The Parable of the Wedding Feast
St Mary MacKillop had no tickets on herself, as we might say.
She never considered herself better than another, a lesson she learnt when a young teenager working in a store in Melbourne. At a party given by friends she was snubbed by the Italian consul, as just a shop girl and went off in tears. In the parable of the Wedding Feast in Luke 14: 7-11 Jesus points out the wisdom of considering oneself the lowest at a gathering.
Mary made sure that the Sisters learnt to live with the poorest, as poor women, and to be comfortable with the ordinary folk of her times, by sharing their lives.
- They lived in simple cottages, of four rooms, sharing a bedroom. Sometimes they lived in the sacristy of a country church, in a tent along with fettlers building the railway, or in a tent on the goldfields.
- One cottage, prepared for the sisters by willing parishioners, had carpet laid. She insisted this be removed as Mary considered it more than the poor would be able to afford.
- When the Bishop brought the Dominican Sisters to Adelaide, Mary offered them their house to live in.
- An occasion occurred when Mary was travelling to Sydney and had to wait at Albury for the train, she went to the Mercy convent and asked could she lie down as she wasn’t feeling well. The Sisters, suspicious of this stranger in a strange garb, contacted the Parish Priest, who told them to refuse her. Mary simply accepted that, returned to the railway station waiting room to rest as best she could.
REFLECTION: What difficulties would the Sisters have to deal with—either practical or personal in cramped living quarters?
How do you think they would cope with such situations?
Like the Good Shepherd, Mary led her Sisters faithfully in their keeping of the rule and spirit of the Congregation.
Spend some time reflecting on this picture.
Can you name anyone who has been a leader for you?
Thank God for them.
Pray your favourite version of Psalm 23 slowly and reflectively.
RESPONSE: Shepherd me O God, beyond my wants, beyond my needs, from death into life.
|1. Lord, may I always remain open to the nudges of your Spirt leading me to you.||R|
|2. May Leaders of nations be good shepherds for their people, leading them to peace.||R|
|3. May our teachers be faithful shepherds to the children under their care.||R|
|4. May all Bishops and Priests be faithful to the teachings of our chief Shepherd, Pope Francis.||R|
|5. May our Church Leaders bring loving, pastoral care to those under their care.||R|
|6. May those who know fear, especially in Ukraine and Russia, look to God for safety.||R|
|7. May those who attack the sheep, the People of God, be turned away.||R|
|8. May those who have become lost, listen for the good Shepherd who seeks them.||R|
Add your own………………… Conclude with the Our Father.