posted on: Friday, June 26, 2015 by: renaebauer
Respond to the Holy Spirit's call even when
by Sister Donna Koch
As I pondered the Scriptures for this Sunday my mind kept going
back to the recent encyclical of Pope Francis titled "
Laudato Si." His words regarding the environment challenge all
of us to make choices which will serve the needs of the poor and
provide for the needs of future generations. So often we can get
caught up in our own wants of the here and now and harden our
hearts to what is the decision for the greater good. We may also
feel that our actions can't make a difference so why bother.
The prophet Ezekiel in today's first reading is essentially told
to go where the Spirit sends him, speak God's word, and not worry
about what someone else thinks or does. Likewise, St. Paul is told
that no matter what difficulties come his way, "My grace is
sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."
Not everyone in today's Gospel agrees with Jesus. They question
the source of His wisdom, His teachings and His deeds. Even He is
amazed by their lack of faith, acceptance and understanding.
Each of us might ask: When have I experienced lack of acceptance
and understanding? How did I respond? What choices is the Spirit
calling me to make? How am I responding to the needs of others and
creation so that future generations may live in a healthy
posted on: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by: renaebauer
Jesus became poor to be among us and to give
us God's richness
When you have a few minutes, gaze upon the image below which
features one of the stained-glass windows at our Motherhouse. Then
consider one or each reflective question.
- In the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, we hear that God
formed us to be imperishable. How does this alter your outlook on
- The second reading describes Jesus as once rich but became poor
for us. Do you see yourself as rich because of your faith?
- In Mark's Gospel, Jesus instructs us not to be afraid but
rather to have faith, then he awakens a child who everyone believes
is dead. Does this comfort you as you reflect on the death of a
posted on: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by: renaebauer
As Jesus calms the stormy seas he, too, calms
life's rough waters
by Sister Madonna Swintkoske
Whenever I read this Scripture passage of Jesus calming the
storm, I think of the time our family walked to my grandmother's in
the winter. When we came to the river, I would not cross the
ice until my mother said, "Would your father take you anywhere that
would harm you?" My fears were calmed and I crossed to the
other side with my family.
The event of this Scripture account is not something which
happened once; it is something which still happens and which can
happen for us. In the presence of Jesus we can have peace
even in the wildest storms of life. Jesus gives us peace in
the storms of anxiety. Enemies of peace are worry and
fear. But Jesus tells us of a Father who will never cause us
to fear or worry. In the storm of anxiety Jesus brings us the
peace of a loving Father.
For Father's Day we thank God for our earthly fathers and for
God our heavenly Father.
posted on: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 by: renaebauer
Even the smallest seed of faith can grow and
by Sister Francis Bangert
In these early summer days when we are taken up with planting
seeds, watching mysterious growth and anticipating a fruitful
harvest, we hear in both the first and third Scripture readings for
Sunday how growing God's reign is like planting a new shoot or a
tiny mustard seed.
The Reign of God is living in the spiritual realities of truth,
justice, goodness, and love. And like a tiny mustard seed that
grows into maturity providing shelter for the birds of the sky, so
the growing Reign of God reaches out and welcomes all to live in
peace and harmony.
All of us are mustard seeds. With time and proper nourishment, we
grow into adulthood, living more fully in the truth of who we are,
living in right relationship with others and with Mother Earth,
living in the goodness that is God, living in the spirit of loving
As we tend our flowers and gardens these days, consider the
following: How am I using the precious gift of time to create
harmony through nonviolence in my relationships with others,
especially with those who look, speak, think differently than I?
With Mother Earth?
posted on: Thursday, June 04, 2015 by: renaebauer
Simple bread and wine seal God's covenant
with us through Jesus
by Sister Laura Zelten
Today's readings have two threads running through them: blood
and covenant. The first reading is a dramatic scene from Mount
Sinai. In the aftermath of the exodus, God summoned the people into
a covenant relationship: He would be their God, and they His
people. Being in God's special protection, Israel was called
through the commandments to proclaim God's holiness to the nations
This covenant relationship was sealed with the blood from
sacrificial animals -- "the blood of the covenant" -- symbolic of
the force and energy of life. Half of the blood was sprinkled on
the altar representing God's presence, and half on the people. God
and Israel were united and committed to one another.
In Mark's version of the Last Supper Jesus
breaks bread and pours out wine -- actions of his self-giving love
on the cross -- and offers them to his friends as his Body and
Blood. Jesus calls it "my blood of the covenant," echoing the words
of Moses. Through Christ's loving self-gift, God invites all of us
into a special relationship with Him, into "a new covenant." We are
to bear witness to God's holiness and love. As the end of today's
responsorial psalm suggests, we are to be a Eucharistic people in
the presence of all.
