Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for July 2, 2023

Reflection for July 2, 2023

Finding purpose

Discipleship  comes with sacrifices  -- and unimaginable  blessings

by Sister Sally Ann Brickner

Sunday’s Sacred Scripture (link) conveys an important message about the interrelationship between faith and hospitality. As our faith deepens our hospitality expands to all of God’s creation.

In the reading from the second book of Kings we hear the story of the Shunammite woman and her care for the prophet, Elisha. His journeys regularly took him for a meal in her home, so she cajoled her husband to create a special room where Elisha could rest and recuperate. His gratitude overflowed, and he prayed that God fulfill her unspoken desire for a son. Though nameless, the faithful Shunammite woman’s kindness and hospitality endures to inspire generations.

The reading from Matthew’s Gospel focuses on the costs and rewards of missionary discipleship.  A true disciple of Jesus places relationship with Him before all else – valued familial ties, prized material objects, desired good name or fame. A faithful disciple of Jesus, like Him, accepts – even embraces – whatever crosses life presents, be they physical hardships, criticisms, divisions or discords, sickness or death.

As Jesus’ faithful disciple I am called to …

  • sacrifice personal pleasure in order to seek only God’s glory
  • ask for mercy and show mercy to others
  • submit to God’s authority and the authority of others with gentleness and meekness
  • maintain purity of heart and intention
  • accept criticism in the pursuit of justice for all
  • suffer persecution because of my belief in God

And the hundredfold I receive as Jesus’ disciple is …

  • the gentlest Master I could ever desire
  • God’s Holy Spirit to guide and fill me 
  • the joy of building God’s reign each day
  • life in harmony with all of God’s creation
  • the promise of everlasting life

What richness for “leaving all to follow Jesus!” (Luke 18:28). What fulfillment from the "Fountain Fullness of Love!" (St. Bonaventure)


Diann Wimmer
06/30/2023 12:56 pm

How interesting to point out both the "cost" of discipleship and the beautiful" hundredfold" of gifts that are available to us as faithful disciples. Thank you, Sally Ann, for your reflection.

06/30/2023 3:58 pm

Thank you for these very practical examples of what we called to as disciples and the ways we receive the hundredfold!

Irene Whatley
06/30/2023 8:53 pm

I have a book that has a quote from Mother Theresa for every day and I find it inspiring. The book is called Do Something Beautiful for God.

Mary Pierre
07/01/2023 2:57 pm

Thanks for so much to think about!

07/02/2023 10:50 am

Franciscan priest, visionary, prophetic teacher and preacher, Richard Rohr, says, "the cross [is] God’s great act of solidarity instead of judgment."

If we could learn to "SEE" and "UNDERSTAND" JESUS' Great Act-of-SELF-GIVING, SELF-EMPTYING in this Way!

How BEAUTIFUL, MEANINGFUL, and RICH if ALL' People in the pews' could actually "HEAR" and "SEE" (understand, grasp) this concept this weekend, as JESUS shares the experience of "CROSS" with US.

For this to be so, we NEED Teachers and Preachers who can truly EXPRESS this to us, because they, themselves "SEE" and "HEAR" JESUS' Message this Way, too.

"I bear Witness to the CROSS of JESUS CHRIST by standing, speaking, and living in solidarity with all who are persecuted, discriminated against, suffering injustices -- violence, poverty, exclusion -- because of 'Who' they are, and whose voices are not yet fully heard and acknowledge by 'the Church' and 'the world.'" L.P.

Jane Schueller
07/02/2023 7:52 pm

Thank you Sr. Sally Ann for your words of wisdom about the suffering and rewards of discipleship. Now to get it into better practice in my life.

Debra Haven
07/03/2023 7:42 am

Thank you to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross for bringing us your Prayers, Presence, and Hospitality. Especially offering your faithfulness to us through the Summer Silence and Sunset series.

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