07/04/2017 3:42 pm
So we arrive at Palm Sunday and the end of Lent is in sight. The end, too, of our maritime-themed podcasts.
For the final time we join Fr Colum Kelly, Apostleship of the Sea port chaplain, on board the vessel we've called home for the last six weeks.
Fr Colum is quick to make comparisons between the weary crew's arrival from a long journey at sea and that of Jesus who enters Jerusalem to be proclaimed the Messiah.
"Above all I think on the loneliness of Jesus in this Holy Week, one day proclaimed Messiah and yet as the week goes on, even his friends begin to desert him. Hearts of love turning into hearts of stone...
"When we enter port tomorrow there won’t be cheering crowds; wouldn’t it be funny if there were, but we are only simple seafarers.
"I wish people would think of us sometime when we bring all the things they have in their homes. Their shops would be empty without us. No, our welcome party will be local customs officials, agents, port health inspectors, cargo supervisors.
"Our Captain will be grumpy for he will spend all of the first day answering the same questions he’s asked wherever we berth. And then there all all the forms and certificates he has to sign and people wanting money from him...
"So as Lent draws to a close I'm reflecting on the lessons I've learnt at sea. I need to be more aware of the needs of so many people - and not just the physically broken.
"I’m thinking too of people who carry hurt and rejection because people have told them they are no good or not worthy to have a share in all that Jesus came to offer."
Fr Colum leaves us with a list of prayer points for Holy Week:
"My prayer this Holy Week will be for all who take up the cross as followers of Christ in service of others. For the courage never to be afraid to speak up for justice. For people who are alone and feel tired and weary from the struggles of life. Our time at sea is over... Welcome home."
Listen to the final maritime-themed podcast in our 2017 Lenten series.
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