As we entered into a new month we heard the Gospel describe Jesus’ teaching and actions as astonishing and amazing the people (Mark 1:21-28). Here is an indivdual who is doing things with an authority not seen before; not of this world. Perhaps it would be like reading a research paper without any references, all the content being new but based in reality and truth. Where does this come from? What confidence and authority!
Of all the directions one could go with this reading, today the focus is on the amazment and astonishment. When was the last time you experienced amazement? what caused it? What about astonishment – being surprised with wonder?
Let’s take a peek into the lives of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer this week. When did they experience amazement and astonishment this week?
The week started with the celebration of World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. It was amazing how many of the Sisters chose to travel to the Philadelphia Cathedral on Sunday Evening for a special Mass offered by the Archbishop even though it was Superbowl Sunday 🙂 We had a good time celebrating our call by being together that evening.
Sisters in Formation and Formation Ministry also entered into the month with thier annual Winter Retreat by the Sea. The freezing temperatures were astonishing but didn’t keep them from taking walks on the beach. Although God is always present it is amazing how God continues to be revealed in new ways. With the theme of a “Spa” God was symbolically identified in the comfort of a slipper, the delight of bubble bath, the renewing of a pumice stone, the cleansing of soap! All wrapped in quiet reflection, prayer and rest.
Then there is the amazement of watching the tiny seeds begin to sprout – the onions, leeks and celery are bursting forth from the soil as they look forward to spring planting in the community garden. The miracle of life!
There was the amazing committment of some of the Sisters who attended the fundraiser in memory of a young girl whose earthy life ended at 4 years of age from a brain tumor. Her memory lives on in the charity that continues today. Amazing good that comes from tragedy!
The celebration of a Sister on her birthday – the astonishment of another year! The chance to express our amazment and joy at God’s work in an individuals life. And we were all amazed at the delicious cake one of the Sisters made for the occasion 🙂
A young woman chose to take a couple days away from her busy schedule to find rest during a little retreat time with the Sisters. During this time one of the Sisters was participating in a Busy Persons retreat at a nearby University where students committed to a daily time of prayer and meeting with a Spiritual mentor amidst their regular classes. It is always amazing to witness the faith of young people.
The gift of the little things that makes us stand in awe or take a deep breath – the brilliance of a full moon on a clear winter’s night; walking in to a room on the Maternity floor in one of the Sisters’ ministries and seeing a newborn baby sleeping peacefully in its mother’s arms; the unexpected kindness and help of a stranger when a car won’t start (!!!), a sunrise over the ocean . . .
May you be amazed at the work of God in your life this new week! Perhaps you can take a moment at the end of each day to remember moments of amazement and astonishment in your life that day.