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.
posted on: Thursday, December 18, 2014 by: renaebauer
Rejoice! Jesus is with us -- always!
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
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
posted on: Thursday, December 11, 2014 by: renaebauer
How to 'rejoice always' -- even during
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!
posted on: Thursday, December 04, 2014 by: renaebauer
Do you hear what I hear? Prophets call us to
get ready for Jesus
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
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
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
Thank you kindly and a Blessed Christmas!
posted on: Thursday, November 20, 2014 by: renaebauer
Be watchful! Remain alert, for Jesus is among
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
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.)