Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Sept. 12, 2021

Reflection for Sept. 12, 2021

'Who do you say that I am?'

Our response to Jesus' question is lived out in our words and actions

by Sister Jane Riha

The questions Jesus poses to his disciples in Sunday's Gospel are: “Who do people say that I am?” and “ Who do you say that I am?” The challenge of the Gospel is to personally answer those questions. Prayerfully, honestly search your heart and soul in terms of your relationship with the Lord. Who do you say that I am? Prayerfully considered, our response will flow from our own spirituality and relationship with Jesus. It will reflect the depth to which catechesis, Scriptures, our personal life journey with its joys, sorrows, and suffering have influenced our response.

The Scriptures for this Sunday remind us that as disciples and pilgrims we share in the cross and suffering as part of our Christian journey. Right now, the world is experiencing excruciating suffering due to the pandemic, displacement of persons due to war, fire, and hurricanes and individual anxiety and depression.

We begin with verses from the Suffering Servant Song in the prophet Isaiah which emphasize that even in dire suffering, the faithful believer experiences the strength given by God. “The Lord is my help, therefore I am not disgraced.” In the Gospel, Jesus tells us “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

We are the Body of Christ. Our experience of God’s presence is often through the love, compassion, kindness and witness of others. Who do you say that I am?

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

(Prayer attributed to St. Teresa of Avila)


Monica Sawyn
09/10/2021 10:26 am

If you believe God can do all things, and if you believe he loves you, then you must believe all your joys and all your sufferings are somehow part of his plan, even if they’re just to strengthen us. That’s what the Dominican sisters taught us in grade school, and what I cling to each day even now. I trust God utterly, as the giver of all gifts, even when I something doesn’t doesn’t feel like a gift. A good example of that is Blessed Solanus Casey, one of my heroes.

09/10/2021 7:47 pm

What a beautiful prayer and reflection, Sr. Jane! Thank you, as we embody Jesus this week.

09/11/2021 3:18 pm

Thank you for this reflection that is so appropriate for the challenges and sorrows we see in today's world. thank you for concluding with that beautiful prayer from St. Theresa of Avila.

09/12/2021 3:25 pm




This is what I 'see' and 'hear' and 'feel' in this gospel.

We are learning that there is not only 'glory' in following the Way-of-Christ. There is also suffering. In many forms - emotional, social, mental, relational, physical fatigue and weariness .....

Caryll Houselander, British mystic and spiritual writer, compiled a book of reflections on her 'experiences' of solidarity with human suffering during WWII. Entitled, "This War is the Passion," her thoughtful ponderings are useful and helpful for us today, as we witness human and global and planetary suffering from causes unique to These Times.

Our eyes ...... our hands .... our feet.

Who have I 'seen ......' really 'seen,' as in contemplating and 'knowing' "the other ......"

And who have I let 'see' me ...... the 'real' me ......

Who have I 'touched ......'

And who have I let 'touch' me, in my own humanity, in my 'true-est' and even most 'weakest' self .... Who have I allowed to 'minister' to me ....

And my feet ..... ah, yes ..... my feet ...... my feet that walk upon 'holy ground .....'

Do I allow my feet to carry Awe? Reverence? Care ..... from within ....

Thank you, both -- Renee and Sister Jane -- for your demonstration of 'spiritual team work ....' :)

It all helps. :)

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