1 John 4:11-18
Did you ever feel like you "missed the boat"? On the day before Christmas Eve 1986, I stopped on my way home from work to visit my father in the hospital. This was getting to be a daily ritual. He had been in and out of the hospital for the previous couple of years and we all knew he was dying. I guess I was a bit anxious to get home and prepare his room that day. He was scheduled to come home for Christmas Eve, his favorite day of the year. We chatted for a while and talked about tomorrow when I said I’d better go home and take care of what needed to be done there. He did a strange thing then. He asked me to stay a while and chat some more. Looking back, I don’t ever remember him asking me to do that, i.e. sit and spend some quality time with him. We were both very business like in our relationships, especially with each other. I did stay a while longer. It was awkward, neither of us had much to say. We’d already talked about the weather, my busy day and all the usual stuff. I finally said I had to go and assured him I’d be back to see him in the morning on Christmas Eve and take him home. I did see him the next morning, but God had already taken him home. All I could think was: "Why didn’t I stay a little longer?"
So like the apostles in today’s Gospel selection, I had missed the boat again. Ah yes, the apostles were in the boat, but they also had just spent the prior day with Jesus as he multiplied the loaves and fishes. "They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened. "(MK 6:52) God I pray that You give me eyes to see and ears to hear Your daily workings in my life.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.