posted on: Friday, November 20, 2015 by: renaebauer
While we wait, let's say and do things that
are pleasing to God
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
Several feasts on our Church calendar are preceded by a period
of special preparation. This week we begin Advent, which marks the
beginning of a new Church year, a new liturgical time, and the
four-week preparation period for Christmas.
These weeks invite us to evaluate our lives in light of the
Scriptures and the ultimate purpose of our existence -- final union
with God. When Christ comes at the end of time, or at the end of
our lifetime on earth, we want to be alert and ready to meet
The passages offered for our reflection today describe that
final time in humanity's history. I suspect that people throughout
the last century read that description in Luke's Gospel and
believed that they were living at that moment. World Wars I and II,
the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and today the experience of terrorist
attacks all fit the description of a time of "tribulation when
powers are shaken, nations are in dismay, and many are frightened
And in times like these, all of us long for the peace and
security promised when Christ comes in his glory, to judge and rule
the world with justice.
Our waiting for that time of fulfillment with hope and joy is
active and intentional. We are invited to contribute to the coming
of the Kingdom by conducting ourselves in a manner pleasing to God,
practicing love for one another and for all, and being
This Advent, as we light the candles of the Advent wreath, or
open doors in Advent calendars with our children, or pray
about the ancestors of Jesus on the Jesse Tree, may our actions and
our quiet reflection help us to focus on the gift of Christ's first
coming at Christmas, to recognize his daily coming in the people
and events of our lives, and to long for his final coming in glory
when we will experience the true justice and peace of God.
posted on: Thursday, November 19, 2015 by: renaebauer
Christ the King is our Eucharist and
by Sister Jane Riha
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
King of the Universe and on Thursday we will celebrate Thanksgiving
Day. Our American society stresses a democratic system of
government. The concept of having a king is foreign to us. The
Feast of Christ the King was instituted in 1925 at a time of great
social and political unrest. The Church wanted to make a strong
point with this feast that Jesus, the King, is one of us and
identifies with our human condition.
The Gospel for today emphasizes the values of Jesus, the King.
Jesus is the Suffering Servant who is willing to lay down his life
for his people. He stands before Pilate, a powerful man of his
time, and humbly answers his questions. He speaks the truth and is
true to Himself.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, many of us are deeply
grateful for the abundance in our life. On Thanksgiving Day, family
and friends gather to celebrate that abundance and to thank God.
The word Eucharist means "thanksgiving". What better way to begin
our day of celebrating than to go to Mass to thank God for His
As followers of Jesus, we become more sensitive to those who do
not have an abundance. There are many in our own
neighborhoods. Each of us is moved in different ways by those who
live on the margins of society. Jesus, our King, is a kindly
shepherd who invites us to reach out to those persons who
experience such suffering.
May God bless your families in a special way at this time of
year! Let us pray for one another and for those who are
in special need of our prayer and support.
posted on: Thursday, November 12, 2015 by: renaebauer
As the church year concludes where have you
seen God's wealth?
by Sister Carolyn Zahringer
The responsorial psalm this weekend is a small portion of Psalm
16. The refrain is "You are my inheritance, O Lord", as though to
say our 'wealth' is the Lord, which is true! The line in the
psalm text that caught my eye is: "You will show me the path to
life ..." This is a promising statement to both ponder and
unpack. A responsorial psalm is a scriptural response and an
invitation to hear and respond more deeply to God's life-giving
We are at the mid-point of the final month of the Church year.
We might ask ourselves:
- What have we gathered as the wealth or riches this year?
- Where has the Lord's path led us, and where is it leading us in
the remaining weeks?
Advent will soon arrive signaling a new beginning. Life is a
constant ebb and flow of beginnings and endings.
- How shall we end this liturgical year?
- Where is God's grace drawing you and me in order to make it an
"Alleluia Amen" closure?
- What are the words we heard/experienced this year that
posted on: Thursday, November 05, 2015 by: renaebauer
To be 'poor in spirit' we acknowledge the
only richness -- found in God
"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven" are the words we will sing for Sunday's Gospel
- Is it difficult or humbling to hear Jesus say that regardless
of our status in life we really have nothing to offer God that He
hasn't already provided to us to share?
- Is it easier to imagine God's extravagant love when we give
thanks for the gift of salvation, freely given to each of us
because of Jesus' sacrifice?
posted on: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by: renaebauer
All Saints -- both known and unknown -- loved
as instructed by Jesus
by Sister Laura Zelten
How many holy men and woman are recognized as saints by the
Catholic Church? To answer this question I went to Google, after
all we live in the digital age. According to the Catholic media
the Catholic Church recognizes 12,304 saints -- people who lived
with extraordinary virtue.
We tend to think of the saints as perfect and pious people. We
picture them gazing into the heavens with halos above their heads.
Actually, they are men and women just like us, who lived ordinary
lives and made mistakes. What makes them saints is their unwavering
love of God and God's people. Yes, there are more than 12,000
recognized saints, but there are probably as many if not more
"saints" whose names we might never know, people who have blessed
others by living the Gospel to the fullest.
