Sisters in Scripture
Mondays of Lent - April 6 - Holy Week
04/06/2020  Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

This Monday of Holy Week opens in the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus where Jesus and his followers have been invited to dine in celebration of Jesus' bringing Lazarus back to life. This home is the place Jesus most often stayed on his visits to Jerusalem. We can only imagine what it would have been like to have Jesus as a frequent guest, to recognize the sound of his footstep on the path, his voice in the doorway, to have been a part of the shared meals and stirring conversation. This meal, however, was different. "There they gave a great dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him."

The silent Mary who had sat at the feet of Jesus now rises. Whatever had first stirred within her as she earlier listened to her Lord, is now fanned into flame in the afterglow of her brother's life being returned to them. Some conversions are so overwhelming that words are inadequate; only actions springing spontaneously from within can suffice. Her actions are extravagant--"the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume"--and they combine the sensuous expression of great love with the reverent attitude of enacted ritual. She goes beyond an act of gratitude and love, for she anoints Jesus' feet. Throughout scripture and Hebrew tradition, those who were anointed were priests, prophets, and kings. In a truly prophetic stance, Mary unites the past, the present, and the future. She hearkens to the past as she reenacts Israel's anointings. She stands in the present as she expresses her love and gratitude for Jesus. And she prophesies the future as her actions point to the imminent passion and death of Christ.

The closing lines are worthy of note. The raising of Lazarus not only resolved the chief priests to kill Jesus, they planned to kill Lazarus as well. On that ominous note, we move to the two remaining days before Holy Thursday. The readings of those days lay out the betrayal by Judas.

An offering and an idea for you: In my scripture studies, I introduce to my students the Jewish idea of a Midrash, a kind of back story to what is happening in the biblical text. I encourage them to use their creative imagination to offer a mini story. Here's one you might enjoy...


Teresa of Avila:
Her Poetry as Window into Her Life

Live Presentation via Zoom 
Monday, April 6th 9:30 - 11:30 am, PDT

Dear Friends, 

St. Placid Priory in Lacey, WA has invited me to give a live 2-hour presentation on St. Teresa of Avila. I am delighted to partner with the Benedictine sisters to offer spiritual sustenance via the internet in this time when we cannot gather in the usual way. 

You are invited to join us no matter where you live (adjust for your time zone) for this interactive session using the poetry of Teresa as a lively springboard for discussion and as insight into the life of this remarkable woman--saint, doctor of the Church, mystic, religious founder, and passionate lover of God. Yet she is also eminently human, living in a challenging time not unlike our own. 

I will provide the poems and some reflection questions ahead of time and also enrich our time together with background, biographical material, and other of her writings. This session is a simple version of one first created as part of the larger series, Sisters in Tradition, a course taught at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Lynnwood, WA. Whatever your religious tradition, familiarity with Teresa, or with poetry, you are most welcome. Zoom guidelines will also be sent to you ahead of time so you are free to join from the comfort of your own home. 

I will miss the hospitality of the Benedictine sisters of the Priory, their lovely facility and grounds, but am grateful for this opportunity to extend a wider welcome to all. The cost is $25 and you may register by clicking on Teresa of Avila at The Priory.
God Bless,

What is Sisters in Scripture? 
Sisters in Scripture began as a bible study for women and while it still is that today, the ministry has grown into much more.  Bible Studies were followed by workshops and presentations which evolved into a full line of retreat offerings—some as short as a partial day, others over several days, on a rich variety of topics. 
Recently, online retreats have been added to in-person retreats
Spiritual Direction with Kathleen is also available via phone/Skype or in person at either of two locations: Lynnwood, WA (occasionally) and Bella Vista, AR (regularly).

Bible Studies

Sisters in Scripture offers a variety of studies available for purchase from this site.  Each study seeks to prayerfully engage the scriptures to arrive at meaning for today and in our everyday lives.  To do so, we enter the story through the lens of various biblical characters using both biblical scholarship and our own creative imagination. 
Each chapter includes Background, Prayer, Reflection Questions, and a Closer Look at the Text.  To see the full line of studies, go to  the Bible Studies page or the Purchase Books page on this site.

Retreats and Presentation

As with the interactive focus in my studies, the retreats are also designed to help participants enter into and experience the theme through a variety of modalities: prayer, silence, presentation, discussion, music, art, poetry, etc. 
In addition to leading retreats, for the past four years, I have been co-teaching a course on Spiritual Retreats in the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University, a sacred task that allows retreat ministry to expand through the future ministries of those I teach.
To View Photos of the latest Retreat, Once Upon a Time in a Town Called Nazareth click on the link.  
A comment from Julie Joslund, Pastor of Edmonds Lutheran Church:
Kathleen and Betsey’s Advent Retreat Once Upon a Time in a Town Called Nazareth is fabulous! The story and the inspiration of young Mary becoming the mother of our Lord - with all the incumbent questions, joys and fears - comes to life with the images, colors, words, songs and dances from long ago Nazareth…. right up to today. Participants are involved and included in the retreat experience. It is hands on and fulfilling. Everyone goes away with a full heart, ready to engage the season of Advent and the coming once again of Christ into our days. 

Available Retreats

A partial list of retreat offerings would include:
  • Once Upon a Time in a Town Called Nazareth,
  • The Women Who Follow Jesus
  • The First Supper
  • Witnesses on the Way: an Interactive Stations of the Cross
  • Encounters with the Risen Lord
  • God’s Gift of Abundant Time
  • Grandmother God: Loving as God Loves
  • An Evening with Esther, and
  • Wisdom from Tobit

Spiritual Direction

A more apt name might be "spiritual companioning.”  I often think of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus when doing Spiritual Direction.  On life's road, Christ draws alongside, unseen but ever present, though we are often only partially aware.  Spiritual Direction is intentional attentiveness to that Presence in the company of an other who walks that same journey.  To read more about this gentle disciple, go to the Spiritual Direction page on this website.

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