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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

Are we in our upper room?

By Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski, MHSH,D.Min

Here we are, like the apostles, in our upper rooms since March. (for me, March 13) 

How much longer, Lord? 

How often the apostles left that room during those 40 days from Good Friday night to Pentecost, is not so important. They were in the upper room pondering and wondering what had happened, how it happened and why it happened. How the journey with Jesus ended is not what they imagined and hoped for.

In the Upper Room they waited, carried on conversations, tried to strategically plan for what to do next.

Jesus left no clear strategic plan that they understood with their imperfect, partial or inadequate faith.  I am sure they tried to support one another as one or the other began to flounder into worry, distress, or darkness.  I like to imagine Mary, the Mother of Jesus,holding her own amongst them as a ‘mother’ soothing their fears.  Mary's faith was strong enough to carry them into the events they were about to encounter in the coming 40 days.

The Upper Room soon became an encounter with the Risen Jesus Christ.  The closure did not prevent the 'light of the world' to seep through into their presence.

When Jesus suddenly appeared, he understood their hearts.

Jesus first says to them: "Peace be with you. Do not be afraid. It is I."

How unbelievable must have been those moments. Were their minds and eyes tricking them?  Could it be, Jesus was there in their midst?  I try to ponder their thoughts and diverse emotions.

The Upper Room was to become the 'place’ - a ‘sacred place’ where the apostles were to enter a new missionary formation experience.  Here they were being tested and strengthened with a new or deeper faith and hope for the task ahead of them.  Jesus had promised his Spirit would come to them. The Upper Room experience was maturing days for each one to reimagine their vocation/ mission.

Perhaps, today, as we are in our Upper Rooms(homes), this is what is being asked of us. 

Jesus says to us today: "Peace be with you.  Do not be afraid. I am here. It is me!" 

Let us rest our minds and hearts in & on the Risen Jesus. 

Let us keep our focus clear for our mission. 

Let us not falter.

May these be days of courage, compassion, new religious imagination, and service to others remind us of our upper room during this COVID-19 crisis.

VLCFF.UDayton.edu offers online faith formation courses for UD alumni throughout the year. Hope in Times of Crisis is just one online course available. Courses are held year-round with start dates listed here: May 24, July 12, August 30, and October 18.  UD alumni pay only $10 week for a 5-week course ($50) or $40 for a 3-week seminar.  Go to VLCFF.UDayton.edu  and click calendar to see the course catalog each learning cycle date.

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