Jesus chose ordinary men from all kinds of careers, families, and lifestyles, and He asked them to spread truth and love alongside Him.
He didn’t ask the rich and the famous. The humans that were hand-picked are more than aware of the difficulties of life. They knew what it was like to work a low-paying, sometimes unrewarding job to put food on the table for their families. These people knew what it was like to be human, authentically. These men could come together behind a common purpose of loving your neighbor as yourself and demanding justice for the poor. They spread the word through their lived experience, which was relatable to others.
Now, 2000 years later, we share that same responsibility of speaking our experience, in hopes that we can relate to others.
We hold an important mission in our hands in today’s world that I think Amanda Gordon, the youngest inaugural poet, described perfectly two weeks ago:
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.
We are called this week to reflect on how we can spread love, mercy, forgiveness, and understanding in our position right now. Not only on our role at our workplace, but also as a parent, sibling, friend, and human.
How can we act and speak with the purpose of spreading truth and love, with our differences aside? How can we work together each day to make sure that each human has dignity and respect?
Like the fishermen, our wins are not going to be in abundance every day. Sometimes there will be few, even none. But when we have a community of people working towards a common goal, we will make it through those tough days. Together.
Shelby Smyth is a graduate of Spring Hill College (2019), where she studied psychology with a minor in theology. In her undergraduate studies, she became involved in social justice and advocacy through the push from faculty and staff at Spring Hill, which led her to the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Shortly after graduation, she served a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Syracuse, New York with the Northside CYO, making relationships with refugee families and providing academic support and afterschool programming. Currently, she is a resident minister and graduate assistant for John Carroll University Campus Ministry.