I thank all those who contributed to hosting the ordination Mass last weekend. In his homily Bishop Sklba reminded us all of our call to service. I particularly thank those who gave of their time behind the scenes to make the reception happen.
This is my fourth Grass Mass; it is such an enjoyable way for us as a community to mark the end of summer, the ramping up of committees and ministries, and the beginning of a new school year. I thank all who put so much effort into making this such a wonderful community event.
Our readings this weekend remind us how compassionate God is, always ready to forgive. In the first reading God spares his people in answer to Moses’ prayer. In the second reading Paul marvels that God has used him, a terrible sinner, to bring His Word to others. And the Gospel is the story of the prodigal son, which really should be titled “the prodigal father,” for our Father is always waiting and watching for us to return to Him.
As we end “Jordan Awareness Week,” I would like to spend a moment talking about Blessed Mary of the Apostles, the woman who collaborated with Fr. Jordan in founding the Salvatorian Sisters and the only Salvatorian to date to be beatified (her feast day falls during Jordan Awareness Week on September 5). Blessed Mary was born a baroness but felt a strong call to be a missionary. In those days, religious women were cloistered and very limited in the apostolic ministry they could do. Blessed Mary moved from one religious community to another, restless to find a way to be more active and missionary. Finally she started her own institute, a ministry to poor, working women; however she continued to feel an inner restlessness and urging toward more collaborative apostolic work. In a magazine she read about and was struck by Jordan’s vision of all Christians working together to spread the Good News of a loving Father who sent His Son as our Savior and was waiting for all people to turn to Him for love and forgiveness. She was the first female member of the first degree or inner circle of Jordan’s movement, and the first superior general when the Salvatorian Sisters were founded.
Blessed Mary searched long and hard to find the path to which God was calling her, a path of leading people to the prodigal Father waiting for them with open arms. I invite us to reflect this week that the Lord is always waiting for us to turn to Him and accept the forgiveness that is offered before we even ask. He also expects us to share that Good News with others.
Blessed Mary of the Apostles, pray for us!
-- Paul James Portland, SDS