Today’s Gospel: John 10, 31-42
Everyone has an opinion about ushers, particularly church ushers.
To usher someone means to escort, to walk alongside, or to accompany a person. An usher does not take the place of a person, nor does an usher change the person being accompanied. This is what Jesus does with the law. He ushers in a new law, while still walking alongside the Mosaic Law.
And just like a good usher, every time Jesus is challenged by the scribes, Pharisees, elders, and other Jews, he continues to walk alongside them, interpreting the law correctly – but with room for love and mercy. Jesus’ ability to usher in the new law takes nothing away from the original, but completes it. And ushering in the new law is precisely what will send him to the cross.
I find it interesting that we see Jesus ushering in the new law and a few verses later he has traveled the 21 miles back to the Jordan River – the scene of his baptism with John – perhaps the most famous “usher” of all! Actually, even today, I think if John the Baptist showed up for liturgy training, he’d want to be an usher.
And actually, most church ushers don’t walk with people at all. They do a lot more pointing and yelling. Kind of like John the Baptist. All the same, Jesus returns to his baptism – the first appearance of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together – to receive strength for his next ushering task.
Who am I being asked to “usher” closer to Jesus in my life? Who is seeking to “usher” me closer to Jesus?
Lord Jesus, help me to really take the time to walk with someone today. Teach me to use the gift of my life to “point” someone to you. But first, I must really know you and walk with you myself. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Colleen O’Dowd
Colleen O’Dowd is the Director of Youth Ministry at Holy Spirit Parish in Stevens Point, WI. She loves being Catholic, her converse all-stars are always liturgically correct, and she is a super-saint-geek! She blogs very occasionally at ourheartswereburningwithin.wordpress.com and can also be found @catholiccolleen on Twitter and Instagram.