Our final reflection from Leo
As many of you know, the collaborative has been blessed having been accompanied by a Masters Student in Pastoral Ministry from Boston College all year. Leo came to us with an abundance of experience, with a career in Social Work under his belt. Leo contextual education placement with St. John- St. Paul Collaborative was a real 'soft pitch' for those of us assigned to oversee his development. Leo's professional, kind, capable, organized, steady and prayerful nature lent themselves perfectly to Pastoral Ministry. We wish him well as he graduates this Spring, and heads out on his search for a ministry position. God be with you Leo! We thank you, and will be praying for you.
Here's his final post:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Today’s gospel reading has echoes of this past Sunday’s reading, when Jesus said “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved.” Today, Jesus refers to himself as THE WAY…; no one can go to the Father except through him. What does this all mean for us? Well, first of all, Jesus’ use of the “I AM” statement (“I AM the way…”), signifies that he is identifying himself as God, the God of the Israelites, the God of all creation. Secondly, at the beginning of the passage, Jesus tells the disciples that they should not be troubled, for he is going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house. This reading is a gospel reading that is often chosen for funerals, as it reminds us that Jesus has good intentions for all of us: he wants us to be with him and his father. Why else would he prepare a place for us and bring us there? This promise ought to bring us hope for the future. Finally, we understand that the way that Jesus has lived is the only way that we will be able to go to the Father. His is not the way of Superman, “Truth, Justice and the American way”, but rather the way of the cross, a life of truth-telling, healing and sacrificial giving. While the current circumstances may be depressing, uncertain and perhaps confusing, let us remember that Jesus has shown us the way to live. We can do this because Jesus has saved us…he is the WAY.
Here's a rendition of The Call (Come My Way, My Truth, My Life) by George Herbert and Ralph Vaughn Williams, recorded by BlackFriar music.