Reflection for the Third Sunday after Trinity and the loss of the Titan submersible.

“Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light.” Jesus in today’s Gospel, Matthew 10:24-39.

“I read an article that said there are three words in the English language that are known throughout the planet. And that’s ‘Coca-Cola’’, ‘God’ and ‘Titanic’. Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate, who perished aboard Titan.

The words of Jesus have an added significance in light of the disappearance of Titan, the submersible owned by OceanGate, which was recently lost in darkness as those aboard tried to descend to the wreck of the Titanic on the sea bed 3,800 metres below. It’s now thought that a catastrophic implosion instantly killed the five men inside not long after their descent but, for a while, banging noises picked up by those attempting a rescue seemed to imply that there might be hope. That was not the case, but what was impressive was the way that Canadian, American, French and British ships and technology were provided in an international search which eventually found the debris that was proof that all hope of a rescue had gone. That co-operation will continue as the wreckage is brought up from the darkness of the seabed and pieced together in the light as experts try to decide what caused this and investigations begin. As the family of Hamish Harding commented, “If we can take any small consolation from this tragedy, it’s that we lost him doing what he loved. We know that Hamish would have been immensely proud to see how nations, experts, industry colleagues and friends came together for the search and we extend our heartfelt thanks for all their efforts.” 

By contrast, those whose loved ones perished when a boat overloaded with migrants sank in the waters off the coast of Greece find themselves in a very different situation. Some were rescued but hundreds are still missing and their bodies may never be found, like those aboard the Titan. However, the wealthy tourists on the submersible had been able to afford to pay $250,000 each for their trip whereas many migrants had borrowed heavily to fund their passage and, in one family, seven members of it were missing. Those left now have huge debts to repay but without the income from the new lives being anticipated by those who perished. With the alleged reluctance of the Greek authorities to respond to what was unfolding when it became clear the vessel was in difficulty and the complexity of international responses to illegal immigration, what will now happen to those so adversely affected?

Jesus suggests that what is covered up will be uncovered and that what happens in the dark will be told when the light reveals it. As investigations continue, so the debris on the seabed will tell the story of what happened when it’s pieced together in daylight and examined – a great deal might then be uncovered. Both those aboard Titan and on the migrant boat were aware of the risks they were taking and presumably judged them to be worth it. In these instances, the outcomes were not as hoped but they still show a great deal about what is valued in life – even though the Titanic has now claimed five more souls and Coca-Cola is ahead of God in word recognition! 

With my prayers; pob bendith,

Christine, Guardian.