Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for June 25, 2023

Reflection for June 25, 2023

Swimming against the tide

Just as faith is a matter of the heart, so is courage

by Sister Donna Koch

In Sunday's first reading the prophet Jeremiah is under stress from enemies and even those he thought were his friends; yet in the midst of his suffering he holds to his confidence in God and proclaims “the Lord is with me”.  

In the Gospel Jesus tells us to “fear no one” and promises support as He calls us to be His witnesses. In a sense, we are all successors of Jeremiah and the apostles.  We are reminded that while we live in this world, we are meant to remain aware of the world to come. Sometimes that is easier said than done! It takes a long time to get around to the one thing we were created for.

The Second Vatican Council taught that every Christian should give witness to Christ through living a life of faith and charity. As we live according to this teaching, at times we will be swimming against the tide of a culture of individualism and materialism and will not always find the going easy. Jesus warns that being a Christian will cost sacrifice and suffering. We are bound to face opposition from those who are blind to the needs of others and all of creation. 

The cross was Jesus’s voluntary acceptance of undeserved suffering as an act of total solidarity with all of the pain of the world.  It takes immense courage to walk in solidarity with the suffering of others, and even our own.  Resistance to suffering is an entire industry now. Perhaps that is why some have said that the foundational virtue underlying all others is courage (“cor-agere” = an action of the heart).  Fear can overtake us but in the center of our soul, we need an action of the heart where we find the courage to rely on God while confronting our own fears.  Then our light will shine in the midst of darkness.

Ponder:  How do you experience the Lord being with you?                How has the light of courage been with you in the darkness?



Mary K
06/24/2023 11:26 am

Thank you S. Donna for this encouraging reflection... It's a reminder that affliction inspires courage, depth of character, and deeper commitment to faithfulness.

Sister Rose Jochmann
06/24/2023 3:56 pm

Thank you, Sr. Donna, for reminding us about courage in your reflection. Thank you for reminding us about the courage it takes to face our pain and suffering as well as to accompany others in suffering! A lot to reflect on. Thank you,

06/26/2023 3:01 pm

"Resistance to suffering" .......

Resistance to the causes of immense pain, suffering and misery such as oppression, exploitation, lies, deceit, trickery, corruption, violence, hatred, wars is necessary to help us end all of the above named - and the many more injustices/sin/evil happening in our world today.

As I heard someone who is involved in healing and supporting others who have been so badly hurt by systemic 'evil' and injustice, say this weekend, "I'm tired of hearing how 'suffering makes you stronger.' When all the while what's really needed is for the systemic evils of discrimination, prejudice, racism, sexism, bullying, etc. etc. need to be "brought out to the light!"

"This" is the kind of "Light" I feel Jesus is talking about in the gospel.

We need People of courage to speak truth.

We need people of courage to speak truth to power, just as Jesus showed us in his own lifetime.

Rev. William J. Jacobs, Jr.
06/29/2023 6:19 am

In Good Times, I turned to God in Thanks. In Tough Times I turned to Him with Hope!

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