Beginnings. We all have them. They can be simple like the start of a new day or momentous like the start of a new ministry or job. Beginnings can be happy or sad…exciting or scary…stormy or smooth. Welcome to the inauguration of a new blog from the Dominican Sisters of Peace called “Wednesday’s Word,” an opportunity to connect with Scripture in a real life way. It’s a bit nerve-wracking writing the first blog but stay with us because there will be someone new each week of the month. We will all be trying to help our readers apply the Word to their lives.
I will be moving to a new city and ministry this summer. I’m excited about the opportunity but also a bit nervous. I will be living with two wonderful Sisters who will make me feel welcome and our community will bond quickly. But at the same time, I’m starting a new ministry. It’s in education which I have been doing for a long time but with an entirely new clientele, new subject matter, new approaches to teaching. This beginning will be more challenging. Have you ever experienced something like this?
Beginnings can be external like a physical move or internal like changing an attitude or habit. I’ve been thinking lately about my attitudes toward people living in poverty. How do I see them? Am I open to their gifts? How does one change his/her attitude about people from another race, religion, nationality, gender? Can we recognize and embrace the inherent dignity in each and every person?
My favorite “beginnings” scripture is from the beginning of John’s Gospel:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race.” (John 1:1-4, NAB)
Jesus was present at the beginning of all creation and continues to be present through every beginning. He had many beginnings himself while on Earth…a presentation in the temple….his first “retreat” in the desert…his first miracle at Cana…a first betrayal. Do you think Jesus had to change his “attitude” about Gentiles? At what point did he realize their human dignity? Jesus experienced the same emotions that we do when starting something new. I find this very comforting. Someone else has been afraid, excited, joyful, sad at the beginning of a new adventure.
It’s comforting also to know that just as Jesus was present at the beginning, he continues to be present every morning when I wake up, when I go to work each day, when my bones ache, when I am disappointed in my behavior or in the behavior of others. Jesus is there in each of my beginnings. I am never alone.
Other new beginnings in our lives might not be so obvious. But if we look around, we will see them. New plant growth in the spring…a new colleague at work…a new encyclical by Pope Francis…a new blog. Each provides an opportunity to see with a new perspective. And Jesus is there in the midst of it. I hope you enjoy this inaugural posting on Wednesday’s Word and remember you never have to face a beginning alone.
Sr. Barbara Kane, OP begins a new ministry at the Dominican Learning Center, Columbus, OH.