What three words best describe who you are? What words would others use to describe you? Take a moment to reflect on these questions to see what words bubble up for you.
In preparation for writing a eulogy for my Mom’s recent memorial service, my nephew, Andy, asked my seven siblings what three words we would use to describe Mom. The three most meaningful words given were family, sacrifice, and faith. Andy spoke about how Mom embodied and gave meaning to these traits in her life by telling stories he collected from us siblings about her. He invited all of the mourners present to “take up the baton of faith, sacrifice, and family,” asking us to answer these questions:
- Who will serve their families well, even when it’s hard?
- Who will sacrifice for others as [Mom] did for everyone around her?
- Who will keep a long prayer list, pleading to God on behalf of family and others who desperately need those prayers?
After noting the family significance of the “wooden spoon” that Mom used only to scare us little ones when we needed to change our behavior, Andy suggested thinking of it now “as a baton that’s being passed to each of us“ to carry on Mom’s legacy of family, sacrifice, and faith. In his closing remarks, he noted these two Scripture passages in marking the end of Mom’s earthly life and in inviting us to persevere in finishing our own race: “In 2 Timothy 4:7, St. Paul says to his spiritual son: ‘I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness…’ In Hebrews 12:1, it says, ‘And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…’”
We each then received a “wooden spoon” with a purple ribbon (Mom’s favorite color that we were all dressed in) containing the inscription, “Finish the Race. Keep the Faith.”
How do you want to be remembered? How will others remember you and what you stood for? What will be your legacy to pass on to others? We know in Christ Jesus the fulfillment of God’s legacy of love for us and so I invite you to embrace the words of the song, All I Ask of You, as sung by Gregory Norbet, OSB, of the Monks of Weston Priory. Let yourself hear and hold onto God’s loving words in the refrain: All I ask of you is forever to remember me as loving you.
God calls each of us for a specific purpose in life. Perhaps you are being called to respond to the words, “Come, follow me” by becoming a religious sister. Discerning what these words mean in your life is part of what our Vocation Ministers are here to help you with. You can find Sr. June, Sr. Mai-Dung, or Sr. Bea’s contact information here. They look forward to helping you discover God’s path for you.