For the last several years my husband and I, along with our children have utilized a Jesse Tree during Advent. Each day of Advent we read a Bible story about Salvation History and hang an ornament with a symbol of that story on our tree. We begin with the story of creation and continue to the birth of Christ. During lent we try to continue with what I’ve deemed a “Jesus Tree” and read the stories of the New Testament from Christ’s birth through the Resurrection. It is a wonderful way to recall God’s faithfulness and live our Faith tangibly; but, I had never before considered the thought that I am a part of Salvation History! That is, until we attended the recent Couple’s Retreat at the Confidentia Shrine in Lamar, TX.
Sr. Danielle and Fr. Francisco led us through a beautiful weekend of reflection, taking us deeper into the motto, “Joyful Apostles, Living the Covenant.” In the afternoon, Sister had us create scrolls and begin to write our own version of the Acts of the Apostles. As individual couples we worked to create the physical scroll: fighting the rolling paper, dabbing on the rubber cement, navigating the best way to attach the paper to the wooden dowels as a team. Then, we began the task of reflection and dialog to begin writing our role in Salvation History. How has God worked in us and through us to bring about His glory? How did he call us together? What are the miracles that he has worked in our lives? We titled our scroll “The Acts of the Apostles of Patrick and Jill” and presented the beginnings of our work at the closing Mass and received a blessing. Patrick and I decided to continue working on our story, our scroll through Lent and beyond. The act of putting it in writing helps us to recall God’s faithfulness and reminds us that our acts are recorded in heaven; therefore live with intentionality, with God’s will in mind, with the joy that comes from being a Child of God–knowing that we are a unique and critical part of Salvation History.
Jill Mach, Arlington TX
Picture: Jill Mach with her husband (5th couple from the left) together with the other couples holding their scrolls.