Daily Reflection
May 22nd, 2007

Roc O'Connor, S.J.

Campus Ministry and Theology Department
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This coming September, my classmates and I will celebrate our fortieth anniversary of entering the Jesuits. Dang, where does the time go?

One thing among many that stands out to me over these years involves the thirteen major moves that I’ve made from one city to another. That means I’ve averaged just over three years in each place. What I’ve discovered is that it’s easier to move away than be left behind. Leaving is tough, but being left is harder.

Even with the grief over leaving, moving for me most often has meant a journey, the excitement of meeting new people, the anticipation of good ministry and great possibilities. Looking forward to “what might be” with gusto does alleviate some of the grieving.

Jesus and Paul look to “what will be,” embrace it, and give thanks.

And so I identify with only some aspects of this experience of Paul and Jesus. “I’m going where God is leading me, to glory!” Yet, there’s something I don’t always like to attend to, the way to get to glory, the cross. I say: Isn’t there an easier way? Jesus and Paul give thanks for opportunities to embrace “what will be.”

Paul says:
What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.

Jesus says:
Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

As I anticipate our celebration of the feast of Pentecost, I feel drawn to pray for the purifying power of the Holy Spirit to make all of us more fit instruments for God’s loving service to the world. What would it be like if the Spirit were to purify us of our fears of dying, of losing, of letting go? Perhaps we would be more like Jesus who was glorified in his suffering. Perhaps we might embrace “what will be” with gusto.

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