A Job Well Done

Tuesday of Week 7 in Eastertide

Acts. 20:17-27 & Jn. 17:1-11

There is a sense of sadness in today's readings as both Paul and Jesus reach the end of their mission on Earth and are bidding farewell to their friends and followers. Yet there is also a feeling of satisfaction and triumph for they both know that they have completed the work they were given.

Paul tells his friends in Ephesus that they will probably never see him again, but as he looks back over his life he has no regrets. He has worked tirelessly, bearing witness to the good news, preaching and converting; he has endured hardship, persecution and imprisonment in the course of his work; and he has seen the job through to the end. His conscience is clear.

In the same way, Jesus can say to His Father, "I have glorified You on Earth and finished the work that You gave me to do. I have made Your name known to men and given them the teaching You gave to Me." Now he can return to the Father and enter into the glory which is waiting for Him.

What about our work? However we may earn our living, God gives each one of us a particular job which no-one else can do. As Blessed John Henry Newman said, “We may not know our task in this life but we shall be shown it in the next life”. God calls each of us to be witnesses in our own way, in whatever situation He has placed us. By the way we live we are to tell the world about our loving Father, about His Son Jesus who came to save us, and about the Holy Spirit who strengthens and comforts us. In this way we, too, will glorify God and when we reach the end of our lives we hope to be able to say with Paul, "My conscience is clear. I have finished the work."

Eternal God, may each one of us do the task You have set us. May we work to the best of our abilities and, like Your apostle Paul, may we receive the reward of a job well done and a share in Your glory.