The readings for Sunday, January 18th contain stories of people who, with the help of others, noticed the presence of God. The first reading about the boy Samuel tells of God’s repeated calling of Samuel who learned to identify the voice with the help of Eli (1 Samuel 3:3 -10, 19). In the Gospel John the Baptist’s declaration, ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ causes two of his disciples to follow Jesus (John 1: 35-42).
We might consider these passages an invitation to Stop, look, and listen to the voice and presence of God in our lives. We cannot respond until we notice.
Stop – pause from our activities to be still so we can be attentive to what is going on within and around us.
Look – once we have stopped we can really begin to notice the people, events, needs of the world around.
Listen – when we stop and look we can listen to what these experiences are telling our heart, and in turn what God is revealing in our lives.
How did the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer stop, look, and listen this week?
The week began with an ice storm. The sound of sirens around the area revealed the dangerous conditions of the roads. The Sister who usually distributes Communion to patients at one of their ministries chose to walk instead of drive. Thankfully she traveled to and from safely. By being attentive to the conditions she could follow the call to carry out her ministry.
An Affiliate with our Congregation, traveled to Germany to assist families who are seeking refuge and asylum in Europe. She will be there for the next couple of weeks. She and the Sisters there by taking time to stop, look, and listen are learning how to best respond to the needs and hopes of the families as they find a way in a new country.
Several Sisters stopped their normal activities to respond to an invitation from a local priest to gather for after Christmas festivities. They shared in community by looking at and listening to one another, enjoying each other’s presence.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer – Mother Alphonse Maria, several Sisters, Redeemer Associates, and co-workers joined in a day of service, stopping from their normal work to look and listen to the needs of the communities around them in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Stopping to answering the phone and listening to the voice on the other end, revealed a need to find a home for a bunny. Looking at the possibility of including the bunny in the school garden visits determined that this would be a welcome addition that the school students would enjoy. The bunny now has a home with the Sisters!
There were many other occasions in which the Sisters responded after taking time to stop, look, and listen this week including participating in the local parish PREP (Religious education) program, providing extra help at their Food Cupboard in NJ, assisting with childcare for a evening program at one of the Sisters ministries, visiting those who are sick in community and ministry sites, providing assistance at soup dinner fundraiser at a local parish. And in these experiences the presence of God was revealed!
It is a new week now. How will you Stop. Look. Listen so as to notice the presence of God in your life . . . and follow?
God blesses you!