“Why are you standing there looking at the sky?” The disciples’ world had turned upside down from Jesus’ death and resurrection, and now this, His departure. Their mouths gaping, brows furrowed, eyes squinting, the disciples wonder, “Now what?” During this pandemic, with Churches closed, and lives and livelihoods threatened, many of us are standing, looking at the sky, shaking our heads and questioning, “Now what? Where do we go from here?” Yet we know, in every time and in every age, we are to be Jesus’ witnesses to the ends of the earth, making “disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit ....” But how, now?
Sixth Sunday of Easter: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051720.cfm
“Hurry Mama, hurry,” pleaded three-year-old Freddy. Frightened by his urgent cry for help, Laura sped to the emergency room and insisted he be seen immediately. Her persistence saved Freddy’s life, as they discovered he was experiencing Myocarditis, a virus to the heart, which has a 40% mortality rate. Laura, like a mama bear, advocates tenaciously for her children, ever since their twins were born prematurely two years earlier. She contends every person needs an advocate in the hospital or care facility. Each person needs the advocacy of a good parent, concerned friend, dedicated teacher, or caring healer.
We brought our fifth child home from the hospital to our smaller house. There wasn’t an extra room for another child, so he slept next to us in a bassinet. My mom, bless her heart, encouraged me, “It’s much better to be close together. Everyone gets lost in a house too big.” Eventually, we moved into a larger house, but it was only much later that our fifth and sixth children had their own bedrooms. In this age of social distancing, though some kids (moms and dads) want to escape to their own rooms, most of us long to be together, interacting, sharing meals. So, what of today’s Gospel, with Jesus speaking to the disciples before His crucifixion and departure: “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” So, is Heaven a big house? Do we each get our own room?
For just a few days in April, the bluebells open in full bloom, transforming the forest ground into a sea of blue. For the past ten years, several of our grandchildren have joined us to walk, run, and skip through this living masterpiece. For a few hours, we’d explore the woods, pick delicate bouquets, and praise God for such glorious beauty! But not this year. Not even one grandchild joined us and though it’s a minor disappointment, it hurt our hearts.
“What’s wrong, Mare?” She knew immediately I was down. Though she couldn’t see my face because of the protective mask, she noticed the pace of my steps, my posture, and the slight slant of my head. “Well, I just can’t shake my disappointment with the postponement of our important family event, and tomorrow is the twins’ birthday and we can’t celebrate with them. I know it’s all minor compared to what others are experiencing, but I had hoped.” As we walked, she listened intently and then spoke quietly, “I’m sorry.”
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.