These are the last days of the academic semester. We are very busy, but we are not overwhelmed. As in the reading from Acts, we are overcome with activity, but it is positive activity. We feel a greater purpose.
My son counts the days until he can leave school (again) and join the workforce (again). This time he leaves with credentials in mathematics. He shows the excitement and fearlessness of the young. Like the missionaries in the first reading he is driven by a personal commitment to something greater. He is starting a teaching career in one of Chicago’s most troubled high schools. He has the courage and energy to tackle the world’s truly great challenges. I would have started slower, but he has the faith and the zeal required for such work.
I wonder if the parents of the men in the first reading had the same fears for their sons that I feel. As they watched their sons heading off into potentially hostel places, they saw the excitement and sense of purpose that the young men possessed. Nevertheless I still worry.
Today’s readings are stories that foreshadow triumph. The text in John that precedes today’s Gospel is one of worry and disbelief. The message of the Gospel answers this disbelief. The Responsorial Psalm is call for a sign. Success in earthly endeavors, which grow out of a heart following the right heading, may point others in the same direction.
My prayer today is for faith and praise. I pray for the desire to share praise when there is success. I pray for the desire to be proud of the effort when there is less success. I pray for the ability to give support to those who are sent forth by a greater light.
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