently the case in the person arrested by art, repeating the experience, ruminating or even gentle reverie will reward.

In the moment Mark records there is Jesus and His close chosen learner disciples. He tells them what to do in their condition of tiredness and elation, and He speaks equally to each of us as we live our human lives of faith. We go to others, we live with others, we become excited and we tire. On reporting in our turn to Jesus, His teaching applies even more forcefully to each of us. We need to break away, to slow down, to change pace and to stay with Jesus for a while. Not just once but repeatedly.

Vincent O’Grady C.S.Sp. – Ordained in 1962, Fr. Vincent was appointed to East Africa, and ministered in both Kenya and Tanzania. Subsequent appointments included in Ireland, Rome and Switzerland. He now lives in Kimmage Manor.