Drawing near to Holy Week, the scriptures speak of God’s love and Jesus’ growing awareness that he will give his life for revealing this love. In Jeremiah we hear, “I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts . . .” (31:31-34) and in the Gospel of John, ” . . .unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat, but if it dies it produces much fruit.”
The image of seed planted – in our hearts; in the earth – that then grows to bear fruit is fitting here. God plants the law of love in our hearts not to remain there hidden away but to be lived out in our love for one another. Sometimes this is painful. Love is not easy – we often do and say that which we don’t want and sometimes the love we share is not accepted or returned. But Jesus reminds us that unless we are willing to love and love again we will remain turned inward and not bear fruit.
This week the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer reflect on the seeds of faith planted in their lives and their call to nurture the seed so it may bear fruit.
The Sisters celebrated the Feast of the Annunication recalling Mary’s opennes to receiving the seed of the Spirit in her “Yes” to God’s plan and the incarnation of Jesus. The Sisters too seek to be open to receive and bear the fruit of God’s love as we follow the example of Mary.
The newest Candidate with the Congregation began her ministry in the Pastoral Care department of one of the Sisters’ ministries. Her first week included learning her way around a new facility and beginning to engage in the ministry of presence – listening to those being cared for – receiving the seed of thier stories and bearing the fruit of peace that listening brings to others.
One of the Sisters participated in a high school retreat planting the seeds of vocation, disernment and religious life. Ulitmately in the hopes that young people will grow into their lives as holy and happy people, bearing the fruit of God’s love no matter what they do in their futures.
A Family who is moving gave the Sisters serveral animals to add to thier current menagerie – a goose, guinea hens and a couple of bunnies. May their gift bear the fruit of joy to visitors and helping companions in the garden ministry (Guinea Hens love bugs!).
Speaking of the gardens, the school children and community gardeners have returned for the Spring garden preparations and literally planting seeds in hopes of abundant crops. All look forward to the greening of the earth after a very long cold winter.
One of the Sisters participated in a weekend retreat at a nearby spirituality center as a way of preparing for Holy Week. She returned renewed to bear the fruit of God’s love to those she ministers with.
At week’s end, several of the Sisters participated in a fundraiser for the Sisters’ food cupboard ministries. May the time and resources shared bear fruit for those seeking the basic need of food.
As you enter into this Holy Week may you take time to pause and reflect on how the gift of Jesus’ life and love find a home in your heart and how this love bears fruit in your daily life. Blessings on your Holy Week!