St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Transfiguration and Hope

Today is the feast of the Transfiguration, our remembrance of Jesus’s remarkable transformation – a hope for our resurrection and life eternal; a glimpse of things to come.

Are we worthy?  Christ says we are by his death and resurrection.

Today also marks the birthday of my maternal grandmother, born this day, in 1917, and passed away in 2008, just short of turning 91.  Born of Austrian-Slovak immigrant parents, she spoke both German and Slovak at home and broken English elsewhere.  Her father was a shoe cobbler in Akron Ohio for many years, while mother stayed home and prayed nearly round the clock while grinding wheat and making her own bread and tending the small garden in their yard.  A very humble but grateful life indeed. They never forget coming to this country via Ellis Island by ship. Their first home was in Buffalo New York. They housed many relatives and friends in need through the years.  When they didn’t have much to give, they still gave from anything they could.  How generous and how remarkably unselfish these people were.

Sadly, because of a rift in the family in later years, my mom and her mother’s relationship suffered. 

I believe we get plenty of practice forgiving and forgetting, and I believe that it helps us for the really difficult times ahead when it may not be as easy to do so.  I hold in my memory and experience that kind of difficult time.  It makes forgiving the more common things all the easier.

By the time my grandmother passed away, the family had a hard to time getting together and expressing sympathy – rather, there was a lot of regret for things that should have been, times together that should have happened, and lack of forgiveness, a lot of blame…..

“Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”- John 8:7

Mongera, LtoR, Helen Mongera, Steve Kancir, Anna V Mongera Kancir, sitting Anne M Kancir

Grandma as a 7 yr old – First Holy Communion, her father behind her, mother to the right and one of her Aunts to the left

I pray for the repose of their souls and others in my family who by their example and strength through hardships, have helped give our extended family models in virtue; patience, understanding, forgiveness, and above all, love. 

Life is very short, even if you live to be 90+ (so my father in law is telling us)….let go of the burdens and ego; forgive people of their faults, as we all have them.  Do as Christ would – he was the model for us all.  Look to the glory of the Transfiguration, the promise of the resurrection and be brothers and sisters in Christ, loving and forgiving, encouraging one another and glorifying the Lord.

May God bless you abundantly this Feast of the Transfiguration.

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