Life’s Work

Tuesday Reflection from Sr. Rosemary Finnegan, O.P.
Readings from:

During this past year, we’ve seen too many families having to tragically say ‘goodbye’ to their dying loved ones.  Sometimes they were able to be together, and sometimes families spoke to their relatives on facetime.  Some of the dying were able to speak and express themselves, others were not.  With their last breaths, they would tell those they cherished how much they loved them.

In today’s readings, Paul and Jesus are each completing their life’s work and are anxious to share one last 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.  Both Jesus and Paul wanted their followers to carry on the mission.

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 denies him, and the rest desert him.  As far as carrying on the work, it didn’t look promising.  And yet, Jesus didn’t seem discouraged.  He knew that God’s kingdom would spread because the Holy Spirit would come to his followers, empower and strengthen them. And that is what happened.  Each apostle had a role to play, large or small, in the building of the kingdom.

During this pandemic, the New York Times wrote mini biographies about some of the 600,000 people who have now died of COVID. Each mini line was a glimpse into a soul:

  • She helped immigrants and refugees get on their feet. Patricia Rowe, 94, Buffalo.
  • Wanted everyone to feel welcome. Mauricio Valdivia, 52, Chicago.
  • Proud of recently being promoted to Grampy. Conrad Warren Buckley, 52, Clermont, Fla.
  • Fought against the COVID-19 pandemic to save patients. James Mahoney, 62, New York City.[i]

God has given each of us something to do in this life. St. Francis de Sales said that most of us do not have the opportunity to do great things, but each day we can do little things with great love.

Let us pray to be faithful to the little things and precious acts that God has given every one of us to do for the sake of the kingdom.