Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Jesus invites us today to take, eat and
Gaze upon the image below for a few minutes. Then consider one
or each reflective question.
- Jesus took time from his ministry to enter into Passover. Do
- How do I do God's work of creating abundance in times or places
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.
- 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
- The second reading describes Jesus as once rich but became poor
for us. Do you see yourself as rich because of your faith?
- 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
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Great Expectations: We hear Christ better
when we set aside our assumptions
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
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
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
- 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?
- 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?
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
by 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."