posted on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by: renaebauer
Transfiguration: Taking up one's cross is
part of the journey to glory
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
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
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
Peter preferred to build three tents and prolong the
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
to deny Jesus was to live but ultimately lose life,
to follow Jesus was to risk death but gain life.
- What has been a "mountaintop" experience for me?
- Did I want to stay there and prolong the experience?
- Did it lead me to service and maybe some suffering?
posted on: Thursday, February 19, 2015 by: renaebauer
Fasting, praying, almsgiving make room for
God in each of us
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?
- What is your heart seeking during this most holy season?
- What is God asking of you?
posted on: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 by: renaebauer
St. Paul: Our humble actions give glory to
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.
- How do my actions glorify God?
- This Lent, how will I bear my sufferings in a more Christ-like
- Whom do I need to love or forgive in order to better imitate
posted on: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 by: renaebauer
The healing hand of Jesus Christ is within
your reach and mine
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.
posted on: Thursday, January 29, 2015 by: renaebauer
Proclaiming the Good News requires prayer and
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
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
- When have you experienced someone who "taught with
- How did this impact you?
- Did this person have a "social-ethical message" that made a
posted on: Thursday, January 22, 2015 by: renaebauer
Jesus invites each of us to share in his
mission in a special way
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.
posted on: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 by: renaebauer
Here I am. You called me. I'm eager to do
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.
posted on: Thursday, January 08, 2015 by: renaebauer
'You are my beloved Son, with you I am well
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?
posted on: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 by: renaebauer
Does my 'star' guide people to Jesus
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
- 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
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?
posted on: Friday, December 19, 2014 by: renaebauer
Holy Family is a shining example of love,
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
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.