Challenge and consolation

By | February 2, 2011

Jesus is our mentor, our companion. Two thousand years ago he walked with James and John, Mary and Lazarus. Today he walks with us by means of the sacrament and Scripture, present in so many ways through the Christian community.

We are to be the salt and light to others, as they are to be for us. When people walk in the darkness of fear and death, we are to cast before them the light of the Spirit’s courage and hope. When people have lost the taste for life and growth, we are to offer the salty words and examples of people filled with enthusiasm for the kingdom of God. To do that, we need to go to the source of all light and all zeal — we are to enter into the Lord’s presence in prayer and faith.

Isaiah is a mighty companion and mentor. With great force and clarity, he proclaims the desires of God and gives us a vision of what authentic living truly is. Our mission is being instruments of God’s light and love by means of assisting those in need. The oppressed, the lonely, the hungry, the homeless — these are people whom God wants served.

Many of us have turned to the writing of St. Paul on our journey. Here we find a mentor who insists that it is in the doing, not just the teaching, that true mentoring exists. Paul has to deal with a number of obstacles in fulfilling his mission. He maintained that he lacked wisdom and eloquence, was fearful and weak, struggled to achieve wholeness. Yet Paul proclaimed Jesus, Jesus crucified, and pointed the way to eternal happiness. His companionship is one of the great blessings to the Christian community.

The human journey is long and arduous, filled with much darkness and many fears. It is not wise to walk alone, isolated from others. We need one another; we need mentors and models. Jesus, Isaiah and Paul come to us today to tell us about the glory of God, about the dignity of being God’s instruments, about the joy of doing God’s will. Good teachers here; good companions.

Questions for reflection

1. Who are the three most important mentors in your life?

2. Whom do you mentor at the present time?

3. Why is traveling alone so dangerous?

 

Bishop Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Green Bay Diocese and pastor of Resurrection Parish in Allouez.

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