Tuesday greetings on this, a warm and humid day here in Chicago.
One section from this past Sunday's Gospel, which I have heard hundreds of times, struck my heart.
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
You know, I spend many days each month traveling around North America, talking about Christian initiation, the sacramental life, adult sacramental spiriturality, evangelization, catechesis, etc. I bring handouts. I have pretty decent PowerPoint presentations. I have been told that my story-telling skills are excellent. On Sunday, when I heard this Gospel, I wondered if, after all the talking, story-telling, the PowerPoint slides, all the handouts that I use in my presentations, if somehow people are left with the same question that Thomas asked: "Master . . . how can we know the way?" Or in other words, "Master . . . who are you?"
One of the things I tell catechists all the time has to do with their "content." I challenge them: "Do you hide behind your content? Do you hide behind your handouts? Do you load your sessions with so much information because you are unwilling, unable, or afraid to do what is at the core of what you are supposed to be doing: leading people into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the Master?" I usually get very knowing glances when I ask these questions. And when I push it further, asking people if they have a capacity to articulate that relationship with the Lord, they often look away in discomfort. The National Directory for Catechesis puts it this way: "The object of catechesis is communion with Jesus Christ."
On Sunday, I sat there and, in what ended up being a profound moment of grace, I realized once again that the Lord Jesus is the way for me, is the truth for me, is the life for me. I want people to know this. I want people to know how this makes me wake up each day and want to do something to show that people might just encounter a little bit of the Lord by encountering me. I know this can sound boastful, but I don't think there is anything more important in my life than to do this.
I think I need more and more to move out from under the covers and share from my heart, rather than sometimes hiding behind my handouts and slides.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.