Mo. Mary opened the sermon with a story of her daughter’s mother-in-law who, as a devout and loving Christian, spent her life in worship and service. At the end she courageously battled the illness over many years that ultimately ended her time on earth. She was a true servant of God and went to her heavenly home at peace. Mo. Mary wanted to share this to help set the stage for her message of God’s healing love and service to his beloved children, and to remind us that He calls us to discipleship and service as Jesus’ eyes, hands, and feet through which He blesses and serves the world.
Mo. Mary also shared a story of her own bout with a brief illness in public where a young man helped her through the episode and thus her overall healing process. She reminded us that God’s healing love is available to all his children all the time – just not necessarily in our timing. God will heal us from whatever we suffer. We just need to have faith and live in the knowledge of His love for us.
In the Gospel reading from Mark, we are told of an episode in Jesus’ ministry where he enters the house of Simon and Andrew to find Simon’s mother-in-law sick in bed with a fever. Jesus takes her hand, heals her, and lifts her up to health. It says the fever left her and she immediately began to serve them. Now while this may sound a bit patriarchal, it serves to teach us of God’s healing love and His call to service. Male or female of all ethnicities - we are called to serve the Lord and his kingdom in whatever capacity He chooses for us. Part of the genius of God’s creation is our incredible variety of talents and gifts through which we join together to do His work. As Mo. Mary said, “he takes our hand and invites us into the dance of life.” That dance of life takes us to many wonderful places of love, work, and ministry. We are never separated from God’s love and healing, and our ultimate well-being is dependent upon it. Our acceptance of Christ as our Savior keeps us under his umbrella of mercy and grace.
Mo. Mary ended her message with a prayer from Cardinal John Henry Newman:
Oh Lord, may you support us all the day long
Til the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
And the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over,
And our work is done.
Then in His mercy may he give us safe lodging
And a holy rest, and peace at the last.