December 27, 2017 – From Sr. Toby Lardie
[Editor’s Note: The following reflection is taken from Sr. Toby’s homily reflection for Sr. Agnes Clare Snyder’s funeral.] Maya Angelou once said “People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The two disciples on their way to Emmaus in the Gospel reading were walking along, sad and disturbed by the death of Jesus. They had already forgotten about what Jesus had said and what he did. When the stranger reminded them of these things, and when he broke bread with them and disappeared from their sight, they exclaimed to one another how the stranger had made them feel in the conversation, “Were not our hearts burning within us!” Over these past months we have had a number of our sisters complete their journey on earth and join all the “Saints in Glory.” Their passing reminds us of so many ways that we were blessed by their presence with us throughout the years. So how does anyone arrive to live in her 80s or 90s with such grace and wisdom? These women who gave so much in ministry to others, who shared patience and compassion with those who struggled or suffered, who taught us how to meet each day with faith and hope? Sr. Ann Billard was here a few weeks ago and offered a retreat for sisters here at the Villa about leaving a legacy after we die. Shortly after that retreat we celebrated the life of Sr. Agnes Clare Snyder, one of our sisters who taught us many lessons that I believe she left for us.
Love others – be kind and supportive – help others to feel good about themselves – and like Jesus, especially reach out to those who are struggling the most and are in need of healing.
Meet life as it comes –allow God to be the potter in our lives, shaping and reshaping our hearts into the beautiful person God has always meant us to be.
Laugh every day – So many of us remember Sr. Agnes Clare for her keen sense of humor – she made us laugh and was a person who could come back with a quip that would send everyone into laughter. A sense of humor is a gift from God, and Aggie used it well and often.
And finally – never stop searching for love and for those who have taught us how to love. Those who have passed from this world still walk with us, still teach us, still comfort us. Like the disciples with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, we know our hearts burn within us when we know the presence of love walking with us. We are grateful to God for the gifts and graces that our sisters share with us in life and then leave as their legacy to us.