Soul Food for Sundays

A Reflection for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (13th June 2021)

Reflections 13th June 2021
Mark 4:26-34

The Author: Daithí Kenneally C.S.Sp.
calendar_today Date: May 26, 2021 - 3 minutes read

Artists are always on the lookout for the moment of epiphany, that moment when the ordinary reveals something new or something more.  When it happens, it always touches something deep within them and for which they are surprised and enriched and grateful.  It always comes as a surprise.  It evokes wonder, awe and a sense of mystery.  Somehow, after it, life is not quite the same. It can happen in the world of nature and often in the ordinary events of daily life.  From small beginnings can come a great harvest.     As Mary Oliver says:

“It doesn’t have to be the blue iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones; just pay attention.”   (Praying.  A poem by Mary Oliver)

After all one does not expect much from a “tender sprig” or a “seed” and even less from a “mustard seed” and yet these have the potential within them for immense surprise; to become “a splendid cedar” on which “birds of every kind will nest”.  The mustard seed can grow to become the “greatest of all shrubs”. These are metaphors for the presence of God in nature and in the bits and pieces of ordinary, everyday life.  All we need to do is “just pay attention”.

Last year I was in hospital recovering from Covid-19.  I spent the final week in a ward with three elderly men, also recovering from the virus.  One was very ill.  As his family could not visit, a nurse took time out and set up ‘Facetime’ so that the man’s wife could talk to him, even though he was unable to respond.  The nurse knelt by the bed and held the iPad for him so that his wife could tell him how much she loved him, how he was the best husband she could wish for and how thankful she was for their over fifty years together.  It was a simple act of kindness that had the presence of God wrapped in it.  When the nurse closed the iPad, she was almost in tears and it was a moment that made a deep impression on me.  “Love one another”, Jesus said, “as I have loved you.”

There are so many moments in our lives like this.  All we need to do is “pay attention”.

Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay

The Spiritans Emblem

Daithí Kenneally C.S.Sp.

Fr Daithí worked for many years in Sierra Leone. Returning to Ireland, he served as P.P. in Kimmage Manor and in Deansrath (Clondalkin), as a member of the Provincial Leadership Team and as Team Leader in Kimmage Manor.