Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016: Four slain Missionaries of Charity sisters

Opening to the light of Christ brings about life-changing discoveries, but it can also stir up the darkness — for the dark elements within us, and the powers of darkness around us, are threatened by the light. In the parable of the Sower, as soon as the seed of the Word is sown and God’s light is given to man, the evil one comes and tries to take it away. We need to be prepared for the struggle, then, and to continue choosing the light we have beheld, especially in times of weakness and doubt.

After the attack at a Missionaries of Charity convent in Yemen claimed the lives of four of the sisters there-- Sr. Anselm from India, Sr. Margherite from Rwanda, Sr. Reginette from Rwanda, and Sr. Judith from Kenya. Pope Francis said at yesterday’s Angelus, “The four nuns who were killed in Yemen are modern-day martyrs and victims of indifference.”  Bishop Paul Hinder who oversees the area said, “For me there is no doubt that the sisters have been victims of hatred – hatred against our faith.” The Missionaries of Charity died as martyrs: as martyrs of charity, as martyrs because they witnessed Christ and shared the lot of Jesus on the Cross...As Christians we believe that Golgotha is not the end, but the Risen Lord who will have the final word at the last judgment.”

With heavy hearts today we pray for the people of Yemen caught in an atrocity of civil war with many innocent lives being lost every day. We pray for the repose of the souls of 16 persons who lost their lives from this senseless violence. We also pray for the people who committed the atrocity. Peace will not be possible without much forgiveness and forgiving.

Even as he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”, Jesus refused to bring himself down from the dark night of the cross, until he was raised up by the same Father whose presence he could no more feel. We ask for the grace from Jesus to persevere through crosses we bear even in the depth of our darkness. We put our faith in Jesus who promised that he will bring the dawn. We raise our hearts in praying one of the last prayers that those slain sisters would have prayed that morning.

“Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing I do your will. Amen.”