Reflection for July 26, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by: renaebauer

Jesus invites us today to take, eat and share

Gaze upon the image below for a few minutes. Then consider one or each reflective question.

Reflective questions:

  1. Jesus took time from his ministry to enter into Passover. Do I?
  2. How do I do God's work of creating abundance in times or places of scarcity?

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Reflection for July 19, 2015

posted on: Thursday, July 16, 2015 by: renaebauer

Tired of giving? Jesus continued to give even when he wanted to rest

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by Sister Renee Delvaux

Can you remember a time when you were so very exhausted after a long day, being involved with many people and tasks, that you just needed a break?  Finally, about to sit down for a rest, someone called or found you and needed your help.  What was your response?

In the Gospel today we find Jesus and the apostles so involved in preaching and healing that they had no time to rest or even eat. Jesus invited them to get away to a quiet place to rest, but the crowds pursued them and even got to the place before Jesus and the apostles did.   Instead of being frustrated and angry with the crowds who followed, Jesus' "heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things" (Mk. 6:34).  Jesus was generous with his time, always open to the needs of others.

Although this Sunday is not officially called Good Shepherd Sunday, the message certainly is about being a good shepherd. As disciples of Jesus we are called to be good shepherds as he was. The Christian call is to a life of sacrifice for others, not counting the cost. It is a life of commitment and service with heart-felt love and concern for all of God's people.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd, thank you for your love especially shown in your ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Help us to be flexible and open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and generous in our response to the needs of others, putting aside our plans and giving without counting the cost.

 

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Reflection for July 12, 2015

posted on: Thursday, July 09, 2015 by: renaebauer

No GPS needed: Jesus' traveling instructions lead us to perfect love

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by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich

People traveling by plane these days know they need to prepare carefully for their journey. Summer travelers hoping to "camp out" must also be prepared for just about any emergency or visit from nature's residents.

In Sunday's Gospel, Jesus gives the Twelve some travel instructions for their ministry. He tells these ordinary people to "travel lightly" -- take a walking stick only -- no food, no extra clothes and no money! They did as he suggested and were able to bring God's healing to the sick and those in need.

Over 2,000 years later, Jesus continues to call ordinary people to travel with him. What would Jesus suggest we take along on this journey of love? The walking stick of faith, the tunic of compassion, and the joy and hope that nourishes body and soul will help us to travel lightly and follow the example of the Lord of Love.

As you reflect on your journey of love this week ask yourself:
  • Who supports me as I travel with Jesus?
  • Who do I support and how do I show that support?

 

 

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Reflection for July 5, 2015

posted on: Friday, June 26, 2015 by: renaebauer

Respond to the Holy Spirit's call even when questions prevade

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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 environment?

 

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Reflection for June 28, 2015

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.

Reflective questions:

  1. 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 death?
  2. The second reading describes Jesus as once rich but became poor for us. Do you see yourself as rich because of your faith?
  3. 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 loved one?

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Reflection for June 21, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 by: renaebauer

As Jesus calms the stormy seas he, too, calms life's rough waters

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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.

 

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Reflection for June 14, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, June 10, 2015 by: renaebauer

Even the smallest seed of faith can grow and great things

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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 one another.

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?

 

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Reflection for June 7, 2015

posted on: Thursday, June 04, 2015 by: renaebauer

Simple bread and wine seal God's covenant with us through Jesus

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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 (Lev 19:2). 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 Blood?
  • 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.

 

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Reflection for May 31, 2015

posted on: Thursday, May 28, 2015 by: renaebauer

Fix your heart on God for we are His heirs

We invite you to take a few minutes to gaze upon the image below. Then consider one or each reflective question.

Reflective questions:

  1. Keep God's commandment, says Moses to the people. Is God's law my law?
  2. The Holy Spirit leads us to God's great glory. Have I proclaimed this?
  3. "Go make disciples," Jesus instructs the faithful. Whom have I welcomed?

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Reflection for May 24, 2015

posted on: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 by: renaebauer

Pentecost nudges us to remember the Holy Spirit is with us

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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 everyone.

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.

 

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