posted on: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by: renaebauer
The Good Shepherd always cares for His
We invite you to take a few minutes and gaze upon the image
below. Consider one or each reflective question.
- When have I heard the Good Shepherd call to me? How did I
- Jesus says the Good Shepherd protects the sheep when danger
looms whereas the hired hand runs away. When have I been like the
hired hand? When have I been like the shepherd?
- Jesus says, "I have other sheep that do not belong to this
fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and
there will be one flock, one shepherd." What does this mean to
posted on: Thursday, April 16, 2015 by: renaebauer
Yesterday, today, forever: Jesus'
resurrection is part of God's loving plan
by Sister Mary Kabat
Alleluia! The celebration of Easter continues, and we
joyfully hear the stories of Easter proclaimed week by week.
Do you have a favorite -- Jesus with Mary Magdalene in the garden,
Jesus with the apostles in the locked upper room, or Jesus walking
with the disciples to Emmaus?
The Scripture readings this Sunday of Easter remind us that the
story of Easter is a definitive moment in God's great plan of
salvation. Peter's words from the Acts of the Apostles remind
us that our God is "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God
of Jacob, and the God of our fathers." (Acts 3:13) In the
Gospel, Jesus comforts and opens the minds of the disciples by
explaining "that everything written about me in the Law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." (Luke
As you reflect on the Easter stories, hear the fulfillment of
salvation history in the Resurrection of Jesus and the unfolding of
the resurrected life to this moment in our personal and communal
salvation story. Rejoice in God's plan of love that has been,
that is ongoing to this moment of time and look forward to one day
sharing fully in the resurrected life and fullness of God's
posted on: Thursday, April 09, 2015 by: renaebauer
When all hope appears to be gone, Jesus
by Sister Carolyn Zahringer
The setting for today's Gospel is the evening of the first day
of the week when the disciples (though not all) were
together in a locked room. Jesus has been put to death. Why
isn't Thomas with them? Do you wonder what he was doing? What was
he thinking? Whatever pushed him to be out "searching" in the
darkness of evening for "something"?
Jesus enters the locked room and stands in their midst. He
didn't knock to get their attention, he merely appears. What would
that have felt like to be there that evening? Jesus comes and
stands in the circle of their fear and wishes them peace.
Today is the second Sunday for us to celebrate the "EASTER"
event, we practice becoming brave to move out from behind our own
locked doors to celebrate the fact that Jesus is ALIVE! We are
surrounded by the love and mercy of God in the person and gift of
Jesus. Through Jesus' wounds we are healed and made whole -- a
miracle in time.
Jesus comes to visit us in our "Thomas" moments of questioning
and searching. In each Eucharistic moment, may we find the courage
and grace to utter with Thomas: "My Lord and My God."
posted on: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 by: renaebauer
Proclaim Alleluiah with 'great-fulness' this
by Sister Rose Marie Buscemi
Resurrection means ... the Breaking of Bread, sharing Christ's
life and learning to love one another.
Resurrection is ... God's gift of nature, the singing of birds,
the smell of green grass and colored flowers -- with warm sunshine
chasing the chill.
Resurrection means ... forgiveness and the ability to say, "I am
Resurrection is .. the joy of laughing children searching for
colored eggs, Easter baskets and family get-togethers.
Resurrection is ... God's love in friendships, a feeling of
togetherness and laughter shared.
Resurrection is ... that time to remember God has called each of
us by name.
Easter, the greatest Feast of all feasts, is a time to give
thanks and praise to God, for the glory of Christ's Resurrection.
With "great-fulness" for the gifts He has bestowed upon us, we say,
"Thank you, God!"
posted on: Thursday, March 19, 2015 by: renaebauer
Take a few minutes to gaze upon the image below. Hear the people
call out "Hosanna!" as they lay down their cloaks and palms for
Jesus as he enters Jerusalem.
- How have I prepared for Jesus this Easter and beyond?
