From the Minister (September)
What a jam packed evening we all enjoyed at our August fraternity gathering. There was a spirited discussion of Chapter 4, Christ’s Wounds of Mercy, The Holy Year of Mercy by Pope Francis. We focused on the Gospel of St. John describing Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on Easter Sunday. He calmed their fears by saying “Peace be with you” and then showing them his wounded hands and side to prove that he was truly alive, and not an apparition. Not a word was said about where they were the previous Friday. Instead Jesus continues to focus on their mission. “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” Jesus reassures his disciples that despite their denials and their fear, they are still his chosen messengers to the world. He acknowledges the weakness of their humanity and assures them it doesn’t matter. After all, God gave them that humanity. And us. No matter what we do in the weakness of humanity, if we truly acknowledge our failure, Mercy prevails.
What a precious message for us, as we strive each day to live our secular Franciscan vocation to the best of our individual abilities. We need not worry about the times when we feel we have fallen short of our goal. We are human. God gave us that humanity. All we need do is our best and trust Him. How comforting that is!
Afterward, once again joy filled the chapel at St. Joseph’s Home as we celebrated two Franciscan rituals. Brother Marc Sheckells, OFM, the Regional Spiritual Assistant, joined us and presided at the Rite of Installation of our Spiritual Assistant, Brother Jerry. As his first official act as our spiritual assistant, Brother Jerry presided at the admission of Gail into Candidacy. Congratulations to Brother Jerry and to Gail, as both begin walking different paths in Franciscan spirituality.
Thank you to our Brother Dcn. Lou, who presided at the Word and Communion Service and to Sisters Sue and Jackie, and Brother Tim, for leading us in song.