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.




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?




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?




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.



Reflection for Dec. 21, 2014

posted on: Thursday, December 18, 2014 by: renaebauer

Rejoice! Jesus is with us -- always!


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by Sister Rose Jochmann

Can you believe it? Christmas is just a few days away!  How is your Advent preparation going? Have you had some time to remember what the season is about?  

Christmas is the culmination of our Advent preparation. We celebrate that Jesus, the Son of God, came to live among us, to take on our humanness. That means Jesus knows our human suffering, our human pain, our challenges with relationships. But, Jesus also knows our human joy, our human happiness, and the beauty of relationships. More than that, at Christmas we celebrate that Jesus continues to live with each of us. Jesus promised us, as recorded in Matthew's Gospel, that he will be with us always, until the end of time.

So, as you finish your preparations for Christmas, don't let yourself get stressed and anxious.  Remember that the Lord is near -- the Lord is with you. Rejoice!  Bring that good news to all those you meet on Christmas and throughout the Christmas season.



Reflection for Dec. 14, 2014

posted on: Thursday, December 11, 2014 by: renaebauer

How to 'rejoice always' -- even during difficult times


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by Sister Madonna Swintkoske

In the letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, he tells us to "Rejoice always." As we hear the news and talk with others, it may seem impossible to rejoice, because we hear about riots, killings, war, abuse, sickness, death.  

To rejoice always does not necessarily mean to feel happy; but more finding our source of joy and expressing thanks.  Today we rejoice in preparation for Christ who is both coming again and is already here among us.  To find our source of joy is to find God in our lives, to rejoice in God's love and to place our hope in Him.

In all the struggles and stress that we encounter it helps that we accompany each other, helping one another.  Rejoicing is something we do by reaching out to each other. In the Gospel John the Baptist identifies Jesus as the Messiah, the one anointed by the Spirit, who brings glad tidings to the poor, heals the brokenhearted and brings liberty to captives.  We have reason to rejoice -- The Lord is near!



Reflection for Dec. 7, 2014

posted on: Thursday, December 04, 2014 by: renaebauer

Do you hear what I hear? Prophets call us to get ready for Jesus


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by Sister Mary Ellen Lowney

It is my privilege to reflect with you on the readings for the Second Sunday of Advent. I find it helps to have a setting for the readings. Today the first reading is from Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet. The second is from Peter -- New Testament. The Gospel according to Mark is about John the Baptist and his message to us.

Isaiah firmly believed the Word of God at the time of the fall of Adam and Eve when he said, "I will send the promised one, the Messiah." What is God saying to you and me about proclaiming the Word of God during this Advent season? To paraphrase Isaiah, "Speak tenderly, give comfort, cry out the Good News."

St. Peter says, "With God there is no time," an often repeated statement. How do I control my time? Do I hoard my time or do I easily give my time to those in need? Do I spend time in prayer and in providing for family and neighbor and in thanksgiving for all that is?

Mark's Gospel announces that Jesus, the Messiah, is here, and his cousin John urges us to change those ways that distance us from Jesus. Let's you and I ask for the grace to listen carefully to the words of God proclaimed in the Gospel.

I'm searching to know my areas for repentance. How about you?

Thank you kindly and a Blessed Christmas!



Reflection for Nov. 30, 2014

posted on: Thursday, November 20, 2014 by: renaebauer

Be watchful! Remain alert, for Jesus is among us!


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by Sister Sally Ann Brickner

Early Christians experienced sadness after Christ's Ascension, and longed for Him to reappear in all His glory. They remembered Christ's promise to return and anticipated that His Second Coming was imminent. Surely it would happen in their lifetime, and therefore they watched and waited eagerly.

Today, many people believe that wars, natural disasters, diseases and other catastrophes fulfill certain prophesies about the End Time and Jesus's Second Coming. Like the early disciples they expect that Christ will soon reappear, perhaps even within their lifetime.

Jesus does invite us to be watchful, to be alert to His manifestation. However, we know that His coming is not a future event but an ever-present reality. Jesus is both within and among us even though He hides His face from us. During this time of Advent we "wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:7). Will we see Him disguised in those who are poor, who are hungry, who are suffering, who are ignorant, whom we consider to be our enemies? We need to be attentive, watchful, and alert for Christ who is among us even now.


"Grant your faithful, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at His coming." (from the collect for the 1st Sunday of Advent. ©2010 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.)


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