Pastor's Desk: 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted 2nd August 2014 in Pastor's Desk

In place of the Pastor’s Desk this week, we include the following extract from Intercom Magazine:

The Deep End - The Ripple Effect

You never know what impact a small act of kindness can have. The mental health crisis in Ireland has been widely reported upon in recent years; sadly, however, many people continue to suffer in silence, and hundreds of people die by suicide in this country every year. We have a long way to go before there is an open and positive attitude to mental health in our society.

Earlier this year, the Green Ribbon campaign was launched with the aim of ‘changing minds about mental health, one conversation at a time’. Their simple message, ‘Time to talk’, spread rapidly. Who knows how many lives were saved or transformed by the reminder that we should always be ready to listen and to help? It got me thinking about the ripple effect - how one kind word or act can make all the difference, or even save a life. What can we do to let people know we are available to help and to lend a sympathetic ear.

Today’s Gospel sees Jesus taking pity on the crowds, even though he had planned some alone time, and in spite of the disciples’ efforts to send them away. Are we like the disciples, sending people away when they need help? Or do we follow Jesus’ example, acting with compassion and helping those we encounter?

The crowd had only five loaves and two fish, yet from this meagre beginning Jesus was able to feed five thousand people. The smallest gesture of help or kindness can multiply and bear a great amount of fruit.

Tríona Doherty

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