As the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1-8 proclaims that there is “time for everything,” so also a time came for us to come together in order to share the faith experiences that we lived during the pandemic specially of the past five months. On 23 August 2021, 16 Lay Associates, gathered at Nirmala House, Bangalore, to spend the day in prayer and sharing.
Our program was initiated by inviting Sr. Stella Angelo, the new community leader of Bangalore to light the candle, that signified JESUS – the LIGHT of the world- before whom we wished to bring the entire suffering humanity. It was followed by the teachings on the Assumption of Mary, by Sr. Jeya Soosai. She elucidated with clarity, the humble life that Mary lived because of which she was taken to heaven with body and soul. A faith filled life (Prayer) and love filled heart (Charity) of Mary struck us to introspect our life and to beseech her assistance to guide us.
The second part of reflection was to share our faith experiences, that we lived amidst pandemic reality. As Lay Associates of MSI, along with Sr. Jeya, some of us were going to distribute the Holy Communion to the sick and aged people in the locality. The most touching moment for few of us was to witness the people on bed, sick, traumatized receiving Jesus with tears, with deep faith and with ambient of prayer around. Spending time with the family, listening to their stories was a gracious moment for us to enliven our faith and to reciprocate them the joy of being loved and cared by Jesus.
To some of us visiting the families, reciting rosary and other family prayers, made to strengthen our faith and to assist the family/ies to stay strong in moments of pain. Pandemic reality has crumbled everything and most of the people are left with tears and anxiety for future, although we also face the same reality, but this moment of prayer helped us to raise ourselves in gratitude to God for every experience of pain that would teach us JESUS’ way to Calvary.
A group of us, were attending the funerals- a moment of deepest grief in the family. Those tears, pain, seclusions, shook the ground beneath our feet. It made us to reflect on our nothingness before God and to live our lives worthily in His service. Adding to that the testimony of Mrs. Roseline empowered us. She shared her experience on how she helped her neighbors to organize the funeral of their dear ones. The family was shattered and could not accept God’s plan, Mrs. Roseline, not only consoled them, but assisted them in getting ready with the funeral rite services in a descent catholic way.
The testimony of Mrs. Mary Anitha, was very touching. Through the intercession of Mother Mary, her family witnessed the miracle of saving her husband, Mr. Lourdu Nathan. Testimonies one after the other of each one were burning our hearts as that of disciples at Emmaus. It moved us from deep within and made us to thank God, for His gesture of love amidst us.
Mrs. Priscilla, a prayer warrior from Logos Divine Center, was also present amidst us, who shared with us her experience on how the Lord chose her for this particular mission. In her sharing, she emphasized on the importance of trusting and believing in God. She said our faith should be like Noah and Daniel, despite wildest storms, to continue to believe that the Lord Almighty – the God of heaven and earth will take care of us. She also underlined on the importance on reciting the holy rosary and praying to Mother Mary every day of our life. “Rosary” she said, “is like a ladder that leads us to reach highest heights of graces and blessings. Those who pray the rosary daily will always enjoy excess graces. It is the weapon of the elect.” Such strong determined words of Mrs. Priscilla pushed us from deep within to revive our Marian devotion.
By charismatic prayer led by Mrs. Priscilla we concluded the day, with revived enthusiasm and gratefulness to God for the vocation that we have received to be a Lay missionary in our MSI family, we returned home filled with new vitalities and zeal.
Lay Associates, Bangalore-India