Floods and deserts though opposites are considered two extreme conditions that can be life-threatening.
Yet in the Scripture readings for Sunday, February 22nd we hear St. Peter share ” . . . in the days of Noah . . . a few persons . . . were saved through water. This prefigured baptism, which saves you now” (1 Peter 3: 18 – 22). We hear about the gift of waters poured over us as “an appeal to God for a clear conscience.”
In the Gospel of Mark, we heard that Jesus was driven out into the desert by the Spirit after his baptism. The desert, a desoloate place, was the perfect place for Jesus to listen attentively to God, his Father; where he could listen to and prepare for the mission entrusted to him.
Most days we are neither immersed in the flood waters or in the barren sand of the desert; we may not be fully aware of God grace or the quiet voice of the Spirit. It could be as if we are walking between these two experiences unawares. However, the season of Lent invites us into Jesus’ experience where the waters of baptism meet the solitude of the desert; where the call to holiness received at baptism beckons us to draw nearer to God and the unique mission we have been given.
The Sisters of the Holy Redeemer recall the events of this week – the experience of God’s Grace that call us to mission:
The week literally started with a flood as a water pipe burst in the freezing temperatures at one of the Sisters’ houses. Thankfully, a Sister was present at the time and jumped into action to decrease the amount of damage. We are reminded of our call to respond to the present need.
At evening Mass on Monday we gathered together as community welcoming visitors among us. One guest, a native of Korea, generously prepared dumplings for our light supper afterwards. We are reminded of our call to hospitality and welcoming the unique gifts of others.
At an event at a local parish on Tuesday, a woman lost her keys. Some of the Sisters waited to make sure she was able to get home safely. On Wednesday, a Sister, at one of our ministry sites listened to the story of an elderly Resident share her history of being in a Concentration Camp during WWII. We are reminded of our call to compassionately be with others in their struggles.
On Thursday, one of the Sisters participated in a high school retreat for the Junior class. On Saturday she also participated in a Confirmation Retreat for 6th Graders. We are reminded of our call to share the Good News and the gift of our unique vocation.
On Thursday evening some of the Sisters gathered together to share an article about the skills for community living. On Friday, several Sisters gathered for the simple joy of playing a game. We are reminded of the gift of community and the call to self-reflection, humility and fun.
The Sister whose gift is running the art gallery and frame shop offered a few events this week, reminding us of our call to be a healing presence in the world through beauty and creativity.
As the season of Lent continues you may wish to take some time to reflect on how the experience of this week highlighted your gifts and provide deeper insight into your unique call and mission.