Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for May 23, 2021

Reflection for May 23, 2021

A clear, distinct call to witness

Pentecost propels us to rise above the ordinary noise and proclaim the Good News

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with one of our Sisters who was dying in a nursing home. As I sat by her bedside praying the rosary, I was reminiscing about her life and personality. The one thing that stands out in my memory is Sister Rose Marie’s voice; she loved to sing. Whenever I would be at the convent for Mass or prayer, I could always recognize that voice. It was clear and distinct, and carried a certain spirit. I will miss her and I will miss the sound of that voice, praising God in song.

On this great Solemnity of Pentecost, we recall how the Holy Spirit descended upon the community of disciples and propelled them forth into the streets of Jerusalem to proclaim the Gospel. Freed from the fear that kept them behind locked doors, they boldly announced three things about Jesus. First, He had been raised from the dead. Second, they were His witnesses. Third, Jesus is Lord and Messiah. Above the noise of the thousands who had gathered in the holy city for this Jewish holy day, their message rang out loud and clear. A Church was being born.

Our call today is to rise above the voices that distract people from hearing the Good News: the cheap conversations of sitcoms, the din of TV commercials, the endless reporting of conflicts and mass shootings and sports trivia. Our challenge is to rouse the world from complacency and hopelessness.

Hopefully each of us has had an encounter with the Risen Lord. Are we willing to allow the door of fear to be unlocked and to tell our story with conviction? Can we proclaim the message in a voice that is clear and distinct? In the midst of all that is dying around us, can our voices still carry the power of the Spirit?


05/21/2021 7:27 am

What a wonderful reflection. Great questions for us to ponder today and every day in our crazy world. Thank you, Sr. Elise.

Donna Koch
05/21/2021 8:50 am

Thanks Elise. An important message for all of us.

05/21/2021 10:58 am

A very beautiful story shared of Sister Rose Marie and your affection for her, Sr. Elise. Thank you!

I want to focus on the word, "witness," as you have designated those who experience the Risen LORD in their lives to be, and thus, know CHRIST as our Loving and Redeeming Savior, who "sees" us, "knows" us, "believes-in-us," cares for us as a beautiful, precious, priceless treasure.

I encourage everyone to research the word, "witness," and allow yourself to come to some new awareness, insight, and powerful understanding of what we, disciples of JESUS Christ, are meant to be. You will find that the word, "martyr," is, likewise, "witness."

JESUS is the First, Primal Witness. And what does JESUS bear witness to? Nothing less than the great, gracious, ever-present, all-encompassing, LOVE and LIFE of G O D -- ever creative, ever healing, ever Compassionate-and-Merciful -- especially to the contrite, humbled, lowly, oppressed. JESUS bears witness to the Truth of his Belovedness, and likewise, the belovedness of each and every other, and of Creation, itself.

[See Jesus Before Pilate “For this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18:37)].

Now, ponder: Jesus, the True Witness. In Christ’s message to the Laodicean Church in Revelation 3:14, Jesus refers to himself as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.”

And, Revelation 1:5 "... and from Jesus Christ, the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood, and from Jesus Christ, who is the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth."

"COME, HOLY SPIRIT, shape, form, mold us into faithful witnesses, in the image and example, of Beloved, JESUS, Christ."

Amen, O LORD, Amen.

Peter Schumacher
05/21/2021 11:41 am

What a enlightening reflection. In reading this it brought to mind those well known words in the prayer to the Holy Spirit: “And you will renew the face of the earth.” Do we need that! Thank you Sister Elise

Randy Miller
05/21/2021 1:53 pm

Prayers for Sister Rose Marie and for Sister Elsie. Beautiful reflection. I am sure Sister Rose Marie is singing in her Heavenly Home. I can almost hear her in my mind. Come Holy Spirit!!!

Father Bill Jacobs
05/22/2021 6:38 am

Good Morning Sister!

Thanks so very much for sharing your beautiful Reflection. I loved what you said about rising above the clutter and clatter around us. Jesus sent His Disciples out with a message of love - we need to do the same.

Blessings to you & all the Good Sisters! Miss you folks!

"In God We Trust!" Father Bill Jacobs

05/24/2021 2:47 pm

Good reflection including rising above the "noise". A good reminder.

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