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Gospel Reflection: Feast of Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd - November 21, 2022

November 21, 2022

The widow from today’s Gospel offered all she had “here and now” without thinking about her future. That’s total trust in God. She knew the ONE who knows the future and trusted HIM totally. She knew she belonged to Him and so He would provide. This was the truth of her heart.

Any time I call upon Jesus, He comes and challenges me to offer Him all who I am and have “here and now,” without judging what would be “worthy” to offer or maybe, what I should “hide” from His eyes. He wants to meet me in the naked truth of my heart in my “here and now.”

Today we commemorate the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Saints Ann and Joachim, Parents of Mary, offered God all they had. They offered their small infant, on who Salvation History is built.

Today, as we also remember the death of our Mother Foundress, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Frances Siedliska), I reflect on the choice she made to have a specific scripture inscribed on the ring of every perpetually professed Sister in her congregation: “I am my Beloved’s and he is mine” (Song of Songs 2:16).

No doubt, this was the truth of her heart, professed by her life, whether she prayed in the chapel adoring Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament, or served Jesus present in the person in front of her. She totally belonged to her Beloved God and that was the naked truth of her heart.

While I lived in Israel, I was so surprised to see that my friend, a Jewish Rabbi, had a ring with the same inscription, though it was written in the Hebrew language:

Later I noticed the same inscription in many places and on many rings; often couples chose this verse to inscribe on their wedding bands. My Rabbi friend explained to me that this one sentence expresses the heart of the covenant with God as both an individual person and as a community.  Only through the deep personal covenant relationship of each member does the community as a whole truly livesas a convent community.

On the day of our Baptism, we were claimed for God who inscribes on each heart: “You belong to me and I belong to you.”

Do not be afraid to offer God who you are – what you have “here and now.” Have courage to stand before God in the naked truth of your heart.

Sr. Edyta Krawczyk, CSFN

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