February 10, 2013

Santcifying Sunday- GET IN THE BOAT!

The main motivation for this blog is to capture our family life.  Things seem to be quickly moving along and we want to be able to look back on and to have something for the kids to look at as they get older.  Hopefully, I never come off as preachy! Just attempting to document and share the good, bad, holy, and sometimes ugly events of our young family.

With that said and out of the way...

Kristin and I are involved in a family ministry called "Families in Christ."  She claims that she is not involved, however, I beg to differ.  She watches the kids when I go to meetings, sneak away to read and write, and go to the actual event.  We're a team, even if it doesn't make sense to her... and I should at least get brownie points for saying this, right?

FIC in a nutshell is family catechesis.  So, all the kids that are involved in religious education have to come with their families once every four-six weeks from 9am-11am for a presentation on that Sunday's Gospel, with prayer, song, games and skits.  I imagine that there are close to 500 people that are present, whom we get to joyfully share the Gospel with.

Today's Gospel is from Luke's account of the calling of Peter, James and John and the BIG catch!  I love the Gospels because they seem to me to be so real and earthy.  When I share these messages I try to make them fun and give a couple of points that maybe, just maybe, families can take home.
Fishing in the Keys
This Gospel is earthy and dirty for several reasons.  For example, Jesus is being followed by a mob of people, similar to today's movie stars or  rock stars with fans and the paparazzi.  There are so many people that Jesus decides to get into Peter's boat.  But, this is when I think it gets really fun.  Peter's not even in his boat!  He's out washing his nets.  Can you imagine getting into your car and looking in the driver seat and seeing not your husband or wife, but, Jesus.  Jesus sort of hijacks his boat and tells him to get in...

So, in today's message I echoed over and over, following the Jesuit tradition of repetition to nauseam.  I would say, "get in the" and everyone would yell back, "boat!"

What's the point?  Well, when reading this scripture I've always focused on the big catch that happens when they listen to Jesus and almost break their nets and sink their boats.  If that didn't catch my attention I would focus on "leaving everything behind" or even the whole, "I'll make you fishers of men."  Certainly all of these elements have significant impact in the story.  But, this whole issue of Jesus just jumping in Peter's boat intrigues me.
Uncle Mark, a true fisherman.
For brevity's sake, I believe that Jesus needs to be in our boat and we need to "GET IN THE BOAT".  When he's in the boat and we get in we can catch so many fish, the symbol for life, that our ship may sink and the nets break.  When we're in the boat and he's not, we try to fish all night to no avail.... I guess it's not that unique of an insight.  I can now hear Carry Underwear singing, "Jesus take the wheel or rudder (Ha!  Get it?  car=wheel/boat=rudder)."

The second part of my talk which I started off with the joke, "this story sounds fishy" and got a laugh or two and giggle from the mom in the corner was focused on family life, peace, joy and conflict.
One of my favorite people in the world is Jean Vanier.  He says, "The most fundamental role for a parent is to help children believe in themselves, in their own value, and to develop their personal conscience, and not just to fit into society according to parental desires or pressures from peer groups."  This is the essential mission of the parents to affirm the uniqueness and dignity of each child.  Yes, we are all made in God's image.  We are made for love.

How did I tie this together with the boat theme?  Especially when Isaac picked up my iphone and proceeded to play games on it as I was speaking.  Or, when asking the kids who they would like to meet, John Fusco told me that Justin Bieber is in jail. Or, when one of the kids told me that they really, really want to meet Niki Minaj (which I replied that I really wanted to meet her so we could have a long talk- civilly of course).

Isaiah and baby Isaac fishing way back in the day with Mom.
Simply put, to land this plane, if Jesus is not in our boat and we don't get in, how can we really communicate to our children that they are created in love, for love, and destined for eternal love?  If I can't get this right, how can I get anything else right?

So this is what I shared today with the families of St. John the Evangelist in Naples Florida, as I juggled Isaiah (6 1/2) and Isaac (almost 5) at their table.
The boys don't really mind that I give talks- for now!  I ask them what they think when I'm up there and they don't say much.  I hope one day they can look back at this and realize that I wasn't perfect but I was really occupied by loving them as best I could.  That I was really trying to have Jesus in my boat and I'm trying to GET IN THE BOAT.

Right now I think they actually like that I do these things.  I heard Isaiah sheepishly but proudly say to his friend Liora, "Yeah, my dad's giving a talk today."  I'll take it for now!  It'll be a different story when the teen years fall upon us.
Liora and Isaiah 


  1. I love you guys! So glad you're doing this blog!!!


    1. Court, Thanks! So glad you like it :). It has been super fun. We miss you all!!


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