by Sister Margaret Mary Halbach
Today is an important day for our Community. We are commemorating Founders' Day during our 150th celebration year. The Scriptures for this weekend are appropriate in my reflection on Community.
The first reading on this Second Sunday of Easter is from the Acts of the Apostles. It speaks of the Apostles and their beginning of the Church and how they lived what Christ taught them: "The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the Apostles bore witness to the Resurrection of the Lord, and great favor was accorded to them all." (4:32-33)
As I reflect on that statement I realize that, as each Sister lives in the spirit of Community, we can be and do more in Community than we can be or do alone. This thought has become a great part of our Sisters’ spiritualty. We give witness to the love of Jesus Christ, lived in Community. We possess all things in common and then share all in a joyful attitude.
In the Gospel (John 20:19-31) Thomas the Apostle comes to the fore after not being present with the others when Jesus came to the Upper Room to reveal Himself. In a way Thomas is representative of all of us. We were not present in the Upper Room yet we are to have faith and believe. Jesus challenged Thomas to put a hand into His side "and to not be unbelieving but believe. ... Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
We are challenged, too. We are called to touch not only Jesus' wounds but all those we meet in our wounded world. Try to spend time today praying over the following thought: Who needs our gentle touch in their wounds? How can we help reveal Jesus?
Be not afraid. He is with us.
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Happy Founders' Day and blessings for many more years!!! - Claire
Thank you, Sisters, for your gentle healing touch over these 150 years of service. Celebrate Jesus' endless goodness witnessed through you in endless ways! Thank you for building a loving community.-Ellen
The experience of living in community is rich, indeed, but notice how the Gospel (John 20: 19-31) goes on to tell of the very first 'fearful' community of believers. Two weeks in a row, Jesus comes to his followers, who have locked themselves in, barred the door, out of fear. Both times Jesus enters, appears with a message, a pronouncement of "Peace," dispelling their fears to move outward. Jesus appears, and 'breathes new life upon them and within them.' Not just once, but twice. Not only does Jesus gift the believers with "Shalom," but he extends his very own wounded-ness to them, that they, too, will come to recognize their own wounds, and the ways they have wounded others, including Jesus. This is metanoia - conversion - repentance and healing at work - just what disciples need to be authentic preachers of 'new life' and to become wounded healers, themselves, in the Example of "the Wounded Healer," Jesus. Your celebration is on Mercy Sunday. How fitting for these times! The psalm, too, so rich .... as each and every believing household and disciple-ed community can sing out, "The Mercy of God endures forever!" -- Linda
I pray for the blessing of God to be with each of the Sisters as they commemorate & celebrate the 150th Founders Day! - Michael V