A Reflection by Sr. Ellen Dunn, OP

In these precious hours of time on our hands, day after day, there is a unique opportunity at our individual doorsteps. I’m just now waking up to it in a new way. Mindful of our scriptural preparation for pre-chapter and Chapter 2021, I have been reading about Ruth and Naomi, about Mary and Elizabeth. Since I feel that I can understand the Visitation story better than Ruth, I recently decided to think about my time here in Mingo Junction as time spent in companionship with Mary and Elizabeth. The biblical account is pretty straightforward with few details—just the facts. But I noted the simple verse: Mary remained with her about three months and then she returned to her home. It was the ‘about three months’ part that grabbed me—hearing daily news reports of scenarios about the immediate future.

As I continue to reflect on the days Mary spent in the hill country with Elizabeth, attending to her needs, helping with household chores, the more I realize that it’s really Elizabeth I am aware of. I am clearly Elizabeth in this duo, and as I begin to meditate on this truth, I recall the many ‘Marys’ who have been doing kind things for me over these odd weeks in my home cloister—my next door neighbor, Deana, who gets me groceries & sometimes dinner, then there is Karen (a former student of mine) who calls nightly, and still another Karen who brought Easter dinner & additional cooked meals. So Mary has been quite present to me in these strange days of Covid-19. She has not been sitting idle by the well or by the kitchen fire. And when Mary wasn’t assisting Elizabeth in some way, there was always Zachary who surely needed attention as well.

Posted in Just Reflecting

10 responses to “A Reflection by Sr. Ellen Dunn, OP

  1. Thank You, I see Mary in you Ellen because like Mary you have pondered these virus events in your heart and now shared them with us.
    Blessings and peace,

  2. Fobie says Thanks .Ell, for sharing with us. The fact that all of us are meditating on these same readings is another way of our being together during this crazy time.


  3. What a good way to experience Mary and Elizabeth. Thanks, Ellen. I’ve been more of a Martha these days from a different bible story. I’ll look for Mary more carefully.

  4. THanks so much — I too have wondered about those three months — waiting for the birth of John the Baptist to his “elderly” parents — and all the practical help Mary would have given them — and at a time when she could have been experiencing morning sickness. I knew a couple who had four children — she never had morning sickness — but HE did! Good idea!!

  5. So good to see your face and learn your ‘whereabouts’. You really are living in the hill country! No wonder you connect with Elizabeth. I too am living alone, but in the home of my ancestors and lots of family around.

  6. Ellen, thanks for this reflection . I have had similar experiences while in my “cloister”. I am so grateful for the hope that these “Mary’s” bring to my life.

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