Sr. Rosângela Sousa SAC
“You are the reason for the journey, you are my road, my guide, my destination…” (Brazilian hymn)
Today our Sisters in Brazil communicated the sad news, that Sr. Rosângela Sousa, 48 years, passed away this morning, January 17, 2022, after an infarction. This death came so sudden and surprisingly! She died in the house of her family in Timbiras, where she spent some vacation days.
1 Samuel 24:3-21; Mark 3:13-19
Preparing to Be Sent
“He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons . . .” As we get to know the “cast of characters” named by Jesus to be his Apostles, we can certainly be impressed by their diversity and perhaps be surprised by their less-than-faithful performances. Peter’s denial, Thomas’ doubts, and Judas’ betrayal all remind us that the Lord did not choose perfect men without fault.
1 Sammuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51; Mark 3:1-6
Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Today we have stories of two people, David and Jesus, who found their Rock in the midst of the challenges of their daily lives. Both listened to the voice of the One who is the Rock, in contrast to the voices around them. But they had very different outcomes…one ends in the death of another, one ends in life for another. Let’s take a closer look.
God speaks to his people in Mark’s 3:7-12 passage. He draws a large crowd secondary to his teaching and miracles performed. He tells his disciples to have a boat ready for him so he can safely speak without fear of being crushed. I put myself into that scene. I absolutely would want to meet this ‘man’ who can perform miracles, cure disease, and drive away ‘unclean spirits.’ I probably would not rush to be part of the crowd but would find a rock to sit on some distance away, or climb a tree to observe from the heights, or perhaps walk down the beach a way and sit solitary observing the scene. I would marvel at this man’s gifts; I would ask for his blessing in silence; I would believe these miracles. I believe I would feel his presence no matter how far away I was and he would know of my presence.
In today's gospel reading, Mark 2:18-22, Christ talks about two integrated concepts: the old verses the new and joyfulness. He refers to himself as a bridegroom and calls us to celebrate with him when he says, "As long as they (the disciples) have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast." In The Church of Mercy, our beloved Pope Francis also intentionally calls us to be JOYFUL. "And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but of having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst."
1 Samuel 16:1-13; Mark 2:23-28
Today's readings present two of my favorite Biblical accounts. The first is the choosing of David as king. The Gospel account is that of Jesus being confronted by a Pharisee because His disciples were violating the Sabbath by picking grain.
At first glance the two readings might seem to have nothing to do with each other, but in fact I believe that they are closely related. The key passage in the first reading is one that has always been a little frightening to me. God says to Samuel: "Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance, but the LORD looks into the heart." I find this a bit unsettling, because — as with, I believe, all humans — there is plenty in my heart that I don't want anybody to see. There lie all of my weaknesses, temptations, unfulfilled desires and unholy thoughts.
Paolo Veronese, Wedding in Cana, ca 1570
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
"So they filled them up to the brim."
Jesus not only provides the best of wines (the greatest of joys), his own joy is also filled completely to the brim. To the point where the vessels could not hold one more drop!
This finest of wines, this greatest of joys, it is not meant for us individually. It was not given so that the wedding couple could open up a wine cellar and drink themselves silly for the rest of their married lives. This finest of wines, this greatest of joys, is meant to be shared by all. It is meant to overflow into the lives of everyone present.