September 17, 2013

A Talk about Sons and Fathers

M. Rebecca compares the relationship between the father and the prodigal son with the relationship with King David and his son Absalom  to show how forgiveness must include repentance, consolation and celebration in order to open up a window to new life.  Forgiveness must allow us freedom to live again…for both be able to celebrate life together. This involves a dying to self which leads to freedom in Christ.
                                                                                                                                                                                             M. Rebecca

Luke 15 with 2 Samuel 13-19

Today’s gospel of the Prodigal son reminds me of the tumultuous relationship between David and his son, Absalom that is described in 2Samuel Chapters13-19. I noticed a parallel of the prodigal son and his father with Absalom and his father, David. The Old Testament of story forgiveness and reconciliation didn’t work and I think the NT parable can help us understand why. The prodigal son goes to a foreign land and does some pretty destructive things. Absalom goes to a foreign land because he has done some pretty destructive things. (Like premeditated murder!) Absalom is eventually pardon and returns home BUT David says, “Let him return to his own house, but do not let him see my face”. (How different this is from the prodigal son’s father!) It is assumed David did this in order to give Absalom time to repent. But rather than repentance it created resentments – Absalom is frustrated to not have access to the royal palace or perhaps even a fattened calf to share with friends. Because he does not recognize his own need for mercy and forgiveness, much like the elder son in Luke’s gospel, he is led not to repent but to resent!

September 1, 2013

A Talk for the Start of 'Candy Season'

This Chapter Talk was given on September 1, 2013.  Traditionally we start what we call "Candy Season" on Labor Day each year. Candy Season for us involves longer work hours and lots more candy production as we gear up for candy sales for Thanksgiving and Christmas. As for many people September hails a new beginning, a new school year, a new job etc. Whatever the new task perhaps M. Rebecca's words to the sisters at Mississippi Abbey on "Candy Season" will be applicable in your own life.            
                                                                                                                                                                                             M. Rebecca
As we learned at our brunch with Archbishop Jackels last Sunday, we are moving into…football season! …but something we are more aware of is that we are also moving into candy season. Like football, we too need a ‘team spirit’ during our candy season. But unlike football, we have no opponents and so we do not need a plan of defense (God forbid!) and especially not an offensive strategy! Rather we enter this season, as today’s gospel theme points out, with a desire for humility. What kind of football team would be any good if their quarterback was gentle or the receiver acquiesced to the other’s will. Yet what would our candy crews be like if we weren’t!!