This morning the priest who was supposed to fill in for Fr. Tim for daily Mass didn't show up. This was the Middle School Mass, so the Principal of our school frantically tried to find the priest, but when he realized that there wasn't going to be one available, he went to "plan B" and prepared for a Communion Service.
Sadly this isn't the first time we have had to do this since our sudden pastoral change, but in today's case it turned out that the lesson that the kid's got in lieu of a homily was really great, so while it might not have been a best case scenario, our principal did make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
The Gospel for today was John 6:35-40
Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”
He got eleven of the kids from the school to come to the front of the church. One young man he blindfolded, and the other ten he asked to stand randomly between the young man and the other side of the church.
Then he told the blindfolded young man that the other young men and women represented land mines. Would he rather try to get to the other side of the church on his own or with the Principal's guidance. Of course the young man chose to be guided by the Principal.
The Principal then guided the young man through the "land mines" to the other side. He then spoke for a while about how the students, especially the Eighth graders would soon be moving out into the world where they would find many "land mines" that would be dangerous for them, but Jesus promised them that if they believed in Him and were willing to Follow Him, He would not leave them and although it might be hard, they would be able to get through anything if they would put their trust in Jesus.
He then asked the blindfolded young man to trust him, and without touching him, only by following the sound of his voice, the Principal lead him back through the "land mines". Each step was taken very carefully, and with each step the Principal gently said "follow me" so that the blindfolded young man could follow in the direction of his voice. He came close to a few "land mines" but never bumped directly into one.
What an awesome visual message. It isn't always easy to follow Jesus, but if we listen carefully He will lead us in the direction that we are to go.