Thursday, April 28, 2016
The main thing: 'Whoever loves me will keep my word'
by Sister Paulette Hupfauf
In the early Church, just as in our time, there was confusion about what is required to be a Catholic (Christian). Paul, Barnabas and the apostles were working with diverse people from Antioch, Syria and Cilicia of Gentile origin. It was a time of transition. What were they to teach when Jesus was no longer with them?
The Gospel of John says, "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them. ... If you love me, keep my commandments. ... Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid."
So as the Entrance Antiphon says, "Proclaim a joyful sound and let it be heard." May our lives proclaim a joyful sound as we keep the commandments.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Let go and grow: Change can be a catalyst in our faith life
by Sister Jane Riha
The beauty of Spring in Wisconsin is slowly emerging. We are in a time of transition and transformation. With hopeful hearts we look forward to the colors, new life, and the warmth of sunshine. Transition is a normal part of our personal lives. Some transitions may seem easier because they are preceded by discernment and specific decisions. Other transitions in our life come upon us suddenly. We may be taken by surprise due to the death of a loved one, a divorce, choices made by children, and so on.
I came across this reflection on ” Letting Go”, author unknown. The following are some excerpts from it. Wherever we may find ourselves at this point of life, there may be some inspiration here.
To “let go” does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.
To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live the future.
To “let go” is to fear less and love more.
May the Risen Lord fill your hearts with joy, peace, and love!
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Faith helps us tune into the Good Shepherd's mission for us
by Sister Laura Zelten
“My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27-30)
On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Sunday’s Gospel presents to us one of the deepest mysteries of the human spirit: Faith. We follow Jesus because we believe He is the Son of God, that He is the Good Shepherd. The image of the shepherd conveys to us that Jesus cares for His flock and safeguards it from harm. In return, the flock is loyal or faithful to the shepherd. The sheep trust the shepherd.
We know Jesus loves us and wants us to know eternal life with God. Are we listening to His voice? Are we answering His call?
Thursday, April 07, 2016
Infinite. Immeasurable. Unending. That's Christ's love for us.
Three times Peter denies Jesus before Jesus is crucified. Three times the Risen Christ asks Peter, “Do you love me?” to which Peter says, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
- Even though his dear friend denies Him, Jesus forgives Peter and continues to entrust him with sharing the Good News. Do I have faith in Christ’s capacity to forgive me?
- When I have been forgiven by others, have I forgiven myself, too? Whom should I forgive?
- Each day, how do I answer Christ’s question, “Do you love me?”
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Our work is with the Doubting Thomases of today
by Sister Agnes Fischer
“We have seen the Lord!”
That’s what the disciples said but Thomas did not believe them. So how can we get people today to believe, people who believe only what they see and touch?
Do the “Little Toms” in our own home see and hear us praying and sharing our faith with them? Does the “Thomas Family” next door know us as friendly and caring neighbors? For the “Widow Thomas” down the street, is her sidewalk shoveled, her lawn mowed, her windows washed? Does she have a ride to church or to the store or doctor? “Thomas” the paper boy, the mail carrier, the janitor: Do we know them by name and have a friendly word for them?
All of these, much more than Thomas the Apostle, want and need to see and touch Jesus in us.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Do you hear what I hear? Jesus invites us to love Him & others
by Sister Carolyn Zahringer
Easter of itself is very good news for people of faith. Do we hear it and experience it as it was proclaimed and experienced by the witnesses of the Easter event centuries ago at the tomb, along the walk to Emmaus, at the breaking of the bread, in the upper room, in the surprise breakfast on the shore?
Is our Easter a celebration of a faith-filled journey through Lent, with possibly a few slips along the way? Is there a need for the Lord to ask us, “Do you love me”? “Feed my sheep."
The world is filled with sheep needing to be fed. How will we be messengers and providers of “good news” to those in need? Good news can come in the form of a simple smile, a bowl of soup, an encouraging note sent, a visit made.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Let the holy anthems rise ... Let our hearts and voices sing out! We’ve got 50 days to celebrate the Easter Season!!
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Endless love: Jesus shows us how to love God, friend, stranger & enemy
by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich
Throughout his life Jesus opened his arms and heart in compassion, forgiveness, healing and love. He embraced life to the fullest and walked a path of surrender to God. Even as Jesus walked his final journey he continued to open his heart to those who surrounded him – Simon, who helped carry his cross; the women of Jerusalem, who mourned for him; the criminals hanging on the crosses on either side of him; those who stood by him at the foot of the cross. He never stopped thinking about and caring for others.
Upon the cross, those loving, caring arms surrendered totally to God – embracing all of life, all of our fears, all of our sins, and all of our hearts. We know that Jesus’ death was not the end but the beginning of new life giving all of us a glimpse of the glory awaiting us.
Darkness becomes light; pain is gone; joy is beyond measure.
- How will you share in the journey of Jesus during this Holy Week?
- Who helps you carry your cross? Who needs your help?
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Misery and mercy: Conversion is always an option
by Sister Annette Koss
Sunday's readings remind us that behavior is the window of the heart. The woman was forgiven much because she was cloaked in humility and sorrow. For the Pharisees, conversion was not possible because they were cloaked with self-righteousness and judgment. Conversion meant that their judgment had to cease; they would have to own their sin.
Jesus was left alone with the woman. Only two were left, misery and mercy. Misery met mercy; the women left the encounter a new creation in Christ. The woman was purified; she expected judgment but received enlightenment.
Sunday's liturgy reminds us that conversion is at the heart of it all; conversion is a lifelong process of transformation. We are converted to a God who cares for the poor, the lost and the broken, the suffering, the poor and rejected and all who are marginalized, despised or forsaken.
We are converted to a God who, in turn, asks that we do no less. This conversion is the very heart of justice.
Thursday, March 03, 2016
All of us can relate to someone in the story of the Prodigal Son
In Sunday’s Gospel, the tax collectors and sinners were listening to Jesus while the Pharisees were complaining about the company Jesus was keeping. In response, Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son.
- In the parable, who represents the tax collectors and sinners? Who symbolizes the Pharisees? Who represents God?
- In this Year of Mercy, to whom can I give my mercy and possibly my unreciprocated love?
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Like an optimistic gardener, God is always working on us
"For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?" (The gardener said to the owner,) "Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down." -- Luke 13:6-9
by Sister Renee Delvaux
Have you ever attempted to revive an "almost dead" potted plant? You pamper it along with new soil, plant food, proper watering, just the right sunlight. Yes, you give the plant a boost and a second chance. As plant lovers suggest, you then talk to it and wait … patiently!
God is truly the gardener in our lives. He is constantly pruning, watering, and fertilizing us so we can produce fruit. He talks to us in many subtle and not so subtle ways! He never gives up on us, never condemns or rejects us. Even with all of our weakness and failures, he still works in us to make us more fruitful. God is filled with the ultimate compassion and love for us.
- What is my response to God's tender loving care for me? Do I open my heart to humbly receive His love?
- Being filled with God's unconditional love how do I extend that same compassion, forgiveness, and love to others, especially during Lent?