Tuesday, April 24, 2012
This time of year, at least within a seminary, is marked by the reality of “good-bye’s.” Sixteen of my seminarian brothers will be graduating at the end of this semester. From U.S. dioceses as far west as Portland and as far south and north as Forth Worth and Milwaukee, respectively, the geography to be served by these graduates is truly an expansive one. Best wishes and God speed to all: may the Spirit continue to guide each in serving the People of God!
The President-Rector for Sacred Heart, Father Jan de Jong, SCJ will also be retiring on July 1. Father de Jong’s tenure as Rector extended over a four year period and was marked by many achievements. Hearty congratulations go to Father de Jong as he transitions to the next stage in his life’s journey.
We, too, are transitioning into a new season, that of Easter, a period which extends for 50 days. As the readings over this period indicate, it is a time for joyful celebration of the reality and meaning of Our Lord’s Resurrection! Some of the followers of Jesus are, in a sense, saying “good-bye” to Him as Ascension approaches (celebrated in the Church on May 17). These grace-filled moments were surely times of revelation (see Luke 24:13-35), commissioning (Mark 16:14-18) and nourishment, both spiritual and physical (John 21:1-14). It has been my experience that “how” one leaves, or says good-bye, is often remembered more than many of the events prior to the departure.
For my brother seminarians and the President-Rector, the time for good-byes is rapidly approaching. For the followers of Jesus, the seemingly final good-bye of the Cross turned, instead, to his post-resurrection appearances, His continuing presence in the life of the early Church and His love and involvement with our own lives today. Happy Easter Season!