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How Will We Send Love Ahead?

[caption id="attachment_6327" align="alignright" width="300"] Blog by Associate Lucy Strohl[/caption] May 14, 2018, Feast of St. Matthias Acts 1:15-17, 20-26,Ps.113:1-8, Jn. 15:9-17 "Send love ahead." This phrase of Fr. Solanus Casey's kept coming back to me as I prayed with the readings for this feast of St. Matthias. Fr.Solanus encouraged others to "send love ahead" margotno matter what the circumstances--positive or perplexing. We listen to so many familiar words from scripture today. They can almost sound like clichés. We read where Jesus told his disciples, and he reiterates to us as well: "Remain in my love." This brings several incidents to mind. ...The couple had been through a very hurtful time for themselves and their children. After hearing some of the details, I was angry, too. Yet the son was able to say of his father,'"This does not take away from the dad he's been to me." Isn't that sending love ahead! I had quite a ways to go to catch up with that young man's attitude. ...The client who had been in jail multiple times showed up in the office. The counselor's frustration was evident in his voice, so he apologized and started the conversation again. We don't often get to choose the situations and folks God may put in our path. Jesuit Fr. Michael Gallagher points out, "We probably don't hate anyone, but we can be paralyzed by daily negatives. Mini- prejudices and judgments can produce a mood of undeclared war." Hopefully, instead, we can learn to send love ahead and remain in God's love, with a little more compassion for ourselves and others. In the gospel, we see that Matthias was the next chosen disciple. He spread the gospel with much zeal. Today we pray for enthusiasm and joy in being bearers of peace, whether this is a beautiful time or one of those ho-hum, ordinary days for us. Our sisters in the infirmary and other health centers no doubt send love ahead as they daily intercede and support us with their loving presence, patience, and prayer. May they and their caretakers know that they remain always in God's love! Then I read the story of the woman who usually had a friend nearby because she was showing signs of Alzheimer's. The lady explained: "Some of my mental faculties are leaving me. I ask God to let me know beforehand what will be taken from me next, so I can give it to God ahead of time." What a courageous way to send love ahead! According to Sophia Park SNJM, a Holy Name sister and professor of Religious Studies at the University of Oakland, "remain in my love" does not mean to stay, but rather to leave for the unknown. The disciples who experienced the resurrection were forced to look at their own limitations and embrace new things. They had to admit new groups that were beyond their own cultural norms and comfort. They were indeed surprised that the Holy Spirit was poured onto unbaptized foreigners. Will we leave room to be surprised by the Spirit, to send love ahead, even though the coming days may be unfamiliar and challenging? Thankfully, we can recall Oblate Fr. Ron Rolheiser's words: "If we're still struggling, we're still healthy. In making us, God factored in human weakness and how growing into deeper love is a lifelong task." May we confidently send love ahead as we continue our prayer and our journey together.

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