Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ship Ahoy! The bounding main. And pelicans

Yesterday’s highpoint was completely unanticipated.   On Sunday one of the parishioners offered to take me out in his small boat “one of these days” when the weather was nice. Monday was spectacular.  He arrived at 10 AM to make the offer again and we were off at 1 PM.  It was a terrific afternoon.  The trip produced 731 photos, a few of which are below.

Boston Bay is three times larger than Sydney Harbor, a fact the denizens of Port Lincoln do not let go unmentioned.  It is very much a working bay with grain shipments departing on a regular basis.  Fish farming is the major industry here.  The trip through the marina was rather like a combination of the Connecticut coastline and Florida. 

I slept as if dead when I finally got into bed last night.  Celebrated Mass this morning.  Tomorrow afternoon Brian and I head off to Whyalla for a diocesan leadership meeting.  Bishop Greg O’Kelly is a Jesuit; a fact that goes a long way toward explaining why tertians on their long experiment are routinely assigned to the Diocese of Port Pirie.  We will return on Friday with two seminarians in tow.  They will live with us for two weeks.  Four men.  Three bedrooms.  One bathroom.   And one internet connection.  It will be interesting.  My contribution to the general welfare will be to make golumbki after we get back.   May even give a shot at pierogi.  If I can find a rolling pin in the house.  And a black babushka.

First today's homily and then the photos. 

13th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
28 June 2011
Gn 19:15-29
Ps 26
Mt 8:23-27

The Gospel relates one of Jesus’ “nature miracles.”  There are fewer nature miracles than healing miracles but they have a similar effect on those who witness them.  And this is one of the odd things about many of Jesus’ miracles; they produced questions from those who witnessed them rather than faith. 

What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?"  This question from those who were closest to Jesus; who received individualized instruction from Him.   Miracles are sometimes problems for us as well.  They are problems when they happen and when they don’t happen.  Do they engender questions or faith?

Michael Casey, an Australian Trappist monk writes, “Faith has to grapple constantly with the doubts we may experience when we hear the words of the poet ‘God is in his heaven—all’s right with the world.’ . . . .  “Faith means letting go of our ambition to control, understand, or even cope with what happens.  Faith means releasing our anxieties into God’s hands and seeing all that happens as coming from the hand of God.  The fact that I cannot comprehend the logic of events means simply that my intellect is limited.“  

Faith does not mean knowing God’s mind.  Faith does not mean controlling what God will do.  Faith does not mean getting or deserving an explanation.  It is not a shield from trauma.  It does not guarantee that life will go smoothly.  It does not protect against the pain of loss.  It does not prevent illness or death.  Faith is an umbrella over all of these. 

Faith allows us to say with the psalmist:  Search me, O LORD, and try me; test my soul and my heart.  For your mercy is before my eyes, and I walk in your truth.”
The first photo is from this morning.  I went to the post office to send in a request for a visa to Viet Nam.  This is the community pier and an unused picnic table. 

This is Port Lincoln from the water.  The pier would be just to the right in the photo.  This was a tough shot because the boat was bouncing in the water. 
These are kingfish being unloaded from boat into a truck. 

 This is some of the housing stock in Port Lincoln.  Price starts at about $800,000 Australian which is close to a mil in U.S. 

The next two are fishing boats.  The color looks like a jumbo-sized chorus line (think of a men's softball team in the bar and Sinatra's version of New York, New York, last chorus). 
The black and white reminded me of John Q. Mask and geometry class back there in Plymouth High School.   Lots of angles. 

The last few are of pelicans.  These are the goofiest looking birds in the world.  The guy in the first photo was cleaning fish and tossing the innards to the pelicans who were accepting them gratefully.   We were cleaning fish too.  Pelicans become very friendly if you are tossing fish guts in their general direction. 

More after we return from the conference. 
+Fr. Jack

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