4th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013
We are making preparations for the entrance of our aspirant Sarah on March 2nd. Less than a month away now! Since one of the things she will need is a place to sleep, I spent yesterday clearing out the last available cell in our novitiate dormitory which up until now I have been using as an office. Said office will be my own cell, so there is a necessity for down-sizing. I found myself reluctant to do the obvious: organize the last of my recently deceased mother’s documents into a single box to be put away on a shelf somewhere, I guess for a few years, until it seems good to dispose of the bank statements, etc. After her death in August, I had done what was necessary and then left it all to return to the business of living. So, yesterday, as I sorted through the documents, my thoughts turned grim as I faced what seemed to be the futility of life. Here were my Mom’s records along with my previously deceased Dad’s: Birth certificate, marriage license, death certificate, funeral arrangements, deed of cemetery plots. Also there were discharge papers from the hospital where both my parents had undergone treatment for tuberculosis and where they had met and fallen in love. Both had survived, married and eventually gave birth to me. Copies of my own birth certificate I also found. I sadly discarded the many copies Mom had made of her last will in which she stipulated that her bank would be the executer of her estate. This was to save her cloistered daughter the trouble of dealing in these matters. At Mom’s death, however, her “estate” was so negligible that the bank refused to have anything to do with it. And so now, here was a life all nicely organized in a box: just papers recording financial transactions, and government identification. I also have an album of photos, mostly of me, which Mom and Dad put together to document me in images as they watched my growing up. I suppose it is true to say that I am the lasting legacy on earth of my parents life and love. And yet, what am I? What will be left of me after my own death? There will be the documents of my profession in the monastery archives, my name will appear in the chronicles, my novices will tell stories (probably not complimentary ones) about me to the new postulants. Perhaps some of my writings will float about in cyberspace for awhile.
But all these cheerful reflections were brightened by the light of the 2nd reading at Holy Mass.
Paul says that love never fails. Everything else comes to an end, but love
goes into eternity, for love is of God.
Indeed, God is love, as another apostle has said. So recorded or not on paper, remembered or
not in human hearts, every act, thought or word of love is preserved and
waiting for us in our eternal homeland, the bosom of the Father. The grave is not our end, nor does a box of
papers sum up the meaning of our lives.
Our names are written in the book of life kept by the Lamb.