- How have I shared His message of salvation with others?
posted on: Thursday, March 19, 2015 by: renaebauer
Dying and rising: Jesus models obedience to
God so that we may have salvation
by Sister Carolyn Zahringer
Raised in a Jewish family, Jesus was steeped in covenant
language. He probably read the Book of Jeremiah multiple times.
Jeremiah records a promise of a new covenant which will be written
upon the heart. There will no longer be a need to teach friends and
relatives HOW to know the Lord. (Jer. 31:33,34)
- What has happened to us that the covenant is NOT written deeply
on our hearts?
- Has it gotten stuck in our head as knowledge only, but not a
lived reality of the head and heart?
John's Gospel records Jesus' words for today: "... unless a
grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains just a grain
of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." Jn. 12:24
- Taking into account our personal age, how many cycles of dying
and bearing fruit have we experienced in our lifetime?
- Is now another planting cycle?
posted on: Thursday, March 12, 2015 by: renaebauer
Who prefers the dark? Stepping into the light
of Christ is a daily decision
"God so loved the world that he
gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life."
by Carla Schommer, Director of St. Francis Convent
John 3:16 is often seen on signs, on billboards, and as a
motivational or inspirational quote. It's a message about our
Christian faith. God loves us so much he brought us Jesus,
and by believing in Jesus we are given eternal life.
This scripture passage is also the opening verse before this
Sunday's Gospel. What does it really mean to believe in
Jesus? It's tempting to think that believing in Jesus is
by affirming the belief statements of the creed and agreeing to the
truths that Jesus existed and worked miracles and died and rose
from the dead. Accepting these truths are important but there
is much more to believing. Even on our best days we have
encounters with sin -- in choosing to do wrong and failing to do
In the Gospel, John shares a keen observation about human
sinfulness: Jesus is the light that has come into the world, but
people prefer the darkness.
We stay in the darkness and attempt to hide our sins, even from
God. We must come out of the darkness of our lives and into
the light of Jesus. Jesus came into the world to reveal our
sins so that they may be forgiven. This is Good News!
Jesus took our sins and lifted them up through the cross so that we
may be forgiven and have eternal life. If our hope is eternal
life, we need the revealing light of Jesus each day. To
believe in Jesus means nothing less than to make his self-offering
love part of our own lives through unselfish, thoughtful concern
for others. God has great love for us and shows us mercy that
posted on: Thursday, March 05, 2015 by: renaebauer
Great Expectations: We hear Christ better
when we set aside our assumptions
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
The refrain from Psalm 19 runs through all three readings for
this Third Sunday of Lent: "Lord, you have the words of
In the reading from the book of Exodus, we hear God's
life-giving words to Moses and to the people of Israel in the form
of the Ten Commandments.
While we tend to resist mandates and the limitations that
external laws place on us, these "words of life" are not really
coming from the outside. Instead, if we look carefully, each
commandment is an expression of a basic sense God has planted
within us. In order to be truly human and in healthy
relationships with others, we need to be trustworthy and generous,
to honor those who gave us life, and to respect the life and rights
of others. To violate these laws is not an action outside
ourselves, but it is to erode the very fiber of who we are.
Each time I act with less than integrity, I am less of the person
God created me to be.
In Paul's letter to the Corinthians, he notes that Jews and
Greeks alike are looking for words of life. The Jews asked for
signs that Jesus' message was truly a word that would bring them
life and Greeks sought words of wisdom to bring them life.
But because the words and signs Jesus used were different from
what people expected, they missed the life-giving message that
suffering and sacrifice have positive value in life. And so
Jesus' words became stumbling blocks for them.
In cleansing the Temple, Jesus gave both signs and words of
life. The old will be destroyed and God will no longer dwell
with us within a Temple building, but in the very person of
This Lent you and I also look for life-giving words. Open
minds and open hearts are needed on this journey so we don't miss
- What are the stumbling blocks (in life and work, and even in
the Church) that keep me from seeing and hearing God's call to a
more faith-filled life?
- Jesus drove out the merchants from the temple. What in my life
do I need to get rid of so that God might dwell more visibly and
powerfully within me?
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?