posted on: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 by: renaebauer
Alleluia! Jesus the Christ is risen!
by Sister Mary Kabat
We have made the journey of Lent and completed the Easter
Triduum. Now we join all the faithful in celebrating the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the opening prayer at Mass we
hear, "Jesus has conquered death and unlocked for us the path to
eternity." It is truly an Alleluia day!
As you hear and reflect on the Gospel story this Easter, with
whom do you identify?
- Mary of Magdala who goes at dawn with a heavy heart to be close
to a deceased loved one only to be confused by the message of the
- Peter and John who remember Jesus' words and run in hope of
seeing if Mary's news is true.
- The disciples locked in the upper room and locked by fear about
their future, and need the appearance of the risen Jesus to
transform their grief.
All became believers in the resurrection and proclaimers of
Jesus the Christ. We pray that you may know the comfort and joy,
the peace and life-changing blessing of Easter, and that you will
share the paschal mystery of death and life with all you meet along
the journey of life.
This is the day the Lord had
made. Let us rejoice and be glad! -- Ps 118
posted on: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 by: renaebauer
How much time can you make forJesus this
by Sister Agnes Fischer
"Could you not watch one hour with me?"
In today's reading of the Passion we hear Jesus ask this
question of his friends. During this Holy Week, he asks us the same
Are we planning to take some time on Holy Thursday evening to
commemorate and celebrate the day in which we received the great
gift of Eucharist and the commandment to love and serve one
Will we set aside a little time on Good Friday afternoon to walk
the Way of the Cross with Jesus and accompany him in the hour of
his crucifixion and death?
Can we forego a little sleep on Saturday night to celebrate the
vigil of Jesus' resurrection and recall the wonderful history of
And on Easter Sunday will we bring our whole family to church to
sing, "Alleluia, Jesus is risen"?
posted on: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 by: renaebauer
Jesus shows us that our earthly lives are
part of God's plan
by Sister Laura Zelten
In this week's Gospel, we see Jesus perform another miracle --
raising Lazarus from the dead. This miracle may seem to contradict
what the Gospel tells us in previous weeks and what we tell
ourselves as we make our Lenten sacrifices: that this earthly world
and all of the things of it are surpassed by the heavenly afterlife
awaiting us. But if this is true, why does Jesus bring Lazarus back
to life? Jesus knows heaven. Yet, he still weeps when he hears of
Lazarus' death, his departure from the physical world.
It is through this miracle we are reminded that our physical
presence is important and even necessary in order to achieve God's
will. We can say the same for Jesus, who came in human form in
order to fulfill God's plan of eternal life for all people. Would
these Gospels read the same if Jesus had not become physically
present here on earth? No, Jesus' life lived as a human being in a
human body is what makes his sacrifices and love for us so
posted on: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by: renaebauer
As Spring unfolds, so can and does our
by Sister Carolyn Zahringer
Spring has recently arrived, according to the calendar. We all
know it takes time for spring to arrive in its fullness. Lent is
the Church's "springtime." Just as in nature, spring is a time for
"buds" to prepare anew for a new season of life and growth.
The Gospel of John tells of a man born blind, who now can see
because of his encounter with Jesus, the Lord. The communion
antiphon for the day is pulled from the Gospel message. It is the
core message. "The Lord anointed my eyes: I went, I washed, I saw
and I believed in God." (Jn. 9:11, 38)
We are touched by God and we are empowered to respond
- Where is Lenten healing happening in us?
- Where are there signs of "spring" appearing in us, our family,
our Church, our world?
posted on: Thursday, March 20, 2014 by: renaebauer
Jesus: 'Whoever drinks the water I shall give
will never thirst'
by Sister Renee Delvaux
How scandalous, according to Jewish standards, is Jesus'
behavior in today's Gospel as He meets the Samaritan woman at the
well! He totally disregards the Jewish law. He dares to
have a conversation with a woman, a Samaritan, and one married to
five men. She is considered an outcast.
What becomes evident is the universality of Jesus' compassion,
love and open invitation to all to be part of the Kingdom. He
accepts without judgment this woman who is a questionable member (a
sinner) of a subordinate group (women) of a despised people
(Samaritans). She is the one whom Jesus approaches and to whom He
reveals Himself as Messiah. Without rebuke He offers the woman
"living water," and she who has been thirsting for meaning in her
life, accepts the "living water" in gratitude and faith. She then
proclaims the good news of Jesus to the townspeople and they go to
meet Jesus. What a profound moment -- the word of salvation
takes root in the hearts of the despised and marginalized.
The message: Jesus is always reaching out to
us, offering "life-giving water" as He did to the Samaritan woman,
even as we are also sinners. He alone can satisfy our thirst.
The question: How do we treat those we consider
"lowly and despised," the "sinners" in our lives?
Let us pray: Lord, give us "living water" to
nourish our thirst for truth and meaning. Fill us with
Your love, compassion, and acceptance of all.
posted on: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by: renaebauer
Today's suffering can lead to tomorrow's
by Sister Sally Ann Brickner
God knows us and transforms us in times of darkness.
