May 6: Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Posted by Campus Ministry on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 6:00 AM PDT
In the first reading for today we hear of travels and destinations and connections, journeys finished and begun. These are stories of real people. People who were overwhelmed at times by what was being asked of them. People who messed up. As a Jesuit Volunteer/Americorps member serving through Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, I commit to exploring four values, one of which is community. And, living in an intentional community, I frequently feel like I mess up.
A thoughtless remark lands in a past wound with one of my community-mates. I was just too tired to check-in with someone after a long day. I didn’t listen like I know I should have. And yet, all of us in our community know that one of the most important parts of us being together is the grace we give one another.
I am encouraged not only by the ever-present grace of God in these stories from the early Church, but also in imagining the grace that the disciples had to give one another during times and travels that were ripe with uncertainty. I imagine them giving one another grace even in places of fear and anger and frustration and exhaustion.
This section of the gospel of John marks a significant transition point. After seeing Jesus’ signs in the last few chapters, such as the anointing at Bethany and raising of Lazarus, Jesus presents a challenge here. He seems to be saying, how will you respond to the things you have seen? Upon first read, I’m a bit surprised by Jesus’ seeming “all-or-nothingness.”
Jesus continues, and we hear reminders of who Jesus is, and the desires God has for our lives. Jesus is light, and we are not meant to live in shame or guilt or despair: “for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.”
How do I respond after I see the “signs” of God’s goodness and faithfulness in my own life? How do I respond to the ways God shows up? These signs may often seem ordinary rather than the extraordinary ones present in the Gospel of John. And yet, the ordinary signs are still concrete reminders of God’s love.
God continues to show up in my life. In my current life, I most often experience God in the stunning natural beauty of rural Montana, and in my relationships, often the relationships with my community-mates, the ones where I mess up, the ones that require grace. And just as we see in this gospel, after I have seen these signs of God’s love, I imagine, ever more vividly, Jesus asking me this question, with warmth and tenderness: “Claire, how will you respond?”
Claire Lucas, Class of 2019