7th Sunday of Easter (June 5, 2011)

Depending on your diocese, this Sunday will either be the 7th Sunday of Easter or the Solemnity of the Ascension. Since I kinda liked the readings for the 7th Sunday, I took the easy way out!

I liked the readings because of the selection from the Acts of the Apostles. Jesus had just ascended back to heaven, and according to his instructions, the apostles returned to the Upper Room. Waiting for them were Mary and other unnamed women….more than likely they included Mary Magdalene and the other women who were with Jesus at the foot of his cross.

Now what I like to do is imagine the scene as the apostles walked in the door, with Peter in the lead. There is Peter, fully and totally aware of his wussiness, face to face with Mother Mary, who was faithful to the end. No doubt the apostles expected Mary and Magdalene and the other women to give them “The Look.”

But what really happened was that they all devoted themselves to prayer. No recriminations, no finger-pointing, no one-ups-man-ship. Just companionship born of shared sorrow and shared joy. Since it was a male-dominated society, I can imagine Mary and the other ladies gently and lovingly allowing the apostles to take the lead in prayer, and I mean it when I say “allowed.” (I wonder what would have happened to the Church if the ladies had said, “Look, you guys bailed out. You’re not worthy to lead. We’ll take over leadership now.”).

Way back in the early 90’s I went through a bad spot and needed some counseling. It wasn’t a depression…more like a mid-life thing. One day Lem and I were talking about how my friendships were sustaining me, and when I mentioned some female friends, he said: “Women have a marvelous way of birthing us men to new life, don’t they?” I’ve never forgotten that. As it was for me, so it must have been for Peter and the other apostles.

So guys, give thanks to the women in your life. Yeah, they can be aggravating sometimes (after all, we guys are sooo perfect and are never aggravating)…but by and large, they are real instruments of God’s grace for us. Pray that we can be the same for them.

Much love…many prayers!

Herb Yost, CSC

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

Originally published by Herb Yost, C.S.C. at www.cscip.org on May 30, 2011.

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