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Bernadette Nachowe (spelling?) was a Sister of Jesus of Nazareth (SJN) who spent her 80+ years searching for God in very ordinary things; the garden, the workshop, the training of younger sisters and her prayer in a contemplative community (mainly at Mariachiedza) near Chegutu. Lorenz von Walter was a Jesuit priest from Germany whose father had to leave Russia, where he was a teacher, after World War One when hostilities developed between the two countries. Lorenz came to Zimbabwe and was a wonderful teacher who drew students by his quiet and gentle approach at three schools but mainly at St Albert’s in Mount Darwin, where he was during the Liberation War. Both these ‘mirrors’ gave quiet and solid support to the two responsible for their respective works. Bernadette to Mother Lydia of the SJN sisters and Lorenz, later in life, to Bishop Dieter Scholz of Chinhoyi. 

At a funeral, we look at the life of the one who has died and we mourn them. We also celebrate their lives – especially if they have been mirrors. Last week, the one preaching at our church, spoke of Peter rising to the moment and acknowledging Jesus as ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ It was a pinnacle of human response to the divine presence ‘in the region of Ceasarea Philippi’, that is, in a certain definite place on this earth at a certain time. But it is Jesus’ response that strikes us: ‘You are a rock and, on this rock, I will build my community.’

How did that strike Peter? He had reached out to Jesus and the Lord reflected back to him his true greatness. This did not prevent him messing up and denying the Lord when the crisis came in the Passion. But his true worth was revealed to him by his steadily gazing into the mirror that was Jesus. It was this that gave him huge confidence in the awesome mission he undertook.

In the Psalms, we read, ‘Look towards him and be radiant’ (33:5). Look in that mirror and you will come away changed. And let me end with St Paul:

And all of us, with our unveiled faces like mirrors reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the image that we reflect in brighter and brighter glory; this is the working of the Lord who is the Spirit.         (2 Cor 3:18)  

7 July 2024 Sunday 14 B Ez 2:2-5 2 Cor 12:7-10 Mk 6:1-6

Post published in: Faith

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