Reflection for March 1, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by: renaebauer

Transfiguration: Taking up one's cross is part of the journey to glory

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by Sister Annette Koss

At my parish, we sometimes discuss where we should have a cross placed in church:
on a wall, in a stand, among the people.
One Lent, each week the cross was moved to a different place among the assembly.
Recently, I was asked to be a communion minister at Mass.
Then, I was asked, "Do you need a cross?"
I said, "I have a cross" -- meaning the one I was wearing.
Then, I said, "I am a cross."
I moved from the concrete cross to its inner symbolism.

With the experience of the transfiguration,
Mark clearly connects the transfiguration with the cross,
placing the transfiguration between passion predictions.
He was expanding the disciples' understanding of Jesus as a suffering servant,
to be obedient in the midst of not fully understanding,
to give hope in the resurrection in times of persecution.
The disciples stood in a cloud as they experienced mystery.
Jesus would be the new Moses and the new Elijah with a new message.
Peter preferred to build three tents and prolong the experience.

The transfiguration was a call to discipleship:
"Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me."
The transfiguration confirmed the teaching on the cross.
It was an invitation to risk one's life.
The disciples were called to understand the choices before them:
to deny Jesus was to live but ultimately lose life,
to follow Jesus was to risk death but gain life.

Reflection questions:
  1. What has been a "mountaintop" experience for me?
  2. Did I want to stay there and prolong the experience?
  3. Did it lead me to service and maybe some suffering?

 

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Reflection for Feb. 22, 2015

posted on: Thursday, February 19, 2015 by: renaebauer

Fasting, praying, almsgiving make room for God in each of us

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by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich

On this First Sunday of Lent we journey with Jesus into the desert of emptiness and temptation.  During his 40 days in the wilderness Jesus did not turn his heart away from his loving Father.  In the midst of being tempted by Satan, Jesus is sheltered by God.  God's angels minister to him and he is secure among wild beasts.  The heart of Jesus was strengthened in knowing God was with him and would never fail him.  His experience alone with God opened his heart to embrace the challenges in the journey he would undertake.

We know that Lent is a time to change our hearts through fasting, praying and giving alms.

  • Fasting: Do we appreciate the hunger of our world and of our own hearts?
  • Praying: Do we open our minds and hearts to listen to God and respond in love and hope?
  • Almsgiving: Do we see the needs of those around us and give of ourselves?
Reflection questions:
  1. What is your heart seeking during this most holy season?
  2. What is God asking of you?

 

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Reflection for Feb. 15, 2015

posted on: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 by: renaebauer

St. Paul: Our humble actions give glory to God

Similar to our written reflections, image reflections invite us to enter deeply into Sacred Scripture. Take a few minutes to gaze upon the image below. Hear St. Paul teach the Corinthians that, as Christians, our actions matter.

Reflective questions:

  1. How do my actions glorify God?
  2. This Lent, how will I bear my sufferings in a more Christ-like way?
  3. Whom do I need to love or forgive in order to better imitate Christ?

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Reflection for Feb. 8, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 by: renaebauer

The healing hand of Jesus Christ is within your reach and mine

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by Sister Charlene Hockers

Recently, I visited a friend at the nursing home. She had gone through major surgery about three months earlier. She took the risk of surgery rather than give up and die. She came through the surgery which everyone believed was a miracle. She made good progress in healing for a while. But the same day that I visited her, she died.

Her story came to mind as I reflected on this Sunday's Gospel. We hear how Jesus grasps the hand of Peter's mother-in-law and heals her of her fever. In the evening, He heals many more. I believe Jesus grasped my friend's hand at the time of surgery and again when it was time to move into eternal life. Her suffering was over. Jesus is always ready to grasp our hand. He is always ready to heal us so we can get up and allow Him to work through us.

In the Gospel, what follows the healings is worthy of our notice. "Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed." In the midst of our service to others, we need to go off to our deserted place and pray. Faith is built on prayer. Our ability to help others heal spiritually is dependent on our relationship with Jesus. Let Jesus grasp your hand and take you to that deserted place to pray, and then go on to continue your loving service in His name.

 

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Reflection for Feb. 1, 2015

posted on: Thursday, January 29, 2015 by: renaebauer

Proclaiming the Good News requires prayer and preparation

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by Sister Laura Zelten

Today's Gospel gives us a glimpse into the culture of Jesus' time and a deeper understanding of why he was such a powerful and often-perceived disruptive figure. First, he teaches "as one having authority," despite lacking the training or position considered necessary. He is seen as bold and rebellious, yet his words and actions ring with truth. Even the "unclean spirit" within the man is aware of the power of Jesus' presence and reacts accordingly.

