Sojourning is an interesting word – sounds like being on a journey with a specific mission but it is actually about temporarily staying or dwelling in a place for a short time.
The Sunday May 4th readings proclaim
“Lord, you will show us the path of life.” (Psalm 16)
” . . .conduct yourself with reverence during the time of your sojourning” (1 Peter 1: 17 – 21).
“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over” (Luke 24) – the disciples invitation to Jesus after he encounters them walking to Emmaus in a state of confusion after the crucifixion.
There is something about stopping, slowing down and staying in place awhile until a sense of direction is regained, energy is restored or knowledge of where to place the next step becomes clearer. For the disciples on the way to Emmaus they had to pause at table with Jesus until “there eyes were opened and they recognized [Jesus]” (Luke 24). Our lives can be seen as a sojourn – a temporary stay until the fullness of Eternity, the fullness of God.
This week the Sisters experienced sojourning in various ways.
When the disciples invited Jesus to stay with them, they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread. It could be said that the Sisters experienced Jesus in the scooping of ice cream! There were many opportunities to pause and share ice cream this week: celebrating a Sister’s birthday, celebrating the 5 young women who are year-long Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteers – sharing their lives, their energy, their compassion in the Sisters’ ministries; a spontaneous invitation to go out for ice cream together.
Some Sisters paused for a prayer day, a prayer weekend, or their annual week-long retreat. A Sister from another Congregation stayed with us for her retreat time this week.
Local school children spent an afternoon in the school garden at the Provincialate planting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini – transforming the garden before they headed home. Many gardeners visited the community garden this week to tend their plots and growing crops – finding a place of peace and beauty after their day of work.
It is in our sojourning that we can pause to notice along with the Emmaus story disciples “Were not our hearts burning within us . . .” We need pauses, temporary stays – even in the midst of daily activities – so we can notice the flame of God’s love and presence within us, within our lives and then set out to share the flame with others.
How can this week be a time of sojourning for you? How does seeing your life as a sojourn affect your day to day activities and decisions?