Reflection for Jan. 20, 2019

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Cholewinski Elise Sr 2016-001-web -100x 150
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Whether from Nazareth, Green Bay or Timbuktu, we can exceed our expectations when we walk with Jesus

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

Mike was a quiet fifth-grade boy who had difficulty with reading and writing. As the time for him to give his report in language class was approaching, I was feeling rather nervous for him, knowing he probably would be struggling just to read his own writing. When his turn actually arrived, he walked to the front of the classroom with his paper and three posters. He held his paper at his side. Mike gave the most interesting report of the entire class. He lived on a farm, and without even looking at his paper but referring to pictures he had drawn, he explained in detail the various pieces of equipment on his parents’ farm. How different the report was from my own expectations!

In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear the story of Jesus’ first miracle, his changing water into wine at the wedding feast. The wedding took place in Cana in Galilee, and almost everyone in the town would have been there. So who would have been included? Probably a man by the name of Nathaniel, who lived in Cana.  What do we know about him? He had recently made the smart remark, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Now he was at the wedding, watching Jesus of Nazareth perform an astounding miracle. Nathaniel must have returned home that day evaluating and questioning his own expectations of Jesus.

Reflection questions
  1. What are my expectations of Jesus of Nazareth?  Do I believe he can take the stagnant waters of my life and refashion them into the life-giving wine of compassion and mercy?
  2. And what are my expectations of myself? Do I believe I can leave the confines of my “Nazareth” and bring renewed energy and joy to a world that seems to have six empty jars, waiting to be filled?

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CommentBubbleThank you! -- Cheryl

CommentBubble"WoW!" This is a "WoW!" story: "Wonder of Wonders!" :) "WoW!" can also stand for "Women of Wisdom," or "Women of Wonders!" :) I am sharing it with others! Very beautiful; very meaningful for our lives. Thank you for sharing it, Sr. Elise. -- Linda

CommentBubbleThe reflection on the wedding in Cana touched my heart & was just what I needed this morning! I’m going to try & fill some jars right now -- Kathy

CommentBubbleThanks for your message on Cana and that 5th Grader. Again, I believe good comes out of so many things. I’ve been told I’m eternally optimistic and I will remain that way. Good comes out of so many people and events in our would we just have to be open to them and not listen to the nay sayers.

CommentBubbleI have no doubt what Jesus can do; my question is can I be strong enough to do what Jesus wants me to do. I try to surrender but sure I don't always live up to that. -- Rheda

CommentBubbleThanks, Sr. Elise, for new images on Jesus’s first miracle. Thought-provoking questions regarding “can anything good come from” attitude of judgment, pride, cynicism in my life toward others. Also, how many “jars” can I fill with mercy and compassion. As I ‘m receiving chemotherapy, I realize a “kind uplifting word and action “ helps hope beget hope. Thanks -- Sr. Anne, osf