As we’ve returned to Rome, and not to jump ahead too fast, the reality that we’re on the last part of our pilgrimage comes to mind. Sorry, thats not meant to bring us all down, but to challenge us to make the most of these days. Particularly in light of these readings:
In the first reading from Jeremiah, God speaks to the prophet (and to us) as someone who knows and loves the prophet (and each of us) very intimately.
But then we responded to that reading with those beautiful words of the psalm “With you is the fountain of life O Lord.” We might get distracted, we might get busy, we might forget what we’re supposed to be about – but God is unwavering in his faithfulness to us. Constantly, consistently loving us throughout the journey.
But lest we are tempted to sit back, rest and let God take care of everything, We hear the voice of Jesus, through Matthew, speaking hard words, almost as if he really doesn’t want those who are listening to understand his parables. It seems at odds with the consoling words we’ve heard. But Jesus reminds us that with true faith comes a certain amount of risk-taking, stretching, going beyond our comfort zones, which hopefully this week of pilgrimage has offered each one of us an opportunity to do.
Both St. John’s – the Baptist and the Evangelist – who are remembered in this Sacred Place give striking witnesses to the cost of true faith. John the Baptist is this obscure figure out in the wilderness who lives a life of poverty and repentance and calling others to do the same as the last of the Old Testament prophets pointing to the coming of the Messiah … St. John the Evangelist – the Apostle, the writer – both John’s spent most of their lives pointing to those words etched on the facade of this magnificent place – CHRIST OUR SAVIOR.
They challenge us. Because most of us seem very comfortable with following Christ — but from a distance. We sometimes look to maintain our status quo or, at least, grow at our own rate. But hopefully these readings and the unique and special opportunity we’re experiencing on this pilgrimage are redirecting us… Calling us to to let go of our own ideas and agendas and trust, what our loving Father has in store for us. Inviting us to etch in our hearts, to proclaim with our lives – CHRIST OUR SAVIOR
St. John the Evangelist, St. John the Baptist – pray for us.