I have taken a more time than usual in recent lockdown days to think and pray and I know that many of you have as well.
Perhaps you have been still and silent at the start or end of each day. Maybe you have found some moments as you work, walk or drive, times when daydreaming fills your mind with concern for those you love and your worry morphs into authentic prayer from the heart.
I’m thinking of many people who I know to be suffering in my own circle of friends and family, here in Aotearoa and further afield, many who are suffering health, financial, personal relationship tensions as well as nations political turmoil.
The Food For Faith Prayer Requests page (at this link) offers an easy way to invite people to pray for the intentions you name, and when visiting the page we can share a prayer for those who make their request.
When we pray we are never alone.
The anxiety we feel when our security is threatened (as it is in these pandemic days, perhaps health, finance, work, family and friend relationships) can be overwhelming and totally pre-occupying. It is helpful to remember that the circumstances we find ourselves in are the reality in which Jesus is present and active with us.
It is natural to focus on the struggle we are enduring, but a desire to experience hope opens us to receiving the gift of renewed life which Jesus is offering us.
Sometimes feelings of uncertainty about our future fill us with anxiety. This anxiety is a most unwelcome feeling, but the fact that we feel anxiety in the face of struggles is undeniable evidence that we are engaged with the reality, and in our tiredness and frustration, when we turn to Jesus full of need for a miracle, He will not miss the opportunity.
Today’s gospel reading is a great encouragement.
The disciples are tired after a long and unsuccessful night fishing on the lake and at dawn they return to the shore where they meet Jesus. Jesus says to them: “put out into deep water.” They were tired and probably sceptical, but they did as he requested and immediately their catch was abundant.
The John August Swanson image above captures the colour and hope of the moment wonderfully.
Perhaps you feel as though you or someone you love is in the midst of a dark and uncertain night. There may be some signs of dawn, but the dark still seems more real. Jesus wants us to put out to the depths seeking the miracle we need. As the ad says: let’s just do it! We have nothing to lose.
This week’s Homily Studio, Kath Petrie, Merv Duffy SM & Catherine Gibbs in conversation with John O’Connor reflecting on the scripture readings for this coming Sunday 5 September is available by clicking on the image below.