Reflection for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, by S. Kathleen Mulso, OSF

Reflection for August 25, 2013
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Isaiah 66:18-21
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

 

Reflection

In today’s Gospel from St. Luke, we see a continuation of Jesus’ ministry being played out. Someone from the crowd asks Jesus, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” This question may be on the minds of us today as well as at the time of Jesus. It is a good question and a reminder really of God’s continual care for us.

Along life’s way, many things may happen that can call us away from our intended purposes. Knowing that God is always with us and that He doesn’t leave us, renews for us our sureness of life in Him.

Our Catholic Faith welcomes us into life and provides us with the Sacraments, Scripture, Liturgy and the Traditions of the past for support. We are already “Saved.” We are saved by the very fact that we live faithfully as parts of Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church. We begin with our “Right to Life Ethic” which teaches us that all life is sacred. We continue our lives with the Sacraments received on this journey. We are blessed and cared for. We are more than “Saved.” When death calls us home, we continue to be in the loving presence of God, having received at last the fullness of life with Him.

 

Prayer

Lord, be with us on life’s journey and unite us to yourself today and always. Amen.

 

Kathleen Mulso, OSF

Sunday Reflection, by Rosie Miller, OSF

First Reading:Genesis 18:20-32
Second Reading: Col. 2:12-14
Gospel: Luke 11:1-13

Reflection

Friends are a blessing and sometimes persistent in asking us to join in a certain project, adventure. They just don’t give up. Sometimes we wish they would stop “pestering.” Today’s readings remind us of persistence in prayer with God as Abraham bargains with God knowing God is mercy-filled. God answers our call for help (psalm 138). Paul calls us to rejoice in the abundant unconditional love of God, in spite of our own weaknesses or transgressions. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus reminds us that God will “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.” Luke reminds us to keep knocking on the door until it opens. What does my heart seek and do I ask God? Do I express my needs (my poverty) to God and others, trusting I shall receive? Am I persistent in my own prayers?

Prayer

Merciful, all generous God, hear my prayer deep within my heart’s longings. Keep me faithful to seeking and asking even when I “walk amid distress” (psalm 138). You are always there and feed me my “daily bread.” May I be persistent in my commitment to you, each other and the world. Help me to remember that forgiveness, gratitude, praise and my deepest desires are a form of continuous prayer. “To live, it is necessary to pray.” (Pope Paul VI)

Rosie Miller, OSF

Sunday Reflection, by S. Jane McConnell, OSF

First Reading: Deut. 30:10-14
Second Reading: Col. 1:15-20

Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
Reflection
In the first reading for this Sunday’s liturgy, Moses tells the people, “This command I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you.  It is not up in the sky, nor is it across the sea that you should say, ‘Who will go up in the sky or across the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out.’  No, it is something very near to you already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.”
In the Gospel, Jesus reveals more clearly what this command given to each of us is: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind…and your neighbor as yourself.”
Each of us most likely learned these Scriptures and God’s words to us and had them instilled in our hearts through our parents, family, teachers, and the faith communities with whom we have lived, worshipped, and prayed.  It is our own fidelity to prayer and the community of faithful disciples of Jesus who continue to support us in deepening and living this call to love in our lives each day.
Prayer
Your words, Faithful God, are Spirit and Life.  They refresh my soul and guide my life each day.  They are trustworthy and reveal your wisdom to me.  Your words bring rejoicing to my heart and clear vision for me to see.  Help me to treasure your words and your call, which are more precious than gold, more enduring and more true.  Continue to transform me to live as your faithful disciple, as I seek to love more fully each day.  Amen.
 

