Reflection for the 15th Sunday of Year

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You are not just the drop in the ocean.

You are the mighty ocean in the drop.

(Rumi)


My dear Friends:


How are you doing?! I can almost hear you say: Is THIS EVER going to come to an end?!!! Well, brave souls, chins up, there is a light on the horizon! Hopefully, after the 19th July, ouR liturgies/celebration of the Eucharist, will get to how we remember them! It has been, indeed, a very tough sixteen/eighteen months! So, no need to book for masses, welcome home! No doubt, our COVID19 team will continue to ensure that we shall engage whatever precautions are required to ensure we are all as kept as safe as possible.


Today we are celebrating Sea Sunday. The readings

unfold the ways in which the disciples were commissioned to go out in pairs to proclaim the gospel to the whole world. We hear how they were expected to receive gracious hospitality from the various communities they journeyed to, and, in which they

proclaimed the Good News.


Many of the seafarers who staff the ships which drop anchor in Southampton are from other countries. They depend on the hospitality afforded them by our chaplains from Stella Maris, Apostleship of the Sea. It is through them that we can embrace them with our welcome, our care, our ministries and our support.


I was reflecting, too, on our own personal journeys through life - spiritual and otherwise! A wise man once wrote that ships are safe in the harbour. However, to sit in a ‘safe’ harbour is not the reason for which those

shops were built. They were built to sail the oceans. I believe the same thing could apply to us. LIFE, realising the gifts, talents, and potential dwelling within us, is what life’s journey is about: a givt to be lived; not a

problem to be solved.


I guess, that would involve taking ‘informed’ risks in life, and, for all its challenges and difficulties, knowing that LIFE and LIVING can be awe-filled journeys into unknown spiritual, emotional, psychological, developmental, unchartered, waters! As I was reflecting on this, a number of Jalāl ad-Dīn Mevlana Rūmi’s words of wisdom, from various

contexts, came to mind:


Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths...When setting out on a journey, do not seek advice from those who have never left home...One of the marvels of the world is to see a soul sitting in a prison with the key in his hand... Are you searching for

the river of your soul? Then come out of your prison. Leave the stream and join the river that flows into the ocean.


I think, essentially, this great mystic is suggesting that we have to consciously engage in our Life’s journey and explore the spiritual oceans of our religious traditions, seek those who have the wisdom and

experience of living, or have lived, their spiritual journeys (e.g., embodied in the heroes and heroines of our amazing Catholic tradition); and, our Eucharistic, sacramental and spiritual life and the oceans we need to explore and sail!


Remember me as loving you.

Fr Antony