Weekly Reflections

Reflection for April 26, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Good Shepherd always cares for His flock

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

Reflective questions:

  1. When have I heard the Good Shepherd call to me? How did I respond?
  2. 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?
  3. 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 me?

2015-04-26 Good Shepherd

 

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Reflection for Oct. 19, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Though hidden, God comforts and loves us each day

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by Sister Mary Kabat

Have you had those experiences when for no reason at all you remember something important you had forgotten, or you run into an old friend you haven't seen in a long time and he/she says something you needed to hear, or you hear a song on the car radio that resonates with your life and brings a tear to your eye or a smile to your heart?

If you think such moments are random or purely by chance, take some time with the first reading for this Sunday from the Prophet Isaiah 45:4,6.

I, the Lord, have helped you, called you, encouraged you, rescued you, loved you ... though you knew me not.

I believe God loves us beyond our comprehension and is near and ready to give help or comfort whether we ask for it or not. Much of the time we go through life unaware or weighed down by troubles and sorrow. Let us walk through this day with a heightened awareness that our God is with us and is blessing us with good from "the rising to the setting of the sun."

 

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Reflection for Jan. 19, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jesus is the new light and lamb for all nations

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"Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." -- John 1:29
"I will make you a light to the nations." -- Isaiah 49:6

by Sister Charlene Hockers

We just completed the Christmas season and celebrated the Baptism of Jesus, and now we move into Ordinary Time. But John the Baptist is still at the forefront of today's Gospel. As John sees Jesus coming toward him, he proclaims Jesus to be the Lamb of God. Those words are so familiar to us from the liturgy everyday, but how do we live that statement in our own life? The Lamb comes to us in a gentle, simple way, opening our hearts to people with a breath of peace. He breaks down the walls of fear, aggression, violence and sin. We can grow in the spirit of love if we allow Him to come into the sacred space within us. John the Baptist is calling people to be attentive to the quiet voice and presence of Jesus. We are called to be gentle followers of the Lamb.

John also admitted, "I did not know Him." Do we know Jesus? The Holy Spirit invites us to see Jesus by opening our eyes and our hearts. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus each morning.

In the reading from Isaiah we hear, "I will make you a light to the nations." Those nations can be far and wide, but we can be a light to the far reaches of the human spirit as well. How aware are we of the lonely, desperate, the rejected, the hopeless and the poor? I can be the light of Christ by making Jesus known to others through my quiet voice and constant presence of Jesus in my life.

Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, grant us peace.

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Reflection for Oct. 27, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Prayer tip -- Remember how much God loves you

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by Sister Madonna Swintkoske

The Gospel for this Sunday is a story of two individuals, a Pharisee and a tax collector, who went to the temple to pray.  There was a difference in their prayer.  The difference was in their attitude and in their focus.

The Pharisee was focused on himself.  God was not the center of his prayer.  He reminded God of all that he (the Pharisee) did for God. "I fast twice a week and I pay tithes on my whole income."  He forgot that God's love is the source of all.  He did not need to be pious and devout and loving to win God's love. He was to be pious, devout and loving because God already loved him.

The tax collector understood this. He left the initiative to God. "Have mercy on me." It all starts with God and the love God has for all of us.

Questions for reflection:
  1. How do you understand God's love?
  2. Have you ever thought you needed to earn God's love?
  3. Who helped you to know you were unconditionally loved by God?

Celebrating the 'Year of Faith'

Moral Life -- Embrace Poverty of Spirit

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About this series
DID YOU KNOW: The first Three Commandments concern love and fidelity to God, while the other seven speak of love and forgiveness of neighbor as an expression of God's love.

Chapter 34, US Catholic Catechism for Adults

You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
Tenth Commandment

by Sister Mary Kabat

The Tenth Commandment - You shall not covet your neighbor's goods - completes the Ninth Commandment by focusing on the intentions of the heart. While we all need to acquire earthly goods for the care and well-being of ourselves and our families, there are forces that motivate us to become overly attached to money and possessions.  Greed and envy can become rooted in our hearts.  The desire for what another has or to have more and more possessions becomes our life goal.  

Living the Tenth Commandment brings us to trust in the providence of God.  In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us that poverty of spirit enables us to inherit the Kingdom of God.  The commandment calls us to a healthy detachment from material things and a generosity of heart.  It enables us to adopt a simplicity of life, a love for the poor, a care for creation and a witness to justice and peace in the world.

"For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."

Mt 6:19-21

 

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Reflection for Jan. 22, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Simonich_Lynne-Marie_Sr_2012-100pxby Sister Lynne Marie Simonich

Many commercials we hear tell us to "Hurry - it's the biggest sale of the season!"  Remember the news reports before Christmas of shoppers nearly breaking down the doors of stores to get those last-minute deals?  What about the mobs of people stepping over each other to get that great bargain?  They were in a hurry -- they wanted the best for less.

Our three Scripture readings for this Third Sunday in Ordinary Time have a sense of urgency.  Jonah tells the people of Nineveh that God has told him, "Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed."  St. Paul reminds the people of Corinth and us that "the world in its present form is passing away."  In Mark's Gospel, Jesus calls his first disciples telling them, "The kingdom of God is at hand."  There is no time to waste. Jonah, Paul and Jesus want us to "hurry" -- not for low prices or big sales -- but to answer God's call inviting us to change our hearts and bring God's love into the world by our actions of compassion and joy.  The cost for us?  Placing our minds, hearts and souls into the hands of our God.

There's no "money back guaranteed" but there is the promise of our God's continual love and grace that is with us as we answer God's call each day.

Will you hurry to answer God's call?

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Reflection for Nov. 6, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cholewinski_Elise_Sr_2012-100pxby Sister Elise Cholewinski

Early one Sunday afternoon, as I was getting out of the pool at the "Y", I had an opportunity to chat briefly with the lifeguard.  He was a bit frustrated.  His shift was over and he was anxious to get home for the Packer game, but his replacement was not there to relieve him of his responsibilities.  It can indeed be very frustrating when people are not responsible, when they don't show up, when they expect someone else to cover for them.

This is the situation in the parable about the ten virgins that Jesus tells in today's Gospel.  Five virgins were ready; they had enough oil for their lamps.  The other five didn't bring enough oil and expected the others to rescue them.  When the bridegroom arrived, they had disappeared from the scene, off to obtain the oil for their lamps.  They had missed the moment.

As we now move toward the conclusion of the liturgical year, it might do us well to take a personal inventory.  In what ways have we stalled in our relationship with God?  In what ways have we prevented the light of the Holy Spirit from burning brightly within us?  In striving to live our faith, when have we expected others to cover for us and take on our responsibilities?  Where were we when Jesus was coming to meet us?

In the final analysis, how eager and excited are we to meet Him Who is the Bridegroom?

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