Once upon a time there was great big school of fish that loved swimming around the ocean. All the time they would swim together, and furthermore they enjoyed each other’s company.
One day, along came a big shark. He swam right into the big school of fish, opened up his mouth and – WHAM!, he ate a bunch of the fish. The fish were caught off guard, “My God, what happened?” they thought!
The next day the same shark swam into the school of fish opened his mouth and ate some more of the fish. When he was done eating, he swam away. Day after day this happened. The shark would enter the school of fish and –WHAM-would eat a bunch of them.
One night when the shark wasn’t around the fish had a meeting. “What are we going to do about this shark?” they said. “Every day he keeps coming and feeding on us. Isn’t there anything we can do?” How frustrated they were! They felt powerless against this shark.
Then one night during the meeting one of the little fish said, “I have a plan. When the shark is fast a sleep, we will surround him, and all of us will grab hold and bite him as hard as we can.”
“Well, what good is that going to do?” some of them, replied. “It won’t kill him. In fact, it will only irritate him.”
“Well it IS something.” the little fish said.”Why not give it a go. We have nothing to lose. Let’s see what happens.”
So the next day after the shark had eaten, he swam away to sleep. The school of fish did exactly what was planned. They all swam around the sleeping shark and on the count of three bit him as Hard as they could. “YEOW!” was the sharks response. “YEOW!” and he swam away in obvious pain. But the next day, the shark came back to feed on the school of fish and sure enough ate some more. But the next night they swam up to the sleeping shark and bit him as hard as they could another time. “YEOW!” Still the next day the shark came back.
Again the fish voted to continue biting the sleeping shark every day as long as any of them remained.
And bite the shark they did.
And then one day the shark, tired of being bitten every time he fell asleep, decided to swim away and look for another place to feed.
When the remnant group of the school of fish realized that the shark was gone, and that they had won, they rejoiced. Who would have thought that a bunch of little fish could chase away a great big shark? Well they did it!
And sure enough they threw a party to celebrate. During the party one of the older fish saw a young female fish crying. “Why are you unhappy?” he asked her. She told him that one of last times the shark came back the shark ate her husband.
The old fish said, how sad it was that sacrifices had to be made so that they could live without fear… but with justice comes sacrifice.
What sharks swim in our waters? What sacrifices are we willing to make? Dare we name the sharks that eat us and our community: hunger, selfishness, depravity, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia?
As Jesus sacrificed himself for humanity… is it fair to ask what sacrifices we are willing to make for God’s Holy Realm?
Think about it,