She Was My Little Sister

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. http://www.GregOlsen.com

Gospel – 9/9/21 – Luke 6:27-38
Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest

Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount. 
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

Once again, we hear Jesus using this extreme language. He is using this language to make sure that his lesson isn’t missed.

That lesson? That we must love, or find a way to love, all God’s creation – even if that creation is hard to love. We all have someone in our lives that we just can’t see eye to eye with, but we still need to love them.

There are those that are always needing financial assistance because of poor decisions – but if we can assist them, we should. Teach them but don’t leave them unloved.

There are numerous things he speaks of but basically it is that we need to allow ourselves to love.

Yesterday, we lost a young woman who epitomized this lesson. She was always able to see the good in everyone. Not just those she was close to but those who harmed her even though they didn’t know her. She turned the other cheek often. She was willing to give of her poverty even to one who had more. She would have given the shirt off her back if you needed it.

She was a beautiful young woman. Single mother of four who fought so hard to be successful but every time she dug herself out of a hole – she was pushed back in but always willing to forgive the one who pushed.

She wanted better. She strove to offer more. In the end, Covid and all those who created this disease, killed my little “sister”.

She was born my niece. Born to my older sister who was like a little mother to me – a young woman who died from cancer at such a young age. And Mandi turned from my niece to my little sister – raised by my parents. We loved her as a niece but adored her as a sister.

We got along just as you’d expect. Early on she thought I could walk on water but eventually learned I was all too human. But somehow through all the fights and time apart she found the good in me.

It’s not easy to find someone who lived up to Christ’s Gospels.

My little sister did. God bless you Mandi and may you rest in the arms of our Holy Mother.

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