Typically, I find my monthly scripture reflections tend to focus on the message of the Gospel passage. Today’s Gospel reading is from John 11, which recounts the plotting of the chief priests and the Pharisees, who had become increasingly alarmed at the widespread belief in Jesus, as he gained followers through the performance of multiple miracles.
However, today’s first reading, from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel, had a more immediate impact on me. “I will make them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.” The general theme of the reading is a prophecy of God’s plan to unite his people and look over them for eternity. The word that struck me most meaningfully in the passage is the word covenant. God made the most awesome of promises and committed to stand by it despite all challenges, most solemnly illustrated by the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But the reading got me thinking—what promises have I made to those closest to me and have I always been there to fulfill them even in the darkest of hours? Perhaps the timing of this questioning has been driven by the fact that I have unfortunately had a number of friends recently who have lost loved ones. Just this past week, a good friend from college lost his amazing wife to a year-long battle with cancer. With our truest of friends, as well as with our families, we implicitly enter into a covenant with them to be there in good times and in bad. While some Lenten practices focus on “giving something up,” others can be focused on “committing to doing something better.” As Lent nears its end, and I share in the losses of my friends, I’m reminded that I need to “do better” at just being a good friend. I need to commit to upholding my side of the covenant that I have with them, to be present to them and to offer whatever I can in their time of need.
—David Hennessey, '83 P '16, AP economics teacher and varsity assistant hockey coach