Opening Our Hearts During Easter

 Reflection for Second Sunday of Easter by FAN Staffer, Janine Walsh

This reflection was originally posted in our newsletter on April 6th


At the pool where I swim three times a week, there is one particular patron who they call “the Whale.” He is a larger man who swims with the grace of the animal, taking up an entire lane on his own, curling his body around the shallow end to turn back and glide down to the deep end again. The man never seems to lift his head out of the water for breath, which is another reason he reminds us of a whale. This is typically something I consider beautiful to watch. However, on those days when the pool is especially busy, where each lane, except the Whales’, has two people in it, and there are three people waiting for a lane, people tend to get bitter. Why is it he doesn’t have to share when the rest of us do?


This week’s readings remind me of the Whale. The first reading from Acts is a beautiful example of selflessness among the early Church. I especially enjoy the idea that the “community of believers was of one heart and mind…” How peaceful and enjoyable it must have been. No one arguing, no one greedily hoarding his possessions, everyone willing to share, everyone loving as Jesus taught. Given my story of the Whale, some would argue he is not of this mind.


When did we go wrong? When did hearts become covetous and possessive, always thinking of me, me, me? When did we stop learning from our Bible? St. John tells us in the second reading, “For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments.” St. Francis said, “When a poor man approaches, always remember that he comes in the name of Christ, who assumed our poverty.” Would we turn away from these ideals? However, in this country, the rich keep getting richer and the gap between them and the rest of the country is ever widening. Oh there are times when we can rally together and share, like after a disaster. Donations to organizations such as the Red Cross and Catholic Relief Services tend to skyrocket after a disaster. Why does it take a terrorist act or massive hurricane or tsunami to get people to give to others “according to need”? Every day we can look out in our own communities and find need.


I pray that as we continue through our Easter season, hearts will be opened to loving and giving to those in need. To love as Jesus loved means to give wholly of ourselves especially to those who we find difficult. I think I’ll go back to the pool and strike up a conversation with the Whale. I’ll do my best to love him as Jesus does.
Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

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