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The Deep End – The first mission

Two phrases come to mind as I read about the disciples heading off on their first mission: “baptism of fire” and “to be thrown in at the deep end”.  We use these expressions to describe a difficult introduction to a new job or activity, when we are expected to learn as we go and cope with whatever obstacles we face in today’s gospel, Jesus sends the Twelve out on their first mission.  It is a challenging one and his instructions are brief and very specific: they are to bring nothing but a staff – no food or money – meaning they will have to rely on the hospitality of others for all their needs.  They are to stay wherever they are welcomed, rather than move around from house to house, so they can’t be choosy about their lodgings.  Simplicity is key – no baggage, no luxuries, no distractions, nothing but the task of reaching to people.  It might not be plain sailing, but Jesus offers advice for those difficult times too.

It appears their mission of preaching and healing was successful, as we are told the disciples came back eager to fill Jesus in.  Imagine the experiences they must have had during this time – the people they met and helped, the generosity of those who welcomed them, the conversations on the road, the chance to share their excitement at everything Jesus was doing.  They were certainly thrown into a challenging situation, but they returned with a fresh perspective and strengthened faith.  Jesus calls us to step out into the unknown, his words as our guide and his bond with us unbreakable. 

‘A boat is safe in the harbour, but this is not the purpose of a boat.’

Tríona Doherty Email





Congratulations to Father John on the occasion of his 60th Ordination anniversary, on Friday, 21st May. Fr. John gathered with 6 members of his original class for a Mass of Thanksgiving in our church on that day, followed by a light meal in our Parish Centre. Of their original class of 21, 9 of them are still with us. Two of his colleagues, Bishop Jim Moriarty and Fr. Eddie Conway were unable to attend due to illness. They had an enjoyable get together for the Mass and a meal afterwards. All of them deserve our gratitude, respect and prayers. Most of them are still working and helping out in parishes where they are living. On behalf of all of us here in St. Agnes Parish, we extend our prayers, gratitude and best wishes to Fr. John for his 60 years of ministry and service in parishes and in Diocesan Agencies where he worked. He is still working away with us and continues to be of great service to our Parish Community. We admire his tenacity, his perseverance, wisdom, deep prayerfulness and readiness to be of assistance in whatever way he can. Thank you Fr. John. God bless you at this special time. Ad multos annos.