Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
In today’s gospel, Jesus consecrates his disciples in the truth in order to commission their apostolic work in the world. In the silent intensity of the upper room, Jesus shares his very self with his friends so that they will have the strength to conquer a hostile world with the power of love and truth.
Reading this gospel, my thoughts are on the work I will be doing with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Each year they train hundreds of young men and women in the Faith, and send them to college campuses to bring students to Christ. Last summer, after the classes and retreats were completed, we celebrated a commissioning ceremony. In the silent intensity of the chapel, the name of each missionary was read along with the particular church to which they were being sent. As the hundreds of names were read, I saw tears being wiped from eyes and sniffles holding back their mixed emotions. Were they excited at the task before them? Yes. Were they fearful of the unknown awaiting them at the campuses? Yes. Did they feel unworthy of the task? Yes. Did they feel joy at the great friendship Christ had shown them in bringing them to that point in their lives? Most definitely, yes. And it is that friendship which sustains them through difficulty.
When we begin to experience a faintness of heart in the face of the world’s opposition, let us return to the ‘upper room’ of Christ’s friendship. There Jesus will speak his words of truth to us to build us up once more for the task which he commissions us to accomplish.