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Feast of Blessed Mary Theresa Gerhardinger – Founder of the School Sisters of Notre Dame ~ Acts 15: 1-6; Psalm 122; John 15: 1-8
“Let my mouth be filled with your praise that I may sing aloud; my lips will shout for joy when I sing to you….The Lord has risen and shone his light upon us whom he has redeemed by his blood, alleluia!”
The singing theme of the entrance antiphon fits the School Sisters in Germany perfectly, for music fills their days and praise! Whether you judge your own singing as lovely or not, keep a song, perhaps an Easter hymn, in your heart all day. In the northern hemisphere, we rejoice in the return of light, and how much more the light of Christ!
“Redeemed” by “blood”? To understand that imagery (for it is only an image) we return to the Passover theme of God’s “buying back” (the literal meaning of redemption) the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. God is the savior of Israel, the one who sets free. God did that through the symbol of a lamb’s blood on each Hebrew doorpost. From that experience Christians began to see Jesus as the Lamb of God sacrificed for our freedom. Jesus is not a lamb; God does not need blood (let alone torture and injustice) to set us free. Feel the warmth of Christ’s light and let him shine in dark and lonely places: in you, your family, your workplace, our church, our world. Picture it. Rejoice!
Christ Jesus, you have equipped us to help others be more free. Forgive our need to control and give us the insight and courage to help free those who are trafficked for work or for sex.