Thursday, September 10, 2015
Authentic discipleship is to surrender what
is valued here for what is valued by God
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
- Who is Jesus for me?
- How do I follow?
Thursday, April 30, 2015
With whom do you eat bread?
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
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
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
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
Reflection question: In what way do I need my faith
'Year of Faith'
Moral Life -- Tell the Truth
|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.
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
Examine me, Lord, and test me; search my heart and mind. Your
mercy is before my eyes; I walk guided by your faithfulness.
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
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.
Friday, September 23, 2011
by 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
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.