"... because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
What a week it's been! The past several days have been so rich... especially liturgically speaking... and in the world of our Sisters (and therefore the entire Marianist Family)... Last Sunday being Pentecost... Friday the Feast of the Visitation... tomorrow is Trinity Sunday... this weekend we're celebrating the 25th jubilee of one of our Sisters... It is indeed a rich time.
In the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, after the Ascension, there is a description of the apostles gathering in the upper room with "some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus" (vs. 13-14). Here it says that they devoted themselves to praying in one accord. It was to this place that the Spirit descended when "the time of Pentecost had been fulfilled." And Mary was there. That's a significant fact for those of us who live inspired by the Marianist charism. I find that is often left out of reflections on Pentecost, but is full of meaning.
The Feast of the Visitation has special significance to the Marianist Sisters - the coming together of two women. Women through whom God was doing great and seemingly impossible things. Women who believed that God's promise would be fulfilled, no matter what the circumstances. Women facing an uncertain future because of the life inside. Women sharing with one another what God was doing in their lives - who undoubtedly shared their fears or anxieties... who shared their joys in the marvelous endeavor. This feast celebrates friendship, family, God's grace... It also celebrates what Mary sings about in her Magnificat. That God, through the life she brought forth, would turn the world around. It's a testament to what God can do when we cooperate with grace.
This reminds me of what our Dayton community is celebrating this weekend - the 25th Jubliee of one of our Sisters. Why am I reminded of that? Because it, too, is a celebration of what God can do when we cooperate with grace. It is a celebration of our family... our community... the coming together of women who share faith, fears, joys, and hope in God's promise. Why wouldn't I see that connection?
Lastly, tomorrow we celebrate Trinity Sunday. What has always struck me about the Trinity is the fact that the Trinity is a community of persons in love... equal, working together, bringing life... And what's always gotten to me is that we are made in the image of this God - the Trinity, a community of love (how Marianist!). This reality presents a challenge to me. Challenging me to connect with others, deeply - to love - to build community, really. And it's a challenge to me because I think I'm pretty good at small talk and superficial relationships, but building true community based on the sharing of faith and grounded in love is something that I am always working towards. But, I suppose it helps to know that since I'm made in the image of a God who is community it is part of my make up as a human being to seek out relationship. The grace is given. It's just a matter of my cooperation with it... Isn't that always the case?
So, I suppose my reflections today have me considering how I cooperate with what God is doing in the world and in my life. Sorry I went a little bit of everywhere to finally come to this. I guess today my mind is somewhat full of different thoughts... each of which could have been it's own blog post, but for some reason I decided I could put them all together here.
Well, I'm off. We began Jubilee celebrations yesterday with a nice dinner with the family of our Sister. And the celebration continues this afternoon and tomorrow morning.
Many blessings to all who will read this!