With the ordination of our parishioner Micheal McGavigan to the priesthood I was charged with providing bed and breakfast for a guest who was attending the celebration.
Whilst I didn’t mind organising the spare room, breakfast was going to be a different matter. I must confess I was slightly nervous because I had never cooked a fry before and hunger got the better of me. I fried sausages, bacon, black and white pudding, mushrooms and mince. Carried away I had everything heating in the oven including the plates. I even managed to fry two eggs in time for the appearance of my guest who offered to serve up the meal. During the clear-up I opened windows to let out the smoke and unfortunately allowed about fifteen flies to find a new home. For the next few days my heart was broken with the creatures as they buzzed about to their hearts’ content, landing everywhere and on everything. In one burst of energy we provided last rites to about five or six insects, unfortunately they had plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins.
In the end we had to result to chemical warfare and my kitchen is decorated by fly catchers. These long strips are designed to hang from the ceiling and as far as I was concerned this was the first design fault. In frustration I had to hang the devices off kitchen units and anywhere I could reach including the fridge. These locations only provided limited results, so after another day I had to climb up on the units and nervously overcome my fear of heights and hang the fly strips from the kitchen ceiling. This wasn’t without incident either for I became a victim of one of the fly strips and had to disentangle myself with some difficulty. Last week proved to show life can be unpredictable and full of surprises. It’s one thing inviting one guest to stay, it’s quite another trying to cope with those who land uninvited.
Often in our relationship with God we like to be in control, we like only to invite God into certain areas of our lives. There is a risk involved opening ourselves to the journey of discipleship. Who we believe Jesus Christ to be will determine how we live out our faith. Do we keep Jesus far enough away from our daily lives until we experience tragedy or crisis? Or do we have a living relationship with Jesus as a person who is real and grounded based on our experiences of his love and his commandments. The German Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer who died for his faith at the hands of the Nazis during WWII stated: “We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” Any real relationship demands we undergo change in response to the needs of the other, enabling us to create a shared future. If we truly believe Jesus to be the Son of God can we allow him the space and obedience to become our Saviour and Redeemer?