Weekly Reflections

Reflection for Sept. 13, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Authentic discipleship is to surrender what is valued here for what is valued by God

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by Sister Annette Koss

Mark is writing to his Christian community about the true Messiah and what it means to be a servant disciple. Messiahs were common and often political against Rome and the wealthy Jewish class that supported Rome. So, Jesus raised the question, "Who do you say that I am?"

Jesus lived in a climate of political unrest and social disharmony. He walked headlong into situations of confrontation. What was different is that Jesus chose the path of a non-violent servant. By being powerless, a new power emerged from within -- that of non-violent resistance. By taking this posture of non-violence, Jesus maintained his spiritual power and ransomed future victims from the same violence. To gain one's self is to put one's self at risk to interrupt the flow of violence.

This is a threshold moment in Mark's Gospel. The disciples slowly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and the true identity of Jesus is slowly revealed. Jesus is not a political messiah but a non-violent servant who reveals what it means to be a disciple.

In the remainder of the Gospel, Mark defines the way of discipleship -- to deny oneself, to take up the cross, and follow Jesus.

Reflection questions:
  1. Who is Jesus for me?
  2. How do I follow?



Reflection for May 3, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

With whom do you eat bread?

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by Sister Agnes Fischer

In Sunday's second reading St. John reminds us to love one another, not in words only but in deeds. We can practice that love by dedicating a little of our time to accompany someone in need. "Accompany" comes from the Latin "eat bread together". The bread might be hard and bitter or soft and delicious, but either way it should be eaten in fraternity. "Accompany" indicates a good heart and a great spirit. "Accompany" may mean:

  • Drive a sick person to the doctor -- and stay with her
  • Invite a friend to church
  • Visit a senior who is homebound or hospitalized
  • Offer solidarity to an unemployed acquaintance
  • Lend a hand to someone blind or incapacitated
  • Give aid (with a smile) to a homeless man
  • Invite a lonely person to dinner
  • Attend the wake of a co-worker's relative

Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

(from the collect for the 5th Sunday of Easter. ©2010 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.)



Reflection for Oct. 6, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In the midst of life's struggles, God provides strength and wisdom


by Sister Agnes Fischer

"Lord, increase our faith" because we are no more than servants:

In the midst of so much hardship, help us remember that you feed the birds who don't plant or harvest, and clothe the grass which doesn't spin or weave.

In the midst of sickness, humiliation and grief, help us remember that you told us your burden is light.

In the midst of problems with son, daughter or spouse, help us remember that you promised to be with us always.

In the midst of this monotonous daily workload, help us remember the honest carpenter's trade you plied.

In the midst of all the commercial hype, help us remember that you are more worthy of our confidence than any material possession.

Reflection question: In what way do I need my faith strengthened today?


Celebrating the 'Year of Faith'

Moral Life -- Tell the Truth


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 32, US Catholic Catechism for Adults

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Eighth Commandment

by Sister Laura Zelten

God is the source of all truth.  Christ Jesus not only teaches the truth, he speaks of himself saying, "I am the truth" (Jn. 14:6). The Eighth Commandment urges us to tell the truth and to avoid lies in all forms. We are to be truthful in our words and actions. Any misrepresentation of the truth is a violation of this commandment.

Examine me, Lord, and test me; search my heart and mind. Your mercy is  before my eyes; I walk guided by your faithfulness. Psalm 26:2-3



Reflection for Oct. 23, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


by Sister Carlotta Ullmer

This Sunday's celebration invites us to hear Jesus repeat, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Truly, we hear, gain knowledge, with our ears and with our eyes.  Don't actions speak louder than words?  Can our actions and omissions clearly portray our whole-hearted love of God?

One's compassionate demeanor can reflect love of neighbor:

  • bake a bachelor's birthday cake
  • window shop with a curious thrifty one
  • telephone the lonely talkative widow
  • wash dishes at a parish fund-raising event
  • babysit a sick mother's children
  • take a single mother and children on a picnic
  • wash an arthritic person's windows

Hearing the cries of those on the margins motivates a passionate pursuit of justice by:

  • communicating with legislators
  • voting in all elections
  • protesting injustices
  • honest boycotting
  • signing worthy petitions

Yes, Lord Jesus, we want to hear you.

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Reflection for Oct. 2, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Simonich_Lynne-Marie_Sr_2012-100pxby Sister Lynne Marie Simonich

The Gospel for this 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time is the familiar story of the landowner who left his vineyard in the hands of some tenants while he went on a journey.  He turned everything over to them.  He had labored to prepare the land by planting the vines, building a hedge around the vineyard and constructing a wine press.  He left with a dream that this vineyard would produce much fruit.

The tenants had the obligation to care for what had been given to them.  However, they became greedy - they acted as if the vineyard was theirs.  They forgot that the vineyard and the fruit it produced did not belong to them - they were simply caretakers, stewards of what belonged to another. They let selfishness control their lives.

Our God has entrusted us with a vineyard - with opportunities and resources to help us bring about an abundance of good fruit - peace, joy, compassion and love.  How have we responded to God's trust in us?  How have we used the opportunities and resources that God has given us to be joyful servants to others?

As we draw near to the Feast of St. Francis we know that he was a true laborer in the vineyard of God's creation. Francis celebrated life believing he was a caretaker for the Lord. With his inspiration, may we remember that all good gifts come from our God.  May we cherish those gifts and produce the good fruits our frail world needs.