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Browsing Reflections Archive

April 29, 2021

Daily Reflection for Thursday April 29, 2021
 

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday's readings at this link:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042921.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 13:13-25
Responsorial: Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27
Gospel: John 13:16-20

Our reflection on Thursday's readings:
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. Psalm 89:2

When the circumstances of life threaten to weigh me down, I think of my grandmother. Her life was a story of riches to rags, sorrow, and heartbreak. However, she is not remembered for her misfortunes but for her deep Christian faith and her spontaneous songs of praise.

Her name is Jeanette. She was the oldest daughter of a former enslaved person. Unlike many of his peers, her father was trained as a locomotive engineer and upon emancipation was given reparations in money and substantial land holdings in the coal mining region of Southern Illinois. Jeanette and her siblings were brought up wanting for nothing. Each received post-secondary educations, and the girls, doweries.

Grown and educated, her fortunes began to change when she fell in love with and married a local coal miner. Together they had 11 children. Her first four children died from whooping cough between the ages of two and three years old. Later, she lost two other children during childhood. Her oldest living adult son was murdered in early adulthood and one of her only two adult daughters died in childbirth.

Eventually, the family lost the land because they couldn’t pay the taxes and at the end of her life my grandmother lived in a two-room house, widowed and sick.

She had a beautiful singing voice and when times were dark and the reasonable response might have been tears, she would raise that beautiful voice in hymns of praise to the God she depended on to get her through whatever calamity might be looming. She sang to Him and praised Him for his faithfulness to her.

The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.

This verse reminds me of Jeanette. I may not have a beautiful singing voice, but when life’s darkness creeps toward me, I remember her, and I think of the old hymns and I sing them too.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way / When sorrows like sea billows roll / Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know / It is well, it is well, with my soul.

If things are looking dark today or if they are full of sunshine and joy, call to mind your favorite hymn and sing it to the Lord.

Peace be with you my friends,
Melissa Jeanette Kittrell

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