A young professed Sister relayed a formative moment in her early years in our religious community.
She and a perpetually professed Sister were making their daily commute on Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan in rush hour. The ferry carried a sea of humanity.
At one point, she noticed a man walking by finishing the last bites of a sandwich. To her shock, she watched as he slowed down, wadded the sandwich wrapper, and pelted it at the perpetually professed Sister reading. The sense of shock filled that corner of the ferry, but the Sister reading did not skip a beat. In fact, she barely reacted. She flinched when the wrapper hit her. It rolled down and settled on her lap; she lifted her book slightly and it fell to the ground. She continued reading.
When asked about her response, the Sister explained that she did not react very much because she figured we never know what kind of response our presence will provoke in other people.
It was a lesson in humility and simplicity.
Sisters, we are often misunderstood in our daily striving to live in Christ according to the heart of the Church. At times, it is our very way of life that serves as an annoyance to the status quo. And while the Lord sometimes invites us to speak up to share the truth, it is often our simple presence as disciples that makes people uncomfortable.
In the First Reading today, the writer of the Book of Wisdom says that the presence of the righteous man annoyed his evil opponents and they plotted against him.
We join the heart of the Church and countless theologians and mystics in using this passage to meditate on the mystery of evil and the triumph of grace. We can look to Our Lord Jesus as the One Who offered Himself entirely in love for love, and we can ask Him for the grace to walk forward in the life of grace.
Our presence may be surprising or even shocking to people, but we entrust everyone and every situation into the hands of the One Who can work everything for good.
Pray the litany of humility today.
Sister Maria Kim Bui is a Daughter of Saint Paul, women religious dedicated to evangelization in and through the media. She is originally from Tempe, AZ, spent most of her eighteen years in religious life in the northeast, some time in Texas, and now was recently asked to serve as the director of marketing and sales at the Sisters' publishing house in Boston. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up and the author of our Blessed Conversations Mystery: Belong found here. Find out more about her here.