June 22, 1920 - August 29, 2015
A few weeks ago the reading from Joshua posed this question: “Whom shall you serve?”
It seems to me that for Mary Veronica Krause, Sister Sabinus, her response to that question was: to serve my God. Throughout her life Mary demonstrated this response by living and believing the verses from John’s Gospel, “Your words, Lord, are spirit and life. You have the words of everlasting life”.
The two most significant values in Mary’s life, together with their blessings and challenges, were the Eucharist and Community. She recognized that Jesus was the center of her life, and determined to follow Him wholeheartedly as the psalmist says, “By keeping her heart open and free; by taking time to dwell in silence; and by making every effort to be a peaceful presence in the world”.
Whether as a nursing assistant at Bethany Hospital, or as teacher in various parish elementary schools, or during her many years in parish ministry and outreach with her faithful friend and companion, S. Eleanor Zito, or doing anything she was asked to do, Mary encountered God in the ordinary and unexpected happenings of her day, freely sharing God’s gifts to her with those whom she met or with those whom she ministered.
Today’s celebration of Mary’s transition to new life, the readings, music, and booklet, were carefully choreographed by her, long before her physical decline and frailty manifested itself.
The readings she selected from Genesis, Ephesians and John spoke to her of how she and God connected in a special loving relationship.
Like Abraham, Mary was willing to welcome the stranger, providing cordial hospitality, offering food and drink and some respite. She resonated with Paul’s words to the people of Ephesus, knowing that Christ found a dwelling place in her because she was rooted in God’s love and because of that love she was able to respond to all that God asked of her far beyond what she could have imagined. And, John’s Gospel reminded Mary that it was in and through Christ’s love, by being grafted as branch to the vine, she was enlivened, and bore much fruit, gifts to be shared with others.
The reflection Mary prepared is in part a summation of how she tried in imitation of Christ to live her life: (in my words) by doing right because it is right; by wasting no time in self-pity; by living and being in the moment, responding to needs as they present themselves, not worrying about the past or what the future might hold or how her actions would be interpreted by others, knowing only that God was the initiator. Lastly, in love and gratitude Mary prays for all of us, her family, friends, and community who journeyed with her, that as we continue to dance to the tune of God’s love, we trust our Partner for the next step.
We now pray for you, Mary, and recognize that as you danced to the tune of God’s love, and trusted your Partner, for each next step, may you experience eternal life dancing in your Partner’s loving embrace.
Roseann Amico, CSJ
September 1, 2015