by Sister Angela Palm
We had a hickory tree but it was dying so my father cut it down. From the stump came a new shoot, hope for the future. The possibility of new life coming from something imperfect or dead came to mind after reflecting this Sunday's readings.
Isaiah 6:1-8 -- In the temple Isaiah says, "Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips!" His sin is purged by an angel with a burning coal. His old self was cut away, leaving "a stump." The Lord calls him to be a prophet, a hope for the future. He responds, "Here I am."
When have you been pruned? How did the experience strengthen your faith?
1 Corinthians 15: 1-11 -- Paul says "he's unfit to be an apostle" since he persecuted the church. Going deeper he preaches the then-controversial message of the bodily resurrection of Jesus and hope for all who believe will also rise.
How has admission of your sin brought a new shoot in your life?
Luke 5:1-11 -- Simon Peter and the other fishermen labored all night but caught nothing. When Jesus instructs them to drop their nets back in the water they obey. Their harvest is abundant. Amazed at the great catch, Simon Peter confesses his sinfulness, to which Jesus responds, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."
Jesus ministers to outcasts and sinners. To whom are you sent?
chapter 9, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Mary Kabat
Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told his Apostles, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses ... to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) This is the same Holy Spirit and mission of Christ we receive at our Baptism, Confirmation and at the end of every Mass.
The Church names 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. What fruits of the Holy Spirit do you recognize in yourself and what fruits do you desire? Take one "fruit" to be mindful of living today and consciously share it with those you meet.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. (1 Cor 12:7)
S. Angela -- your reflections focus the message well , and I find your questions very helpful for applying the message to my life.