John 12: 23-26
Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Today marks a special Jesuit “family celebration,” honoring all the great heroes of the Jesuit Order. There is a very large number of officially recognized saints and blessed—but I hope, at least, that there is a much larger number of unrecognized saints and blessed among the sons of St. Ignatius who are gathered in the Jesuit neighborhood in Heaven.
People often put pictures of their distinguished ancestors on their living room walls. For all of us in the Body of Christ, our truly distinguished ancestors are the holy men and women who have gone before us—some no doubt related to us by blood as well—and have been fully transformed into the light and life of God. They enjoy the “Beatific Vision”: more than watching a cosmic movie screen called “God.” I like to think God, who “all in all,” is actually seeing through their eyes.
And, if CS Lewis correctly presents the tradition, seeing and hearing and the other senses are all transformed and united in one super-sense, because the individual is perfectly united with God. And only God can both fully penetrate while allowing full personal freedom, for so it is in the Trinity, and so it is in the souls God fills.
We have everything to look forward to; not least being re-united with our loved ones and hearing the cheers of those who have been praying for us as they rejoice on seeing us come home. Today we celebrate in a special way those members of the Society of Jesus who have fought the good fight under the Standard of Christ and have now entered into the glory of their Lord. Men who taught at Georgetown and Holy Cross and Santa Clara, men who labored on reservations and lonely missions, and those who taught generations of young “savages”in Jesuit high schools. Alleluia!
Lord, whether my day appears quite routine, or I look forward to a particular joy, or if sadness should brush shoulders with me, I pledge myself to you. I will do my best to honor the words of St. Ignatius: “Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and grace, that is enough for me.” And when I sacrifice for your greater glory, I will trust in your promise that if we lose our life for you, we will gain eternal life.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team