Luke 9:60, (“Let the dead bury the dead”) has always challenged me. As I (and many) have struggled this past week with the loss of our dear friend and sister, Rose Marie Conway, and brother, Matt Walsh, OP, I wonder all the more how Jesus could be so callous in his response to the young man who simply wanted to bury his father before following Christ. Seems reasonable and respectful. It wasn’t until I heard today’s Gospel with a new set of ears that I grasped what Jesus might have meant. In today’s reading, Jesus talks about God being a God of the living, rather than of the dead. Our bodies, while holy, are merely vessels that carry the essence of our creation, our Spirit. When the body stops functioning, it dies. The spirit, the Divine spark in us, however, goes on living! God is still the God of Rose Marie and Matt ~ the God of the LIVING Rose Marie and Matt! And that is the Good News!
Since I arrived at the novitiate in August, nine Sisters have died with many more having gone to God since January. At first, those numbers caused me pause and some confusion. Now, I look at them as gift: both the gift that each of these women’s lives represent and the way their physical deaths have really forced me to refocus on what my call really means and to what really is my call? Surely, I was drawn to the personalities and to the joy of the Sinsinawa Dominican sisters. I still am. In truth, though, the deeper call is to the Mission of bringing about the Reign of God here and now. In my case, I believe my role in that Mission is as a vowed religious, specifically as a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa. I will continue to discern that call. Even unto death.
How is God calling you?
Sr. Kathy Flynn
St. Louis, MO