Here comes a reflection on today’s Gospel Reading, taken from StJohn, chapter 12. It came rather late in the week – in fact this morning just before our celebration of the Eucharist – just to prove that with the Lord even the last minute can be loaded!

I was sitting quietly in my choir stall, in the Chapel, gathering myself and trying to get my head around the reality of this being now he fifth week of Lent – and whatever happened to the previous four??!!! It’s supposed to be – and is – a season of returning to the Lord, fasting praying and almsgiving, and I feel that I haven’t even made a beginning!

The Gospel reading for the day is so full of treasure that it’s impossible to know where to begin – every word contains more than you could absorb in the space of time it would take the priest to proclaim it! But we believe God doesn’t give himself to us that we may keep him for ourselves, we must share what he gives, and in our giving we are given more – the height and the depth, the length and the breadth of love!

My ‘clap of thunder’ this morning was only heard by myself – I think the Lord wanted to remind me of my calling – the mystery and the wonder of it. We as Dominican nuns, call ourselves ‘nuns of the Order of Preachers’ – and we are contemplative – we don’t go out and preach! Seems a bit of an irony – and yet that is what we are, and today’s Gospel is a big help in understanding the fact, and they are the words of Jesus Himself.

I’d better get to the point! In our different ways, we have been touched so intimately by God, and have experienced beyond anything you could put into words – His love. How very vital it is, how life-giving and how saving. And we have so passionately wanted it to be made known – to the whole world – that we have come to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to Him speak; we have chosen to celebrate His word and to keep it, to ponder it and pray over it – knowing that by doing this we can reach out more effectively to every one this way. It is a sheer gift. If I chose to become a missionary, I would be limited in my preaching, because I am only one and can be in only one place at a given time. But by hearing the Lord call me, and by being here where He wants me, I can be everywhere! Because look at what He said:

‘If a man serves me, he must follow me,
wherever I am, my servant will be there too….’

Do you see? If I respond to the Lord as He invites me to, it makes me to be with Him, and He keeps me with Him – so that wherever He is, there I am! That is our vocation as nuns – and the word of God is powerful, because the Word Is GOD. So when I meet these words on the pages of the Bible, I am meeting Jesus – God Himself –and that is the truth!!

I think this has gone on long enough – but it was for me a ‘clap of thunder’ – and a wonderful reminder of the nearness of the Lord, and of His intimacy – which He wants everyone to know and have. So keep close to Him, as Jeremiah reminded us – He is planted ‘deep within’ you.