Perspective

By Renaissance Girl

This past Sunday was the 14th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church of the Transfiguration. I can hardly believe 14 years have gone by since that incredibly hot day in June of 2000 when we filled the church with family and friends to celebrate the event that only a few short years earlier had seemed both thrilling and daunting!

The homilist on Sunday had us stand up with a series of questions – “If you were baptized in this church, please stand. . . If you were married here, please stand. . . had the funeral of a loved one. . . have come in for private prayer, . . . etc.” until everyone in the church was on their feet. It was a meaningful moment as we reflected on how we have filled the church with worship over the past 14 years and the church, in turn, has inspired in us a desire to raise our worship to meet the God who made this building possible.

What made me pause and think on this day, though, was when I looked around and realized there is a generation under 14 years old who have never known anything different. This has always been their church, the only one they have known. They were in strollers while their parents were having their faith stretched believing for this building and the art that fills it. They were learning to walk as the newly vowed walked the mosaic processional path to make their profession. Their generation will see other change and growth but they will never stand in the concrete shell of this new church celebrating the Easter Vigil.

I felt suddenly small in the face of how quickly time goes and how, to each generation, God brings the challenges and blessings that are perfect for them. And I felt a wave of gratitude and found myself whispering a prayer of thanks to have been part of the generation to build this house.

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A Step Beyond Logic

by Sr Nunother  

I’m not the most inquisitive person in the world and therefore, until yesterday, never questioned why Christ’s baptism is celebrated in January, just after his birth. We know from scripture that Jesus was baptized not as an infant, but as a young man, just prior to beginning his public ministry. Logically, I would have left a few months between the celebrations of birth and baptism to emphasize the age difference. I decided to research the date choice for this important feast and discovered its symmetry. There are four major epiphanies or revelations of God to man: the Birth of Jesus, which revealed Christ to Israel; the visit of the Magi, who represent the Gentiles; the Baptism of the Lord, which unveiled the Trinity; and soon to come, the wedding miracle at Cana, manifesting Christ’s transformation of the world. These four events create a perfect circle with God’s love at its center. 

 

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On Second Thought

by Sr Nunother    

Recently, I discussed with a group of sisters the most important qualities in a leader. One member of the group suggested exceedingly abundant joy. Huh?  I was puzzled and lobbied that it would never be on my list. I’m not even sure I know what joy is, let alone the exceedingly abundant type. Exceedingly abundant practicality, maybe. The Lauds reading this past Sunday caught my attention. I listened to an informative dissertation on the Wedding Feast at Cana. How interesting. Jesus, a true leader, chose a wedding to perform his first miracle. He could have healed a leper, calmed a storm, walked on water, or raised someone from the dead. Instead, he chose a joyful occasion — a wedding — and deemed it important enough to mark the beginning of his public ministry. Is it trivial that he changed water into wine, or rather a statement on the importance of joy in our lives?  I think my friend of the exceedingly abundant joy is much wiser than I. 

A Welcome Surprise

I recently had the privilege of singing Schubert’s Ave Maria at my nephew’s wedding, at the Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. It was a beautiful and moving service in a number of ways, one of which was the wholehearted participation in the Mass by the many young men. From the start it seemed that they all had a strong bond and some history together. But it also felt like something beyond the normal post-college camaraderie – a certain shared unity, strength and commitment.  As an example, at one point during the prayer of consecration I noticed the man next to me raising his hands in quiet praise. Then a few moments later it all came into focus when he reached over to take my hand as the Lord’s Prayer began.  As I looked around all of them were joining hands as well.