- Does my life reflect the joy of knowing and receiving the gift
of God's love poured forth through Jesus' offering of his Body and
- Do I appreciate that the Eucharist makes me part of a
community, the very body of Christ?
- Do I bring this gift to others?
Today is a wondrous feast. Let us celebrate it with joy and
thanksgiving (the meaning of the word "Eucharist"). And let us
share with others the amazing gift we receive every time we gather
to hear God's Word and come to the Lord's Table.
posted on: Thursday, May 28, 2015 by: renaebauer
Fix your heart on God for we are His
We invite you to take a few minutes to gaze upon the image
below. Then consider one or each reflective question.
- Keep God's commandment, says Moses to the people. Is God's law
- The Holy Spirit leads us to God's great glory. Have I
- "Go make disciples," Jesus instructs the faithful. Whom have I
posted on: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 by: renaebauer
Pentecost nudges us to remember the Holy
Spirit is with us
by Sister Rose Jochmann
Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. We have been
celebrating Easter for 50 days. What has life been like for you
during these six weeks?
Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the
disciples. Some call this feast the "Birth of the Church". Today's
first reading states that they were all filled with the Holy
Spirit. The Spirit enabled them to preach the mighty acts of God.
After the coming of the Holy Spirit the disciples had the courage
to preach about Jesus' mission, life, death and resurrection to
Do you depend on the Holy Spirit? I do. How do I recognize the
Spirit? When I receive little nudges to do or say something good,
when I get inspirations and new insights, I realize that they do
not come from me. I credit those inspirations to the Holy Spirit. I
like to think of the Holy Spirit as the "Wow" God.
So, this week, be open to the little nudges of the Holy Spirit
in your life. According to the alternate reading from Galatians,
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
posted on: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 by: renaebauer
'I shall not leave you orphans' is Jesus'
promise to us
by Sister Renee Delvaux
Did you know that the Ascension of the Lord is not one isolated
event, and that Jesus did not float up into the sky on a white
cloud? When we read in Acts that "a cloud took him from their
sight" and in Mark's Gospel that the "Lord Jesus ... was taken up
into heaven" it means that Jesus is totally and forever reunited
with His Father. In Scripture a cloud is very often a symbol for
God, so God the Father took His incarnate Son back to Himself.
The Ascension is a part of the Paschal mystery in which Jesus'
death, Resurrection, Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit
form one single movement. The Church highlights these events so we
can celebrate each profound mystery throughout the 50 days, from
Easter Sunday until Pentecost (which is next Sunday).
The beauty of Jesus' Ascension, His triumph and glorification is
that it is a promise that with Jesus we will have everlasting life
in God. Jesus promises that He has prepared a place for us and we
will join Him. Moreover, He assures us with "I shall not leave you
orphans" (Jn 14:3). He is with us now and we will join Him later.
What total gift, what self-giving love! What reason we have for
Alleluia! We rejoice in Jesus' Ascension! Alleluia!
posted on: Tuesday, May 05, 2015 by: renaebauer
Remembering and imitating God's profound love
is our call
by Sister Laura Zelten
On Sunday we will celebrate Mother's Day, so it is very fitting
to hear Jesus' commandment to love one another -- a love that is
like God's love. "As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love." (John 15:9)
We are called to be like God -- the God who has a passion for
love and justice, the God who is concerned for all of creation, the
God who has a special concern for the poor.
Throughout chapter 15, John calls our attention to the
fundamental theme of all the gospels: Love. Jesus invites us to
fall in love, to live in love. To know, taste and feel the
strength of love -- all in the midst of our humanity. Yes, just as
we are, Jesus calls us to love one another.
- Have you met a person who loves everybody in an all-inclusive
way? How has this person's love affected you?
- Have you experienced the love of a mother figure in your life?
How has this experience helped you to love other people?
posted on: Thursday, April 30, 2015 by: renaebauer
With whom do you eat bread?
by Sister Agnes Fischer
In Sunday's second reading St. John reminds us to love one
another, not in words only but in deeds. We can practice that love
by dedicating a little of our time to accompany someone in need.
"Accompany" comes from the Latin "eat bread together". The bread
might be hard and bitter or soft and delicious, but either way it
should be eaten in fraternity. "Accompany" indicates a good heart
and a great spirit. "Accompany" may mean:
- Drive a sick person to the doctor -- and stay with her
- Invite a friend to church
- Visit a senior who is homebound or hospitalized
- Offer solidarity to an unemployed acquaintance
- Lend a hand to someone blind or incapacitated
- Give aid (with a smile) to a homeless man
- Invite a lonely person to dinner
- Attend the wake of a co-worker's relative
Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal
Mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy
Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come
to the joys of life eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your
Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
(from the collect for the 5th Sunday of Easter. ©2010
International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All