Like Jesus, the power of our words must come from a deep faith in a God who calls us to work for justice, to ask questions and to speak up. Without the faith that calls us to ask questions, we cannot be prophetic and speak with authority.

In a certain sense, the power of our words and actions can make a difference in the world, driving out the evil spirits of injustice, poverty, violence and selfishness, and inviting in the good spirits of justice, peace, community and economic well-being for all.

Reflection questions:
  1. When have you experienced someone who "taught with authority?"
  2. How did this impact you?
  3. Did this person have a "social-ethical message" that made a difference?

 

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Reflection for Jan. 25, 2015

posted on: Thursday, January 22, 2015 by: renaebauer

Jesus invites each of us to share in his mission in a special way

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by Sister Jacqueline Capelle

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to deliver a message. He thought it would take three days to go through the city but on the first day the people heard the message and followed it.

Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee and called Simon, Andrew, James and John to join him on his journey.  These four fishermen must have wondered where they were going with Jesus and what He meant when He said, "You will be fishers of men."

Jesus invites you as He invited those in today's readings. To what mission has He called you? Think of this! What a treasure to receive this invitation to be a part of Jesus' mission and to spread His word.

Take some time this week to hear clearly and journey forth to carry the Word of God wherever you go.

 

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Reflection for Jan. 18, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 by: renaebauer

Here I am. You called me. I'm eager to do your will!

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by Sister Mary Kabat

Doesn't it bring a smile and a swell of pride when you see your child or grandchild eagerly wanting to help you though the task is beyond his or her strength or ability?  Picture such a time when you hear the story from the First Book of Samuel of young Samuel waking to the Lord's call and eagerly running to Eli who he mistakenly thought was calling.  Picture such a time when you hear the story from the Gospel of John of the two disciples, one being Andrew, eagerly following Jesus and of Andrew bringing the news, "We have found the Messiah," to his brother Peter.

Jesus tells us we need to welcome and receive the Kingdom of God as a child does.  Let us listen, watch, and respond to the Lord's call each day -- eager to pray, eager to love, eager to serve, eager to offer our challenges and sufferings. As children, we will bring joy to our God.

 

 

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Reflection for Jan. 11, 2015

posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 by: renaebauer

'You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased'

Welcome to our first reflective image!  Like our written reflections, each reflective image is an invitation to enter deeply into Sacred Scripture.  How will you see God's holy words expressed in the images and in your own life?

Take a few minutes to reflect on the picture and words.  Imagine being there when John the Baptist says, "One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals." Imagine Jesus emerging from the water and being anointed by God.  How does this strengthen your understanding of your baptism?

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Reflection for Jan. 4, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 by: renaebauer

Does my 'star' guide people to Jesus Christ?

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by Sister Agnes Fischer

Where is the newborn King of the Jews?

If the Magi of today -- that is, men and women of goodwill -- were to ask that question would we tell them that He can be found:

  • In noisy children?
  • In the hungry?
  • In those who don't have a place to sleep?
  • In those who are in prison (justly or unjustly)?
  • In the sick?
  • In the undocumented?
  • In the indigenous who have lost their ancestral lands?
  • In my employees (or boss)?
  • In the young man who shovels my driveway and in the postal carrier?

In these, Jesus is waiting to receive the gold of our help, the incense of our respect and the myrrh of our understanding and love. To find this Jesus, we don't have to leave our land, we simple have to leave our comforts, our routine, our likes and interests and maybe our security. Are we Magi enough for this?

 

 

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Reflection for Dec. 28, 2014

posted on: Friday, December 19, 2014 by: renaebauer

Holy Family is a shining example of love, humility, kindness

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by Sister Paulette Hupfauf

We know very little about the Holy Family while they lived in the small village of Nazareth. Yet the feast day Collect Prayer ("O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family" 1) had me ponder: What do we really know about the Holy Family?

Part of the answer seems to come from St. Paul in his Letter to the Colossians: "... as God's chosen ones, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness & patience ... over all these things put on love."(2) Then the Gospel Acclamation seems to capture how we might follow the example. "Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." (3)

May each of us be living examples to our families, neighbors and community of the peace of Christ and the Word of Christ as the Holy Family is for us.

 

1: Excerpt from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.
2 & 3: Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

 

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