Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, "You are the Son of God!" But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot. Mark 3:7-19a
I have been overwhelming touched by my experiences here by the Arctic ocean which is frozen as far as I can see. I have been blessed to live by the ocean in Cape May Point, which rarely freezes but supplies me with abundant images of God's love. And I have been blessed to visit Ireland and stay by the sea, on stormy, rough and wintry days to be touched by the overwhelming beauty of the land had her people. Something powerful seems to happen by the sea.
Jesus went to the sea and crowds followed him. The spirit was strong and the people responded. His disciples were mainly men who toiled on, and lived by the sea. They understood the power of God and the challenges of living dependent of the wind and the waves, the water and the spirit. They knew God in their very surroundings and responded when the Son of God called them. We are invited, on this St. Patrick's Day, to hear the call of the water and the spirit and to respond to God with all joy.
Today I ask God to keep us safe as we travel home. May we carry with us the spirit and love of the people here, who have made God's love manifest to us. May we listen to the wind and the waves, the water and the spirit, so that we might daily be filled with God's love and share it where ever we go.