Sunday's Gospel reading invites us into the beatitudes, that
wonderful litany of "Blessed are." In the beatitudes, holiness is
equated with being poor in spirit, meek, mourning, hungering for
righteousness, merciful, and clean of heart. Jesus is about
reaching people's hearts, giving them reasons for hope and joy, and
encouraging true and lasting conversion. Saints know this. They are
women and men whose lives flow seamlessly from prayer to action. We
need to hear their stories and be inspired by their witness. We
need our saints.
Which saints, past or present, inspire you?
posted on: Thursday, October 22, 2015 by: renaebauer
'I want to see' God's love and I want others
to see God's love in me
by Sister Paulette Hupfauf
The opening antiphon sets a positive tone for today's
scriptures: "Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice!" Then the
responsorial Psalm continues, "The Lord has done great things for
us, we are filled with joy." In the Gospel we hear of Bartimaeus, a
blind man who sat by the roadside begging. Each of us is blind at
times, not visually but we are blind (that is, closed) to God's
great love and care for us. Jesus's response to Bartimaeus is,
"What do you want me to do for you?" To which Bartimeaus says, "I
want to see." Let us pray daily this week that we may see and hear
what God is calling us to do, to show his love and care to
posted on: Thursday, October 15, 2015 by: renaebauer
Blunders along the path to the 'throne of
grace' are opportunities to grow
by Sister Mary Kabat
Can you picture it? Family or friends are gathered and someone
says something that sparks tension. In the moment of quiet that
follows, you wonder if a debate or argument will follow. Read
Sunday's Gospel and picture the scene of Jesus with his Apostles as
James and John ask for seats to his right and left in the heaven,
no less. Rather than throwing up his hands at another apostolic
blunder, Jesus turns the tense moment into a teachable one: Whoever
wishes to be great must be the servant, whoever wishes to come
first must be the slave. Why? Because we follow Jesus and are
to do as he did.
Think of those moments in your life that Jesus has turned into
teachable moments for you, helping you to know his truth and walk
his way and share his life more fully. Be grateful for those
moments and pray for openness to more. May our prayer be the words
we hear this Sunday from the Letter to the Hebrews (4:16) - "Let us
confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to
find grace for timely help."
posted on: Monday, October 05, 2015 by: renaebauer
With our sights set on heaven let us listen
to Jesus' words
A man who observes God's Commandments asks Jesus if he, the man,
will inherit God's Kingdom. Jesus tells him and us that the
treasures of this world are not the treasures of heaven.
- Do I know and practice the Ten Commandments?
- Have I generously shared with others what God has entrusted to
posted on: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by: renaebauer
Pope: St. Francis helps us hear & see
God's goodness through nature
by Sister Rose Jochmann
Sunday, Oct. 4, is a special day for us Franciscans. It is
the Feast of our community's patron, St. Francis of Assisi.
Appropriately, this Sunday's first reading is from the Book of
Genesis which states, "the Lord God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air ..." St. Francis
had a great love and care for all creation. He saw creation as
God's gift to us.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, recognizes St. Francis' love and
care for creation in his recent encyclical letter, Laudato
Si. The first line of this letter is "Praise to you, my Lord"
which is taken from St. Francis' Canticle of Creatures. Pope
Francis dedicates a section of chapter 1 to St. Francis of
Assisi. He states, "Saint Francis, faithful to Scripture,
invites us to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks
to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness."
In his letter, Pope Francis challenges us in many ways including
saving natural resources, evaluating whether we are compulsive
consumers, and learning how climate change affects the poor.
- How can I show a greater concern and respect for God's gift of
earth and all creation?
- In what ways can I reuse rather than buy new and "throw away"
- Am I planning to read Pope Francis' letter, Laudato
Si, found at your local bookstore, on
Amazon, etc. NOTE: it is very easy to read!
posted on: Thursday, September 24, 2015 by: renaebauer
Our lives are an opportunity to say 'thank
you' for God's goodness
by Sister Francis Bangert
"Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets. Would that
the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all!" (Nm 11:29)
From the time of Moses in the Old Testament to the time of James
and Mark in the New Testament, we hear the timeless message.
Avoid thoughts, words and actions that flow from a heart that is
jealous, intolerant, unjust, arrogant and greedy, blocking the work
of the Spirit. Be like the Holy One who, though just, also pours
out loving kindness on those "who have their heart in the right
- In my family/home, in my workplace or school, in my social
life, how do I build walls that create suspicion, separation and
- How do I intentionally search for ways that reach out, pardon,
include and understand the other?
- Am I as eager to forgive and show loving kindness to the other
as the Spirit of Love does for me?
"For the love of God is broader than the measures of
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind
If our love were but more simple we should take him at his
And our lives would be thanksgiving for the goodness of our
("There's a Wideness in God's Mercy," verse