by Sr Marie Alice Ostry ND
This year our Lent and Easter Seasons have been as no other in our memory. In my reflection throughout these seasons I have been able to “experience” the Gospels and “imagine” a little more clearly how the apostles must have perceived these same “mysteries” as they walked with Jesus trying to understand His message and life.
This became clearer especially nearing Pentecost. We have in the first reading that “the apostles, Mary, and the women were in a room gathered together”. I can imagine they were wondering, pondering, considering what was the meaning of all that they had experienced -- the “denials”, the “fleeing from the garden”, Jesus’ cruel death and still puzzled by the words of “raising up in three days” – how does this all come together? What this mean?
For me these seasons, with the “sheltering in place” gave more time for wondering, pondering, and considering the events of Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension without the “usual” participation physically in these special events, gave me time to place myself in the apostles, Mary, and the women’s considering stance. How did I put myself into these liturgies without the “physical closeness” of community? What does it call me to in making real this mystery today?
Through the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost the apostles CHANGED, by the power of the Spirit, were compelled to go forth with courage and energy to make known the person of this Christ with determination, beyond the “denials, fleeing, and staying in the closed room”. How have I been changed with the experience of these Seasons in this unusual circumstances? How does my experience of the Spirit compel me? Where is my courage, energy to bring the values of the Gospels put forth by Jesus?
by Cathy & Gary Leak
Readings: Acts 1: 12-14 Ps 27: 1,4,7-8 1 Pt: 4:13-16 Jn 17: 1-11
Today’s readings have four related themes of prayer, trusting in God, suffering, and glorifying God. In the first reading, the Apostles are gathered in the upper room praying. The Psalm promotes trusting in God. The second reading reminds us that people fear suffering as only punishment. Some suffering is just, the sufferings of the criminal are the consequences of their evil acts. Christians must avoid these evil acts but be honored if we experience suffering from our fidelity to the Lord, following Jesus through the cross. Finally, in the Gospel giving glory to Jesus is giving glory to the Lord. They are the same.
How have you glorified God today in your prayer? In your trusting God?
How have your works and sufferings glorified God?
Have we spread the “Good News” of God’s glory to others?
by Rita Melgares, Notre Dame Associate
In John's Gospel, Jesus tells his Disciples, "If you love me, obey me; and I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always.”
He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. He will not abandon us or leave us as orphans in the storm; He will come to us.
The Holy Spirit brings us God's peace.
I share with you one of my daily prayers . . .
O, Holy Spirit, beloved of
my soul . . . I adore you.
Enlighten me; Guide me.
Strengthen me; Console me.
Tell me what I should do . . .
Give me your orders.
I promise to submit myself
to all that you desire of me
and to accept all that you
permit to happen to me.
Let me only know your will.
by Mary Bartek, Notre Dame Associate
Mother’s Day 2020! How many times during this pandemic have I heard my mother’s voice echo in the back of my mind? “You just came in from outside. Wash your hands!” “Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.” “If you are going to help in the kitchen, wash your hands.” Now many years later, I still hear those words but from those concerned with our health during the pandemic. How wise was my mother, and more than likely, her mother.
When I have thoughts of uncertainty, I have reflected on the life of Mary. Starting with the angel coming to her and informing her she was going to have a son! (Luke 1:26-38) and her response was, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” How did she have so much trust in the Lord?
Then read in the Canticle of Mary. What praise she has for the Lord! “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
Continue on to the birth of Jesus. It was a time that Caesar Augustus decreed that all will be enrolled or somewhat like today’s census. What uncertainty Mary must have had taking a trip while soon to give birth to her child.
Each event there was an angel saying, “Do not be afraid!” So, I feel that there were always times of uncertainty during the life of Mary but she praised the Lord and was reassured to be unafraid for He was with her.
During this event of the pandemic turn to the Bible and to the life of those inside the pages to find comfort and reassurance that the Lord will help you through this time and all the days ahead.
Also, on Mother’s Day, thank your mother, here or in heaven, for the wise instruction they gave us in trying to remain healthy and well by doing the simplest task of washing our hands! Be safe and unafraid!
by Sr. Margaret Proskovec, ND
“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." [Jn. 10:10]
This Sunday’s first reading from Acts holds a question that reverberates all over the earth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “What are we to do?” [Acts 2:37] Many are weary of isolation from the dreaded disease and the extreme limits on our accustomed activities that now are necessary. Concern for the ill and loved ones draws those who dare to go to their side or offer assistance while exercising great care regarding potential consequences. First responders, medical personnel, and those who serve in nursing homes, rehab facilities, prisons, and such are heroically at the forefront of selfless service and care for the most vulnerable. We also hear voices urging us to go back to work and life as we wish it could be; we hear other voices urging us to hold back lest we contribute to the uncontrolled spread of this rampant illness. “What are we to do?”
Psalm 23 reminds us that our God guides us in right paths [v.3] and Jesus urges us to listen for and trust the voice of the shepherd to guide us where we might have life and have it more abundantly. [Jn. 10:10]
These words lead me to reflect on the ways I can recognize God’s voice in the midst of confusion, doubt, suffering, and countless contradictory other voices. How can I tell? “What am I to do?”
Some guidelines offered by our faith are:
Prayer: [by St. Teresa of Avila]
Beloved Shepherd, grant that I may allow myself to be guided by your voice, follow your designs, and accomplish your desires. Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever you call forth from me. Help me to respond to the promptings of your grace, so that I may be your trustworthy instrument. May your will be done by me, in me, and through me. Amen.
Credit: The Good Shepherd by Nathan Greene