Last Messages

Written by Sr. Rosemary Finnegan, O.P.
Readings from:

Sr. Linda Bevilacqua, President of Barry University and Barry Law School, chose to retire after serving in that executive position for the last 15 years. On July 1, a new President takes over. Last Friday I attended the Barry Board meeting where Sr. Linda gave her farewell remarks. What particularly touched me was her sincere wish that the Board be open to new models of leadership so that Barry can continue its mission and that it will grow and develop. She pointed to her Administrative team and told everyone that the new president was inheriting a hardworking group who would help him carry out Barry’s values and mission. Her comments were inspiring and motivating.

In today’s readings, Paul and Jesus are each completing their life’s work and are anxious to share one last inspired message with their followers. They are both reflecting on the way they had responded to their calling. Jesus knew he had finished the work that God had given him to do. Paul, too, had a sense that he had fulfilled God’s mission to the best of his ability. Now they both were passing on the mission to the followers.

Yet, as Jesus was sharing his beautiful prayer to his Father at the Last Supper, think of who was there listening: a handful of disciples, one who would betray him, another deny him, and the rest desert him. As far as carrying on the work, it didn’t look promising.

But Jesus didn’t seem discouraged. He knew that God’s kingdom would spread because the Holy Spirit would come to his followers, empower them, strengthen and support them.

We are those followers now.  As we anticipate celebrating Pentecost next weekend, perhaps we can take this time to reflect on how we’ve responded to God’s call.  God has given each of us something to do in this life. Whatever it is, it’s a small part of something larger. The seeds of love and kindness, peace and reconciliation that we sow, do grow. What we do for the poor does comfort and provide.

In the “Joy of the Gospel”, Pope Francis wrote: “Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place.”

Let us pray to be faithful to the little things God has given us to do, for God considers these acts very important to carrying on Jesus’ mission and the building of the kingdom.