Whenever I encounter the Scriptures telling of Jesus and His disciples together in the Upper Room, my heart and mind automatically travel to the O’Connor Room at Nazareth Farm. Wood grain walls, sunlight streaming in through the windows along with a gentle breeze, and a not-so-subtle reminder that we are truly on Holy Ground. I wonder if this is what the Upper Room was like.
For many of us, the O’Connor Room is a sacred space. The Holy Spirit is so present at the Farm, but especially in the OCR. Times of prayer and tranquility can quickly transition to spirited singing, laughter, and group games. We share prayer together and share our hearts and minds in conversation. There is a palpable warmth up in the O’Connor Room (and not just on humid summer nights!)
The disciples probably weren’t sure what to expect when they gathered with Jesus in the Upper Room, a feeling that is often echoed on the first night of volunteer weeks. But they trusted Him and were willing to be a part of His journey. They were transformed by Jesus, and so are we if we let Him be an active part of our lives.
At the Last Supper, Jesus transformed the very basic elements of bread and wine into His Most Precious Body and Blood. During our visits to Nazareth Farm, we too are transformed. Our selfish and wasteful habits give way to focusing on community and conservation. Service becomes less of something to do and more a part of who we are. We make time for prayer and let our work for others become an offering of ourselves. Seeds are planted, vocations are sparked, friendships are formed, and our God is a part of it all.
When we are open to the Holy Spirit in our lives, great things can happen. We can be transformed into people who consistently and joyfully live out Catholic Social Justice Teachings no matter where we are.
During the Holy Thursday Liturgy, we celebrate both the institution of the Eucharist and the washing of the Disciples’ feet, strong reminders that our God is a God of sacrifice and service. How can we incorporate these elements into our lives? As we journey through Holy Week and into the Easter season, let’s be mindful of the times and places where God wants to transform us into his modern-day disciples. May our lives always be a reflection of the love of our Savior.
Wishing you and those you hold most dear a faithful Holy Week and a blessed Easter!
– Catherine Werner, board member and volunteer