Friday, April 25, 2014

Gone Fishing!

From the Hermitage

Friday of Easter Week 2014

Dear Friends,

Let me share with you words from a communications expert who wrote a reflection on the two readings chosen for today’s liturgy.  Read the thoughts  of this woman before perusing the writings of St Paul and St John.

Both of these accounts tell me wonderful things about our God:  God has a sense of humor, cares about our basic needs (such as breakfast and walking}; knows things we can’t (where schools of fish are lurking); and, most of all has a very simple plan for salvation.  I repeat:  I am entertained, captivated and comforted all at once. 

This professional writer and marketing expert made me stop and consider how I present my own reflections.  Perhaps there is too much academia “lurking” in my style.  Certainly I don’t often, if ever, present events in the gospels or any scripture as entertaining, captivating [maybe sometimes this does happen] and comforting.  And why not?

Today’s expert brought me to do more than place myself at the scene (a la St Ignatius of Loyola’s directions in the Spiritual Exercises).  Perhaps, if we preachers and even our laity, in our homilies and our conversations, attempted to related the humanness of Jesus, just perhaps an undisputed change might happen in our own lives as well as those we preach for or those we simply talk with in our daily lives.

Imagine this:  I am walking through the aisles at Costco and meet a parishioner.   After the “I didn’t know you shopped at Costco’s.” the conversations always turns to the “how’s this” and “how’s that” conversation.  What would the parishioner say or feel if I began with “I am so fine, Mary.  But I am really excited because I was reading St John’s gospel story about the time Jesus prepared breakfast for the apostles who were getting ready to come back to shore because fishing had proven fruitless that morning.  And he even told them were the fish were lurking!  And he even laid out a simple plan for our salvation.  As I said, when I took the time to listen to what Jesus had been saying to the apostles and watching in my mind all that happened that morning, wow, I felt so good.  This is the kind of Jesus all of us need to know.  Okay, enough from me.  It's time for me to go fishing!”

Even more astounding, imagine saying the same thoughts while talking with the ladies in the beauty salon or if any man would say the same thing at the barbershop.   And "omg" [Oh! My God" as the text messages might read!!] what would happen if anyone shared such enthusiasm about reading a part of the gospels while having dinner with the family?

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt