When I first saw the icon above by Soeur Marie-Paul Farran, OSB, and studied it closely, I was drawn to the six water jars in the lower right hand corner. They are reminiscent of the jugs at the wedding feast of Cana. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells the waiters to fill six jugs with water, and then he changes the water into wine for the wedding guests. But before that, his Mother, Mary, tells the waiters, "Do whatever he tells you."

The words written at the top of the picture say, "To be the heart of God on earth." Is that what we are being told to be? Keeping those words in mind, I studied the picture again. This time I was drawn to the many hands in the picture. The hands are reaching out. Are they reaching out to receive or to give? I believe it is both. We receive the love of the Heart of God in order to give it away. When we are called upon to give, we must first be steeped in the love of God. Knowing that love so deeply enables us to give it away freely. To know that God is dwelling in our midst is most powerful and the force that enables us to give.

Notice the figure of the Risen Christ in the painting. His hands are outstretched, ready to give us all we need to complete his work on earth. What a gift that God knows us deeply and asks us to give that love to others. Will we do whatever he tells us?

Carol Haggarty, RSCJ