Jane McConnell, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

Sunday Reflection, by OSF Associate Josephine Cleveland

Reflection for June 30, 2013
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: 1Kings 19:16, 19-21
Second Reading: Gal. 5:1, 13-18

Gospel: Luke 9:51-62
Reflection
Through the scriptures of today we see the same message being expressed; our Lord wants us to follow him.  In the first reading Elisha leaves his life behind and follows Elijah in order to promote the glory of God.  In today’s Gospel Jesus again expresses the importance of being true disciples of his.  Jesus tells us in order to be a true disciple of Christ we must show love and forgiveness towards one another.  This is what He did by dying on the cross for our sins.
Prayer
Jesus, I wish to live my life in your glory.  Give me the grace to see the needs of others.  When someone needs a kind word or a listening ear, I will be there.  When I feel I have been wronged, show me a spirit of humility so I may be forgiving.  In your name Lord Jesus Christ.

Josephine Cleveland, Associate
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

Sunday Reflection for Fathers Day, by S. Mary Beth Gianoli, OSF

Reflection for June 16, 2013
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13
Second Reading: Galatians 2:16, 19-21

Gospel: Luke 7:36-8:3
Reflection
Today’s readings speak of love, blessing, and forgiveness.  We are reminded that our God loves us even when we don’t deserve or earn that love.  How appropriate that these readings are used on the day we celebrate Fathers!
Pause for a moment to think about your biological dad or someone else who loved you into the person you are today.  What blessings come to mind?  How are you gifted by his unconditional love?
Now reflect on the love that our God showers on you.  In what ways are you nourished and offered peace through God’s love?
Today, celebrate the Father’s love.  In gratitude, remember that you are chosen, anointed, rescued, saved.  Share that love with your Dad and others who gift you with life.
Prayer
Father God, continue to nourish us with your love.  Bless us with the courage to share this love in our daily living.  Help us to recognize our giftedness and grace us with the confidence to share those gifts with all of creation.  We ask this in your Son’s name.  Amen!

Mary Beth Gianoli, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

Sunday Reflection for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, by Christine Ernstes, OSF

Image in public domain, WikiCommons

Reflection for June 9, 2013
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: 1 Kings: 17:17-24   
Second Reading: Galatians 1: 11-19

Gospel: Lk 7: 11-17
Reflection
“You changed my mourning into dancing.”  Psalm 30:12
In today’s reading, we meet two widows, each of whom has lost their only son, their only breadwinner.  A breadwinner who would care for them for the rest of their lives.  Not only were they mourning the loss of their sons, but their future was in great doubt.  For these women, the raising of their sons was a reversal of fortune.  Their mourning and fear of the future was changed into rejoicing and dancing as they received their sons.
We all know of people who mourn because of addiction, rejection, betrayal, sickness, or the death of a loved one.  Our scripture reminds us to work to accentuate the positive and celebrate the reversal of fortune.  Like Elijah and Jesus, we are to help people tap into the Lord’s power.  The power will help them in the time of reversal to change it into rejoicing and dancing.
Prayer
Lord Jesus, give us the eyes to see the reversals of others.  Give us the courage to reach out to them in their times of loss and trial so they may find compassion, concern and the love of God at this time.  Amen.

Christine Ernstes, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

Reflection for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, by S. Bernice Stenger OSF

Reflection for May 12, 2013
Seventh Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Second Reading: Eph 1: 17-23
Gospel: Lk 24:46-53

Reflection
As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven we are reminded that we are not left alone. The Holy Spirit is promised to come upon us to strengthen us, to give us wisdom, insight and understanding. In the recent election of Pope Francis, I believe we witnessed the Holy Spirit’s presence very tangibly.

In our reading from Acts for the Ascension, we hear how Jesus presented himself to the early Christians during the forty days after his Resurrection, assuring them of the kingdom and asking them, and us, to be witnesses to the truth of everlasting life. In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we heard the prayer “may the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory, and what is his inheritance among the holy ones…”

We are to be witnesses to the good news; we all are called to live the Gospel, to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to be at work in us. We are to be Christ’s presence on Earth, to live simply, to act justly, to love tenderly all of creation. In and through Pope Francis we are invited to care for the lowly, the poor, to be persons of peace, to respect the environment and to walk side by side, being Christ in our world and in the universe. We are blessed by Christ as we remember his ascension into heaven–we are his manifestation of love and compassion in our world.

