Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

October 4th – Loves holds all together

Scripture Reflection . . .

First Reading: Genesis 2:18-24

Responsorial Psalm: Pslam 128

Second Reading: Hebrews 2:9-11

Gospel: Mark 10: 2-6

A thread runs throughout the Scriptures for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday that speaks of unity and communion.  In the First Reading God speaks, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” The Second Reading declares that “all have one origin.” Jesus reminds us in the Gospel that “what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Then Jesus demonstrates what communion is when he calls the children to himself even as the disciples were inclined to send them away.

The Alleluia verse sung before the Gospel reminds us of a core truth, “If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is brought to perfection in us” (1 John 4:12).

God is love.  Love holds all together.

In our lives as Sisters of the Holy Redeemer . . .

This week Pope Francis visited Philadelphia and several of us were able to attend and/or volunteer at the various events: World Meeting of Families workshops and exhibit hall; Saturday morning Mass with the Pope at the Cathedral; Festival of Families, and the Papal Mass on Sunday.  What a grace-filled experience!  We experienced the unity of the Church in all its diversity of cultures, perspectives, vocations. We met people from our own neighborhoods and countries around the world – and we are one Church!

Papal Mass

Pope Francis

An expert from Pope Francis’ Homily at the Papal Mass on Sunday in which he speaks of communion and unity follows:

“So we might ask ourselves: How are we trying to live this way in our homes, in our societies? What kind of world do we want to leave to our children (cf.Laudato Si’, 160)? We cannot answer these questions alone, by ourselves. It is the Spirit who challenges us to respond as part of the great human family. Our common house can no longer tolerate sterile divisions. The urgent challenge of protecting our home includes the effort to bring the entire human family together in the pursuit of a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change (cf. ibid., 13). May our children find in us models and incentives to communion! May our children find in us men and women capable of joining others in bringing to full flower all the good seeds which the Father has sown!”

In his message at the Festival of Families he proclaimed that love is what overcomes divisions

“In the family, indeed, there are difficulties. But those difficulties are overcome with love. Hatred is not capable of dealing with any difficulty and overcoming any difficulty. Division of hearts cannot overcome any difficulty. Only love. Only love is able to overcome. Love is about celebration, love is joy, love is moving forward.”

While the Pope’s visit was certainly the highlight of the week and left us tired but excited, we knew other experiences of community this past week.

A former Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteer (RMC) arrived to stay with us for two weeks while she has a rotation at a local hospital as part of her medical training.  She and the current RMC joined  the Formation community for dinner one evening. It was a gift to observe them sharing their stories, experiences and hopes.  While they had never met, their shared experience with us as volunteers unites us all.

This week we also gathered together to take time to reflect upon our experience of community, using the Myers-Briggs tools to help us understand our own and each other’s unique personalities. As human beings we know we are all different but sometimes we have troubles accepting the differences.  Community living provides us with many opportunities to grow in unity amid the differences.  We were able to identify and laugh at various personality traits.  Laughing together is a wonderful way to deepen communion!

As the week comes to a close, we said goodbye to Sr. Kim for a short while as she travels to Germany to be with our Postulant there as together they accompany all the people seeking refuge and hope as they find themselves as guests at our Motherhouse.  You can follow their experiences on the Archeplego of Mercy Blog

In your life . . .

You may feel called to look up Pope Francis’ various speeches and homilies from his visit to the U.S.  His focus on family, common good, justice all speak of communion and unity.

For interest you may want to take a simple on-line Myers-Briggs personality test.  Always good to learn more about oneself as self-knowledge strengthens our ability to know, accept, and love others.

Blessings on your week!