“Duc in altum” – Put out into the deep
St John Paul II during his papacy used the words above on various occasions, encouraging his hearers to Be bold in bringing the joy of the faith to people outside of the Church. Pope Francis has echoed this call, urging us all to be willing to bring the message of the joy of the Gospel, God’s love for all, to people of other religions and none. To ask others, ‘Have you heard, would you like to know, do you realize, there is more to life than the things you hold and own and can buy?
In our Gospel reading today we hear Jesus having difficulty getting his own local community, those whom he grew up with and lived amongst, to take on board His words and message, because they could not see beyond ‘the carpenter’s son.’ You may have come across this experience in your own families and communities, where all they see in you is, “So and so’s son/daughter, from such and such’s family and they went to school with so and so, have always lived in such and such a house or village.” But never actually seeing you as you, for who you are, with experiences, ideas, thoughts, opinions and faith. No one listens to you!!
Jesus went to those who ‘would’ listen and did respond. The apostles, after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost found that those outside ‘the faith of Israel’ responded far more readily to the message of the God of love, than those of their own community and race.
So here is an encouragement to us to ‘Be bold’ and not be shy, in the supermarket, in the café, the pub, on the bus, you name it, while in conversation to drop in a ‘seed of faith’, an opening for others to ask, an invitation to come and see, or ‘have you thought about?’’ and so help others to find faith in Jesus. You and I don’t know all the answers, but we do know ‘a Lord’ who does; who nourishes us in His Word and Sacraments here in St Mary’s. Let’s ‘Be Bold’ and point others in the direction of Jesus and learn from Him, that if those closest to us don’t want to know, there are others to do and will. That’s how the Church grew in the beginning; that’s how it can grow now.
Let’s ‘put out into the deep’ with Jesus.
Fr David Jones OLW