Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
The symbol of a fish was used by early Christians to identify themselves with their Master; in Greek the letters of the word for fish, ICHTHYS, are an anagram roughly translated as “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour”. Interestingly, Jesus taught about the final judgement by using fish imagery: the good fish in a net, that is ‘good’ human beings, will be kept for the Kingdom of God and the evil will be thrown out. A full-fleshed salmon, particularly if it is without parasites, is always considered a ‘good’ fish, and is carefully collected by anyone fishing. But the comically beautiful sculpin, with all of their spikes and bones, and only two small bands of meat in its tail, are often thrown out, even by subsistence fishermen. Similarly, if my life is full-bodied with thoughts, words and deeds of mercy, joy, peace, patience and faithfulness, I mirror Jesus, the ICHTHYS, and fit easily into the Kingdom of God. But if my life is thorny with greed, resentments, or prejudices or I harbour the parasites of fear, envy, hatred or lust, I could be tossed aside for having almost no Jesus-type stuff, and thrown out into outer darkness, similar to the darkness I have held to my heart throughout my lifetime. Will I live freely into my heritage as a child redeemed by Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Saviour of the world, the one true ICHTHYS, or will I turn away from being identified with him and live life on my own terms? Holy Spirit, help me become a ‘good fish’.
The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. (Jeremiah 18:4)
And here I offer and present unto Thee,
Myself, my soul and my body,
To be a reasonable, Holy and living sacrifice…
Ancient prayer after Holy Communion
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.