Reflection for the 6th Sunday in Easter, by Associate Pat Browne

First Reading: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Second Reading: 1Peter 3:15-18
Gospel: John 14:15-21

This week’s readings offer us many challenges. We are asked to listen, be aware of the miracles in our lives, and accept the word of God just as those in the town of Samaria did. Peter’s letter encourages us to keep our consciences clear so that those who would defame our way of life in Christ might be disappointed, and those who seek to understand the reason for our hope, may find truth. The Gospel states that if we love Christ, the fruit of that love will be obedience to the commands he gave us. But all three readings assure us that we are not left to our own devices to meet these challenges. Even as Jesus tells the apostles that his physical presence on earth is about to end, he lets us know that we will not be left alone as orphans. As Jesus left the material world he did not abandon us, but rather sent us the spiritual presence of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. How wondrous is our God!

Loving God, we thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to dwell within us and to be our advocate. As we face the challenges of faith, hope, and obedience to your commands help us always to trust in His assistance, and be open to your ever present grace. Help us to be light in the world, and to spread the good news of your love for us in all that we do.

Pat Browne, Associate
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg


Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, by Associate Judy Hillman

EmmausFirst Reading: Acts 2:14, 22-28
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 16, 1-2, 7-11
Second Reading: 1Peter 1:17-21
Gospel: Luke 24:13-35

Have you ever gone for a long walk after experiencing a tragic event or death of a loved one, and just kept reliving the last days before the event happened?  Two of the followers of Jesus certainly found it helpful.  And Jesus must have found a need to walk after waking up alive!  He was dead and buried for at least two days.  So Jesus found two fellows who were just as stunned and shaken by the Good Friday event.  So they walked and they talked – for seven miles!  And it actually was Jesus who did most of the talking.  It was almost as though Jesus needed to review for himself the path chosen for him by his Father. “…starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the Scriptures that were about himself.”  Imagine, if you will, the fire and animation in Jesus’ own telling and realization of what his mission had been.  By the time this little group reached Emmaus, the two followers of Jesus caught his spirit and fire.  And they issued the invitation, “it is nearly evening, come stay with us.”  Then it happened.  At the meal their guest broke, blessed and shared bread.  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.

Dear God, as we live through our own cycles of life, death and resurrection, grace us with friends who are willing to walk, talk and listen. Anoint our retelling of our stories with the same graced spirit and fire as Jesus had in his sharing on the road to Emmaus,” …that we may have faith and hope in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory.”

Judy Hillman, Associate
Oldenburg Sisters of St. Francis