Prayer
O God, we thank you for making us your Image and Likeness. We thank you for calling us to be your Presence of goodness, love and compassion in our world, our universe. We thank you for Pope Francis who lives your Gospel and leads us. Amen.

Bernice Stenger, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

Sunday Reflection by S. Therese Tackett, OSF

First Reading: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Second Reading: Rev 21:10-14, 22-23
Gospel: John 14:23-19

 

Reflection

In the gospel Jesus gives us the key to life, “Peace I leave with you.” Later he reassures us, “Do not let your heart be troubled or afraid.” The peace about which Jesus speaks is not the peace at which nations try to arrive. Jesus offers to us peace of heart which comes when Jesus becomes the center of our life and values.

In what ways do I enable Jesus to be present in my heart and my decisions? The strength of the early Church members came with the arrival of the Spirit in their individual hearts. Do I trust the leading of the same Spirit, which I received both in Baptism and Confirmation?

 

Prayer

Spirit of God, come into my life to be the center and the strength of all that I do. Give me wisdom to live my life as you would have me to do. Amen.

 

Therese Tackett, OSF

Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Easter, by Andre Burkhart, OSF

The Shepherd’s Love, Source: WikiCommons, Public Domain

Reflection for April 21, 2013
Fourth Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 13:14, 43-52
Second Reading: Rev 7:9, 14b, 17
Gospel: John 10:27-30

Reflection
Today’s scriptures are filled with so many different scenes.  In the first reading we see Paul and Barnabas giving witness to the teachings of Jesus.  The reading ends with the expulsion of Paul and Barnabas from the territory.  Then, Revelation tells us that the Lamb will shepherd the people.  The Gospel is a beautiful picture of a shepherd and his sheep.  This brings to my mind the times I saw a Kenyan native shepherd simply standing or sitting near his herd of sheep, just watching.  He carried no supplies with him because his total task was to tend the sheep.  On the reservation I witnessed the same thing as I would drive down rough and dusty roads to my destination.  Many times an Indian woman, man, or child could be seen with a herd of sheep and they would follow her or him wherever she walked.  They knew their leader.  They listened to his or her voice.  I often thought what a wonderful reminder it was of our God and us.  A God who loves us and leads us where we sometimes do not want to go yet waits on us with divine patience.
Prayer
God, our Loving Shepherd, teach us to constantly listen to You as You call us daily, lead us without fear, and invite us to be faithful to You and Your promise of eternal reward.  Do not let us stray from Your sight and do not lose sight of us when we stray.  Open our ears to hear Your call with an open heart and a willing spirit because You want only good for us.  Teach us to constantly answer Your call and continue on the way to our eternal reward with joy and anticipation of what is to come.  Amen.

Andre’ Burkhart, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday in Lent, by S. Pat Bietsch, OSF

Moses and the Burning Bush (Source: Wiki-Commons)

First Reading: Ex. 3:1-8a, 13-15

Second Reading: 1Cor. 10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

Reflection

Moses listened!  If he had not listened he would have ended up being a shepherd the rest of his life, living far away from Egypt.  When we listen and obey we can hear the great “I AM.”  What do you hear when you listen?  Do you hear discernment in your life choices?  Do you hear hope to move forward?  Do you listen to the mercy and compassion for your defects?  “I AM” is always there to remind us that we walk on sacred ground when we listen.  Open your heart and ears and hear the Word.
Prayer
Humbly I come before you O great I AM, please open my ears to hear your word and go forward in your love and mercy.  Never let me get so hardened or hopeless that I miss your presence in my life.  Hear my prayer that I may bring forth your fruit of love and compassion to others.

S. Pat Bietsch, OSF
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg