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
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.”
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
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.