Next week one of the youngest Sisters in our community will celebrate her Silver Jubilee – 25 amazing years among us. She has chosen our Motherhouse as the location for this event because, as she told me this week, that way many of the older residents who wouldn’t be able to travel can participate. She couldn’t imagine doing it without them. Betsy has ministered in places and ways that would never have been possible when I was “a young sister” – e.g., traveling the world as the World-Church liaison for Habitat for Humanity – and is very engaged in the conversation about possibilities of a sustainable future for us as a Congregation.
I was reminded of Betsy by this morning’s gospel verse where Jesus says, “Every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” (MT 13:52) I’ve always been grateful that I entered the convent on the cusp of all the changes in religious life occasioned by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s because I understood “the old” experientially while struggling to understand and live into “the new” – a process that is in some ways still going on. I am comforted, however, and filled with hope for the future by those who have come after me whose reverence for our history and the women who shaped it is strong. Reverence and gratitude can go a long way – in any organization or culture – toward life in abundance. Today I pray God’s blessing for Betsy and all of our foremothers, trusting in God’s Spirit as we go forward on the road that has brought us to where we are.