Image: Sharing stories of family at Trapper’s Lake retreat
With today’s celebration of the Mass we find ourselves coming to the end of the season of Easter with tomorrow being the Feast of Pentecost.
For the past several weeks we have been following the Gospel of John and today we find ourselves at the very end of John’s account of the life of Jesus. In his final words John states that, what he has written is not a summary of what could be said on the matter but that he has barely scratched the surface, “the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” if all the stories were to be told.
Each morning that we have gathered over the past 50 days we have heard many stories about the life of Christ and his followers. We listened to tales about the lives of the disciples as they walked with Jesus towards Jerusalem and the way of the cross. We heard of their encounters with the risen Christ as they gathered in the upper room and as they walk towards Emmaus. We saw them turn their heads toward the sky as Jesus returned to heaven and we encountered the early Christian community as they began the ritual of remembering Jesus in the breaking of the bread. We followed the early missionary journeys of Peter and Paul, and their companions, as the message of that community began to spread around Jerusalem and then, eventually, around the world.
It really is one of the main reasons that we gather as a community of faith, to listen to the stories that have been told in the books that have been written about Jesus. Yet all these stories are but a prelude, just a beginning, to the most important story which is the one that is being written by your life and your own relationship with Christ.
Imagine yourself an author and each day of your life is an empty page that you have been asked to fill with your understanding of what God has done for you and what is happening in your life because of your connection with Jesus. What kind of story do you want to write?
It might be a story of gratefulness for all that has been received. It might be an adventure story where we never know where God is going to take us next. It might be a mystery story for those times when God seems to have disappeared and we feel like we are walking in the darkness alone. It could be filled with tragedy and loss, love, and joyfulness. Most likely it is a mixture of all those themes and many more, our story is unique and no one else will ever write the same story as ours.
As we gather together, we bring all our stories before the altar, to the source of our inspiration. We take what we have written, that is, our life and place it before God who will receive it and be so pleased by it. Here God will bless us and encourage us and then send us out into the world to write the next page.