Even in waiting, we follow Christ

Blog Published: May 8, 2024
By Sister Margaret Kerry, fsp
From inside a cave, a blue sky is visible
Margaret Kerry, a Daughter of St. Paul, served as director of the Pauline lay Association of Pauline Cooperators for 15 years. For most of her 45 years of religious life, she was missioned to Pauline Book & Media Centers, serving as volunteer coordinator, outreach coordinator, manager, and superior. For six years she served in the provincial government as councilor for the apostolate. Her studies were in organizational development at DePaul in Chicago and a master's in pastoral theology and ministry at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. During studies, she initiated inner-city reading rooms for afterschool programs in collaboration with the Volunteers of America (New Orleans) and the Boys and Girls Club (Chicago) and began a reading program at Horizons for Homeless Children (Boston).

In an article by Maronite Bishop Francis Zayek I discovered a new way to consider the in-betweenness of Holy Saturday:  

The cavern of the hermit is a true "martyring." It is there they went 'to struggle with all the deaths': the death of the body, the death of man, the death even of their own mind, just to live with God in silence. The angel at the door of the tomb does not tire of repeating to those who pass by, "The one for whom you are looking, Anthony, Peter, Macarius - is not here."

One day may the angel at my tomb announce, "The one for whom you are looking is not here" (Mark 16:6). It is no longer [she] who lives but Christ (Galatians 2:20). Sistser Margaret Kerry

I am usually outside the tomb of Christ, waiting. This year, counting 50 years within my congregation, I wait. I am waiting for an assignment. I wait for assurance that the future will be vibrant. I wait with my expectations. It is difficult to wait by that immovable stone covering Christ's tomb, hoping that the cross is not the end. God, will you do something? Jesus is there in the tomb trusting, totally surrendered in death as in life. Am I called to wait in the tomb with Jesus? To be with him in the tomb, trusting I am where I am meant to be, is an act of surrender, a burial cloth wrapped around my freedom.

Article 30 in our constitution says, "From the Apostle Paul we learn how to accept the fatigue, sufferings and failings of the apostolate, carrying within us the cross of Christ, so that all may have life" (1 Corinthians 4:10-12). Paul was able to write, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).

This Holy Saturday instead of waiting outside of the tomb I will wait inside with Christ. Venerable Madeleine Delbrêl's insights remind me that waiting focuses my gift of self to God and others in all circumstances — riding the subway or writing a podcast, listening to another sister or creating a social media post, doing dishes, taking up the broom or the pen, answering the door, or caring for a sick person. I am doing the mission of Christ wherever I happen to be, in the very situation I am in, and especially the very place I wait.

We’re delighted to share with you this blog from the monthly feature “The Life” courtesy of our friends at Global Sisters Report. This month, The Life panelists reflected on the question: What has been the Holy Saturday of your life? When have you experienced the in-betweenness of Holy Saturday? What empty tombs have you been sitting by? CLICK HERE  to read more blogs from The Life series, GSR’s monthly feature about the unique, challenging, and very specific lives of women religious around the world.

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