FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
During these days after Easter the readings from the Acts of the Apostles tell us about the astounding appearances of Jesus to his apostles and disciples. The first appearance recorded in the New Testament is to Mary Magdalene in the garden. She recognizes Jesus in the quality of her name as he calls her, “Mary.” How beautiful that moment must have been for her. Then, she begins the process of evangelization, as she rushes to share the news of Jesus’ Resurrection. “I have seen the Lord.” This appearance tells us in what high esteem Jesus holds women. What happened along the way that women became such underdogs in Christianity? However, this did not stop so many gallant women who rose up and proclaimed the Word and brought compassion and forgiveness into so many people’s lives. This example should always encourage us, men and women, to live up to the high ideals of Christianity and walk in Jesus’ footsteps. As Acts 3: 19 proclaims, “Repent…and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”
As Jesus continues to appear in various ways, we see that the two from Emmaus returned to Jerusalem to witness to the Risen Jesus. They recognized him in the quality of the breaking of the bread. We have this opportunity in the liturgy of the Eucharist each week. Do we rush out of Church and share this joy? Unfortunately, I think not. Perhaps Church going has become a routine or we are busy about many things and too easily forget the miracle of the Eucharist. The cell phone becomes the focus of our lives. Perhaps just once we can say, “Hey, I’ve just been to my liturgical services and let me tell you what the readings were about today.” Well, you could just about knock us over with a feather to hear these precious words on the airways. This tool is a powerful way to share about the Gospel. It certainly would be a better way to share time, then on frivolous information. Give it a try. You might be surprised at the response of your friends. Jesus says in Luke 24: 35-48, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations…”
On April 18 the Felician Franciscan Sisters of which I am a member will celebrate the twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Beatification of their foundress, Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, by St. John Paul, II in Rome, Italy. I had the privilege of being present for this great celebration of a woman who had a great love for children, college students, the wounded on the battlefield, the elderly, the working woman and so many other poor people in war torn Poland in the 1800’s. You are invited to pray for her canonization and to give honor to this disciple of Christ.
As we enter another week of praising God, let us hold the people of Syria and other war torn places in our hearts and minds. May the perpetrators of oppression and violence experience conversion and forgiveness. Please, God, give relief and escape to all those who suffer atrocities of various kinds. Open the hearts of all nations, especially our United States of America, to give protection and acceptance to the oppressed.
Have another week of Easter blessings and joy,
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF, Director