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By Sister Anne Arthur Klinker, 70-year Jubilarian
Sister Anne Arthur Klinker

“All shall be well for on our Easter skies see Christ the Sun of Righteousness arise!” (Acts 10.34 Jn. 20.1-9 Ps. 118)

Easter this year is April 12, 2020, which is the date of my twin sister’s and my baptism. We were born March 29, Palm Sunday that year, just before midnight, at home weighing in at less than eight pounds, together. I find it interesting and an act of God that I was asked to share a reflection at this time!

For this reflection, I would like to consider faith and fear in John’s Gospel of the Resurrection.

We were taught that at baptism we are given the seeds of faith, hope and charity, which then needed to be lovingly nurtured so as to grow and develop. We felt truly blest on this score as our parents were strong and deep on these gifts. Is faith not caught, as well as taught, by word and example?

Faith has to do with one’s relationship with God. Faith is believing things that one would ordinarily or normally have trouble accepting. Does faith also call for ‘God-wrestling’ in our everyday life?

Since witnessing the unrest in the Middle East in the news and seeing women fleeing from their homes, being terrorized, I've put myself in these situations and my prayer calls for meditations on faith, trials and fear - and how to deepen faith. There is a saying, “It is not until you have touched your finger to the flame that you know the real meaning of the candle.” I asked myself, how does one learn the real meaning of one’s faith?

Faith calls for action. If we believe in the resurrected Jesus and His challenge to go out to all the world and tell the Good News, then where is our action? Where does fear enter the picture? Where do I find fear in my life? In my prayer life?

So, let us look at John’s telling of the resurrection. Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark. No mention of fear, just eager to arrive. On the way she is concerned about the huge stone. But when she arrives, the stone is rolled back. She does not enter or check anything out, she simply runs back to the disciples saying, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb.”

Now, Peter and John run to the tomb. Peter enters and does a thorough study of the tomb, making special observations. It specifies that he notices the head cloth is rolled up but in a different place. Peter says nothing. We wonder what he is thinking. What does it all mean?

Now, John enters the tomb. All we are told by the writer, John, “He saw and believed.” What about Peter? Did he believe? Or was he thinking of his words and actions at the trial of Jesus? Was he filled with fear? Was his mind replaying the betrayals and the “look” from Jesus? Where was his faith? Faith is our relationship with God, did Peter recall the oft-spoken words of Jesus, “Fear not. Be not afraid. Do not fear.” Did he recall and ponder how often Jesus had forgiven others? How frightened was he? What about us and our past failures? Do they weigh us down? Fill us with fear? Hold us back from positive action? Then we are told the disciples returned home. Home to what?

Mary Magdalene does not return home. She came looking for the body of Jesus. She had not found it and she wanted some answers. Did she feel frustrated? Were her tears, tears of sorrow? Tears of frustration? Mary stayed and wept. She mourned her beloved, and then her beloved comes to her.

Her Beloved not only comes to her but He calls her by name to be His disciple. The resurrected Jesus calls her to then return to the disciples and tell them the Good News. Jesus is alive and well. He has risen as He said He would. Mary Magdalene’s perseverance in following and searching for Jesus is rewarded.

The women have stayed with the suffering Jesus the whole time; weeping, following Jesus, standing with Mary under the cross, prepared and ready for washing the body when Jesus will be taken down from the cross, spices and cloths ready to wrap the body for burial. They are all ready for action. Have they no fear?

What is pushing the women on? What drives them to action? Is their love so strong that there is no room for fear? Faith! Is their faith defined as a deep quality of trust and reliance? Fidelity to God and Jesus?

Were the men, because they were seen as close followers with Jesus, afraid they might be arrested and then who knows what may happen to them?

Sister Barbara Bowe, Society of the Sacred Heart, states in Biblical Foundations of Spirituality: Touching a Finger to the Flame, “Our lives, our faith journeys, are lived as the gradual process of coming to greater maturity and wholeness as human beings and as people of faith.” Others may believe, we all are in the process of becoming.

Therefore, what are my thoughts and feelings as I ponder the Resurrection at this point in my life, in my present situation? Do I take Jesus at His word and have no fears? No fear of the future? No fear over past failings and mistakes? Living and trusting in the Sacrament of the present Moment? Am I moved to action as were the women to, “Go tell everyone?”

Psalm 118 calls us to sing and rejoice, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us sing and rejoice.”

Lord, I pray for a deeper faith, seeing Your will in all that happens. I pray, Lord for a more loving relationship with You and others. Give me the courage to proclaim the Good News in word and action. Help me to love so much that fear has no place in my life. Help me to live the Sacrament of the Moment. Give me voice, O Lord to heartily sing, “All shall be well!”

Learn more about our Jubilarians.

The 2020 Jubilee design is based on four gingko leaves arranged in a cross design symbolizing our paths to eternal life. The ginkgo connects us to our Japanese sisters, the four leaves hold the heart, and our hearts are connected to our God and to one another. The leaves radiate out from the core as being faithfully loved by God, and impels us to reach out in love to others. The colors hold their own symbolization; green is growth, blue for Mary our mother and magenta for receiving and giving love.

Jubilee 2020 - Embraced by God's Love

~This mandala was designed by Sister Fran (Frances) Dotta, 50-year Jubilarian.


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