Weekly Reflections

Reflection for July 26, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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 June 28, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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 March 8, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Great Expectations: We hear Christ better when we set aside our assumptions

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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 everlasting life."

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 Jesus.

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 the message.

Reflection questions:
  1. 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?
  2. 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?

 

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Reflection for Jan. 29, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bangert_Fran_Sister_100pxby Sister Francis Bangert

In Mark's Gospel today, Jesus enters the synagogue to teach.  He knows who He is (One rooted in the love of the Trinity) and what His mission is ("I have come that you may have life and have it in abundance"). Clear identity and focused mission empower Him to teach with authority, to attract aching hearts with a new vision of life.  To give credence to the power of His words, Jesus then acts: "Come out of him" and the unclean spirit, now powerless in the face of Jesus, comes out of him. Mark gives no further details about this man, except that Jesus healed him.

When have you or I personally experienced or know someone "being held powerless"  by an addiction: perfectionism, alcoholism, workaholism, drugs, sex, gambling, food, or others. This "unclean spirit" controls us to such a degree that we are paralyzed and unable on our own to become free. It is only in turning to Jesus and reaching out to others (family, friends, recovery groups, counselor, spiritual director, confessor) that the power of love and compassionate listening can help us re-think, re-direct, re-cover and know the "abundant life" Jesus offers.

Through our Baptism, you and I -- the church -- are called in our daily lives and in ordinary ways to either reach out to others for help in our need, or be a life-giving instrument to those who are hurting. In this New Year, may we humbly receive the abundant life Jesus offers us and live in true freedom.

"If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts."

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