Reflection at Mass of Thanksgiving
By Sister Imelda González, CDP
May 8, 2008
(Readings of the day: Acts of the Apostles 22: 30; 23: 6 – 11
John 17: 20 – 26)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving and provident God.

And that we are under the protection of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Lake.

In the name of Sister Jane Ann Slater, Superior General, who is away due to a death in the family and in the name of all Sisters of Divine Providence, let me say to you that we share your grief. We stand with you in prayer and support. That you can count on.

“Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.”

We are here to bear witness to one another. We bear witness, as well, to others. San Antonio is certainly watching. In fact, the whole world is watching.

This very morning I received a call from a classmate in Ecuador. She and I went through St Martin Hall and then through High School in our beloved Main Building. She called today, only because she couldn’t get through yesterday.
Word is spreading as fast as the fire.

And the whole world is watching to see how we bear witness, the whole world is watching to see how we respond at a time of crisis. The whole world is watching to see how we live out the lessons that we have learned by our association with this great University.

Also in this morning’s first reading we heard that “a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees and the group became divided.”

We have all had our disputes: perhaps a student disputes with a professor over a grade or over a deadline; a professor disputes with a department head over a class assignment or a inconvenient schedule; a supervisor with staff over an uncompleted task. We have had our disputes with administrators or among board members. And yes, the community has been divided on one or another issue, or several issues at once.

Jesus prayed: “that they may all be one, as you Father, are in me and I in you. That they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.”

“That they may all be one.”

I believe that at this time we have set our disputes aside, that we are one. Do you believe that????

We are united in our gratitude that there was no loss of life and that there have been no injuries.

We are united in our gratitude that this Chapel was spared, this Chapel where the University community and the Congregation merge and become one in worship.

We are united in our grief. We are united in our readiness to put up with inconvenience and changes in plan on short notice. We are united in our determination to re-build.

We are one, yes?

We lost the interior of a building. But in our hearts is the spirit that we have absorbed as members of this University community. And what is in our interiors, in our hearts has come forth and will continue to come forth as we move forward.

Let us set aside our disputes and become one in the challenge that lies before us.

Let us give witness to the world that this building is but a symbol of our firm belief that Providence does love and care for each of us.

Let us make known to the world that we believe in a loving and provident God.

May Providence be with you in love, listening to you, telling you loving secrets, drawing you close as you tremble at the edge of self gift.

May God’s love in you light the fires of faith and hope.

May God’s fire grow and burn and burst and inflame the earth.

May God’s love in you glow in your eyes and meet God’s love glowing in the eyes of your friends, your teachers, in the eyes of all that you find around you.

May the blessing of love and the blessing of friendship be on you.

And let the Church say AMEN.

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