Reflecting on Luke 5:1-11
Our parish is fully immersed in the Synod listening sessions. It’s fascinating to listen to new Catholics, veteran Catholics, and people thinking about becoming Catholic, talking freely and without fear about the ways in which they feel the Spirit is speaking to them about the Church.
What’s missing, at least so far, are those who were baptized Catholic, embraced the faith for a time in their lives, and have now left us. These are the voices Pope Francis wants to hear from most urgently. He wants us to cast into the deep waters, and bring out the voices of the disappointed, the embittered, the abused, the scandalized, the indifferent, and those seeking God elsewhere. He wants those beloved of God to know that he is listening, through the vehicle of this worldwide Synod.
It sounds good in theory, but it’s so hard to do in practice. I’d be mortified to ask my non-practicing family members why they’ve absented themselves from the Table. I’m afraid of what they might say. Fortunately, the process only calls for listening, not for responding.
I don’t want to ask, but the deep water is where the pain is, and where we should be. Might it be that many who have left have been waiting for someone in their lives to ask them why? Do all who leave imagine that they aren’t missed, that the Church will just lumber on, sinful and sorrowful, without them?
I admire my friends who say that they ask their kids their reasons for leaving us, and that they listen and try to be instruments of reconciliation. That’s where the net meets the deep. It might even be where healing begins.
How will you embrace Pope Francis’ call to quietly listen to those who are estranged?
Kathy McGovern ©2022