Sunday, November 28, 2021
by Sister Marna Rogers, SNDdeN
"…It will seem like all hell has broken loose–sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be-quaking…And then, then–then! They'll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style–a glorious welcome. When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way! …"
…"But be on your guard. Don't let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it's going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don't go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man…"
We have had so many people, in extraordinary circumstances these past few years, teach how not to respond out of vengeance, but pray for ways to assess how best to respond in ways that enable the most life-giving solutions to emerge. What is most humbling is that many of these are children and young adults. The elders among us who have seen so much of life find ways also to call us to mature and enlightened responses to what the world struggles with each day. Some gave their lives in this endeavor.
I recognize, and perhaps you do, too, that in another time I would not have such a vivid image of our reality right now the world over…the Scripture is too real!
This morning (9/29) I saw a man and his daughter living in a truck in Louisiana, as they chose to stay on their land to protect it after Hurricane Ida. She was so compassionate about her Dad and how hard this is for him. There are just the two of them; help is so slow to come, and her concern is for him…no complaints, just such an outward love and hopefulness, trust in what they are trying to do together. In that moment, I was reminded we can choose to respond to life…and renew that each day.
As we begin the First Week of Advent, I also begin my retreat here at Notre Dame du Lac. I look forward to this quieting time, and I pray for the grace to find the ways to stand tall and live positively, to embrace the challenges God gives me to look around and learn from others, no matter the age… God knows us and keeps care of us.
May your Advent be filled with peace and hopefulness.
Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.
"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."
Meet Sister Marna Rogers, SNDdeN
Sister Marna Rogers has taught in SNDdeN educational settings in Boston, Worcester, Peabody and Hawaii. After studies for specialized schools, she worked on the staffs of Landmark School in Beverly and KaKawis, British Columbia. She also served in leadership for the Boston Province and at the Congregational Level in Rome. Following her time overseas, Sister Marna transitioned to health care ministry in the Worcester area and Wakefield, Massachusetts. Currently, Sister Marna is a member of the Assisted Living Community of Notre Dame du Lac in Worcester.