On the Second Sunday of Lent we listened about Abraham’s faith in God. Twice Abraham responds to God, “Here I am” (Genesis 22 1:2; 10 – 13). Then we listened to the account of Transfiguration and Peter’s excitement, “It is good that we are here!” (Mark 9:2-10).
There is something to these responses about being “here.” This word speaks of attentiveness, presence, focus, awareness. We cannot be “here” if our mind is rehashing things of the past or busily planning for the future, or tuned out because of the noise and activity that comes at us from all directions some days or all the internal confusion that comes from trying to be other than who we are.
“Here,” is about listening, looking, being aware of what is going on around and what is happening internally – thoughts, emotions . . . Peter was so much in the present, so caught up in the moment – amazed at the transfiguration of Jesus and the appearance of the Prophets – that he couldn’t contain himself, “it is so good that we are here!” Have you ever felt this way too?
Abraham was so present to God that he went to carryout a most tragic act – killing his only son. Yet in seeking to be faithful to God, he may have changed a societal tradition of child sacrifice. Abraham was able to hear God acknowledge his faith, faith that overcame death and destruction. Have you ever responded to a difficult task and in turn recieved peace and a deepening of faith?
As the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer reflect on this past week, they ask themselves, “How were we ‘here,’ how were we or weren’t we present to the day and Our Redeemer?”
On Monday evening, the Sisters gathered for evening prayer, welcoming the presence of 4 individuals who have responded to the call to assist in carrying out the Congregations mission and ministry at this time in history, here and now.
Gardeners and one of the Sisters continued planting seeds for the community garden in the greenhouse on Tuesday and Wednesday, acknowledging what we plant today we may or may not see come to bear fruit in the future, but we plant anyway. In the here and now there is joy in working side by side for a greater purpose.
The Sisters gathered together to comfort and support a Sister and her family whose mother passed from this life to the next. At times like this we are poignantly reminded to live each moment, to make the most of the here and now.
A late winter storm that left more snow than was experienced all winter changed many plans for Thursday. Events like this remind us that we can plan so much, but we must remain flexible and open to what may happen to change these plans so that we can respond with grace and compassion.
Many of the Sisters are preparing to move to another convent. This transition requires much preparation and packing as the moving date draws near. The act of moving is an opportunity to simplfy, let go, remember what is important. This opportunity offers the invitation to renewal, starting fresh, being present to oen another and what really matters. We have the chance to clean up the clutter within and without and say “Here I am, how can I help? what needs to be done,?how are you doing with this change? what is important to keep? what can go?”
As the journey of Lent continues, you may wish to reflect on today. How did you hear God’s voice? How did you respond? When was it difficult to listen? What helped you to take on difficult tasks? When were you so excited, like Peter, that you couldn’t contain yourself?