On 21 April, the Edmonton Annual Assembly for Consecrated Women was attended by 70 religious women. Michelle Langlois fcJ was one of four panelists, and in her presentation she referred to a talk she had heard when the speaker, Bishop Robert Barron, made a suggestion that deeply resonated with her: ‘Read the Gospels as the stories of people falling in love with Jesus,’ he said. Michelle saw this as a beautiful starting point for Church at its best: a gathering place for us to go and hear love stories, love stories relating the history of how God has wooed those who came before us; and to hear the unexpected and difficult journeys our spiritual ancestors were inspired to make out of love for him.
Michelle spoke movingly of Marie Madeleine, who, she said, seemed to have been living a very disturbed and dark life when she met Jesus and was healed by him. Her encounter with Jesus transformed her: God had pursued her, and she began living a love story that she embraced all the way to the Cross and beyond. God’s love stories give us hope, they stir our hearts. They feed us. They give us the energy to go out into the world and be part of the God love stories for those around us. This sense of church doesn’t just happen in the physical parish building, it happens wherever the people of God are gathered. How wonderful to think that every person sitting in our parish has their own love story to share!