Sarah (Greene) Perkins ’06, ’08 M.Ed.
Adjunct Faculty, Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program, Alliance for Catholic Education

My dad, Jim Greene, was a wonderful father. Since his passing in October of 2020, his wisdom and words seem to pop up even more in my conversations and my prayer. Today’s gospel led me to recall a hallmark of my dad’s parenting—his famous “come to Jesus” talks. My siblings and I fondly recall how Dad would take intentional time with each of us and lovingly but directly encourage us to make necessary changes. Thanks to Dad, we were often pressed to examine relationships, habits, and attitudes that were holding us back from becoming the best versions of ourselves, or from as he’d say, “doing God’s work.”

My heart goes out to the Apostle John in this gospel, for I know what it’s like to go to a beloved authority figure with an issue, to have my assumptions turned upside down, and to leave with a sense of how I need to grow. My “come to Jesus” moments with my Dad were unforgettable and sometimes a bit uncomfortable, but they always made me a better person and disciple.

Jesus challenges us with his words today, reminding us that the power and providence of God transcend any limits we might wish to impose on them. Jesus also invites us to look carefully at our lives and to excise anything that draws us away from a right relationship with God and neighbor.

May we have the courage to do this hard work, and as we do, may we come more closely to Jesus.