A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 4:1-6
Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace; one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
REFLECTION: " urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love...."
Eddie S was a holocaust survivor. He lived a few apartments away from Anne Frank. We were most fortunate to have Eddie in our group. He was understandably subdued when he found out we were visiting the Holocaust Museum- Anne Frank Exhibit- in Washington DC in September, 2003.
Anne Frank's parents gave her several diary books when she was thirteen. She was a prolific writer during the years she was in hiding. She and her family were arrested and sent to the concentration camp. Anne Frank died at the age of fifteen of typhus in the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Her body was thrown into a mass grave.
The seventy-fourth birthday of Anne Frank was to be celebrated with an exhibit honoring her words and to know her in an incredible, intimate way. The Exhibit was not so much about the holocaust but about, Anne Frank, the Writer: An Unfinished Story. It was an incredible spiritual experience as Eddie S narrated his life whenever he saw pictures and we were allowed to be part of his memories. We also reflected on a mature fourteen year old's mind and her ability for empathy.
There were so many essays written by Anne Frank, but one that caught my eye, was the essay, "Give".
She worried about the poor children. She wrote, "Everything starts in small ways, so in this case you can begin in small ways too. On streetcars, for example, don't just offer your seat to rich mothers, think of the poor ones too. And say "excuse me" when you step on a poor person's toe, just as you say it to a rich one. It takes so little effort, yet it means so much. Why shouldn't you show a little kindness to those poor urchins who are already so deprived?.....We all know that 'example is better than precept. So set a good example, and it won't take long for others to follow. More and more people will become kind and generous, until finally no one will ever again look down on those without money. " (Anne Frank, "Stories and Events from the Annex", essay "Give")
Lord, help us to be a people who constantly want to see your face. Let us "live in a manner worthy of the call we have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love...."
God Bless You