The readings for the second Sunday of Lent certainly provide
examples for us. In Genesis, God promises that Abram will become
the father of a great nation, a holy people. He will be a blessing
to many peoples. How true this has been for Jews, Christians, and
Muslims alike. In the Gospel, John recounts vividly a peak
experience with Jesus on Mount Tabor. Peter, James and John are
granted a vision of Jesus' glory when he will be raised from the
dead. Like Abram, through God's promise the trio is confirmed in
faith for the difficult journey of discipleship. Paul exhorts
Timothy (and us) to bear our share of hardships for the sake of the
Looking up, may we see only Jesus through whom all things are
posted on: Thursday, March 06, 2014 by: renaebauer
Jesus shows us who is at the center of his
life and ours
by Sister Elise Cholewinski
"It's not about you." How often people seem to be making
that statement, reminding the persons to whom they are speaking
that their particular issue is not really about them; it's part of
a much bigger picture.
"It's not about me." That's what Jesus is saying to Satan,
as He experiences the three temptations in the desert in this
Sunday's Gospel. Satan invites Jesus to turn stones into
bread. Jesus knows that it's not about becoming a social
reformer; it's about nourishing people with the Word of God. Satan
challenges Jesus to make an Olympic-scale jump from the pinnacle of
the temple. Jesus understands that it's not about being a
sensational champion and drawing the crowd's applause; it's about
doing what God wants. Satan bargains with Jesus and offers Him all
the kingdoms of the world if He would worship him only. Jesus
refuses; it's not about compromising, it's about serving only one
During this first week of Lent, we are celebrating National
Catholic Sisters Week. Women who live in religious communities and
have publicly professed vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience
give a striking witness to Jesus' response to temptation.
While working intensely for social justice, they invite God's
people to look beyond, to that kingdom that is still to come.
Although they may perform outstandingly in their ministries, they
commit to a life of deep humility, seeking the glory of God.
In a culture of mixed messages and values, they exemplify what life
in abundance is really all about. Women who live the consecrated
life authentically put a face on today's Gospel.
So listen closely. If you are not married and are discerning
where God is leading you on your journey of life, you may need to
enter the desert for a while and confront not only the same
temptations, but a call to the consecrated life in the
Church. This time it really could be all about you.
posted on: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by: renaebauer
When things and attitude get in the way of
by Sister Annette Koss
Mammon is a neutral reference to property or anything of value.
In the Gospel, mammon is presented forcefully by Matthew as a false
idol, an obstacle to an intimate relationship with God. When we are
engrossed with the acquisition of material goods, we are possessed
by them. There is not enough room in our hearts to be possessed by
God and mammon; so it is far better to be possessed by God. When I
focus too much on security issues, I'm really serving a master; I
am giving service to a false God that can never bring
Jesus invites us to trust and not to worry. To worry is to have
split attention, to have a divided concern. Worry is the way we
protect ourselves from getting hurt. It is also the way we look
ahead to solve problems and imagine solutions.
Not to worry about material goods is to gain freedom. God is
asking me not to let externals drive my choices and anxieties. I
won't be able to attend to the poor and oppressed if caught up in
my own needs.
"The grass of the field" is a common phrase that means something
is worthless. Something we might possess is breathtaking beauty but
it is only transitory. In the end it is insignificant, thrown into
the fire and used for fuel. If God lavishly clothes the grass that
in the end will be used for fuel, how much more will he lavish his
treasures on us.
- What are my reoccurring worries?
- How do I deal with them?
- What helps me to trust?
posted on: Friday, February 14, 2014 by: renaebauer
Do I forgive when I am hurt?
by Sister Rose Jochmann
In today's first reading, we receive the message that God gave
to Moses, "Cherish no grudge against any of your people. You
shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Jesus goes even further in the Gospel, "I say to you, love your
enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be
children of your heavenly Father."
These lines in today's Scripture can be challenging. Jesus
invites us to love those who are difficult to love. It is easy to
hold grudges against those who don't appreciate us, who say hurtful
things, who insult us, who betray us, who exclude us. These are
small "persecutions." How do we handle them? Do we
forgive and forget? How can we say we love God when we don't
love the person next to us?
posted on: Thursday, February 13, 2014 by: renaebauer
God's laws are about what to do as well as
what not to do
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
As someone who often works with Church law, today's Gospel is a
gentle but clear reminder that law, even Church law, provide us
with guidelines for living, but they are not the maximum for which
we strive - they only give us the "bottom line."
That's true if we simply read the words of the law. But if
we look beyond the words to the values that underlie the law we see
much more. "Thou shalt not kill" prohibits the intentional taking
of someone's life by murder or reckless driving. But the
spirit of the law includes positive encouragement to safeguard and
promote life; to help others to obtain the basic necessities of
life; and the responsibility to care for our own health and
person. The commandment reminds us that all life is precious.
In our day, we have become aware that abortion, violence, and
physical abuse are threats to human life. More recently the
issue of human trafficking of vulnerable people for sexual or
economic profit has come to our attention - even here in the State
of Wisconsin. Women and men, children and elders, and
immigrants are trafficked and exploited sexually or economically or
both, for the profit or pleasure of others.
The USCCB Committee on Immigration designated February 8, the
feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, as a national day of prayer for
survivors and victims of human trafficking. Our prayer should
also lead us to a greater awareness and to join in action to combat
this threat to life. For more information visit the USCCB
When we bring our gift to the altar this week, we also bring our
prayer, concern, and action on behalf of the vulnerable members of