Weekly Reflections

Reflection for Nov. 23, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What will your new year's resolution be next week?

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by Sister Carolyn Zahringer

The end of another liturgical year is upon us!  Where did another year go? As we look back over the year, what will we discover?  How did we make use of the 365 days given to us by our God?

At the close of each calendar year, many people make resolutions that are soon tossed aside because they weren't practical. The close of the liturgical year is an opportunity to make a leap of faith, to do something transformative, with each day. We might ask at the beginning of each day for the Holy Spirit's help to see opportunities that need our compassion and mercy. We might choose to pray at the end of the day to see how we used the day.  How much compassion and mercy was shared by us in our workplace, with our family?

Pope Francis has said numerous times that our God is a God of mercy.  If we believe that to be true, wouldn't we be just a bit more merciful to another and to ourselves? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Pope Francis is challenging our Church and the world to spread mercy and love, not destruction and hatred.

There is a song that rings out:  "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." May this song be in our hearts and on our lips as we move closer to the beginning of a new liturgical year, beginning the last Sunday of November.

 

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Reflection for Feb. 16, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

God's laws are about what to do as well as what not to do

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by Sister Ann Rehrauer

As someone who often works with Church law, today's Gospel is a gentle but clear reminder that law, even Church law, provide us with guidelines for living, but they are not the maximum for which we strive - they only give us the "bottom line."

That's true if we simply read the words of the law.  But if we look beyond the words to the values that underlie the law we see much more. "Thou shalt not kill" prohibits the intentional taking of someone's life by murder or reckless driving.  But the spirit of the law includes positive encouragement to safeguard and promote life; to help others to obtain the basic necessities of life; and the responsibility to care for our own health and person.  The commandment reminds us that all life is precious.  

In our day, we have become aware that abortion, violence, and physical abuse are threats to human life.  More recently the issue of human trafficking of vulnerable people for sexual or economic profit has come to our attention - even here in the State of Wisconsin.  Women and men, children and elders, and immigrants are trafficked and exploited sexually or economically or both, for the profit or pleasure of others.

The USCCB Committee on Immigration designated February 8, the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, as a national day of prayer for survivors and victims of human trafficking.  Our prayer should also lead us to a greater awareness and to join in action to combat this threat to life.  For more information visit the USCCB website:  www.usccb.org/stopslavery.

When we bring our gift to the altar this week, we also bring our prayer, concern, and action on behalf of the vulnerable members of our community.

 

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Reflection for Nov. 24, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christ our King says 'be with me in Paradise'

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by Sister Jackie Capelle

In his Gospel, Luke opens the door to Jesus' death and opens the doors to the death of the two men who also would die along side him. What a difference between these.  Jesus' death is the highlight of his life. He is the King, there is no guilt in his life.

We stand before Jesus knowing he was not guilty in anyway. We stand before Jesus knowing he was an innocent King. Being King, He has all of us in his care. As King he is filled with goodness and we are also filled with that goodness.

Prayer for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

As we offer you, O Lord, the sacrifice by which the human race is reconciled to you, we humbly pray that your Son himself may bestow on all nations the gifts of unity and peace. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
(2010 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)


Celebrating the 'Year of Faith'

Prayer -- The 'Our Father'

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About this series

Chapter 36, US Catholic Catechism for Adults

by Sister Laura Zelten

In Luke 11:1-13, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray The Lord's Prayer (or "Our Father"). Jesus prayed every day to his heavenly Father, and he gave his followers a prayer that we continue to pray today. The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers, containing all that we rightly desire before God. It is at the heart of every personal and communal prayer.

Our Church loves this prayer because it includes several different prayers. We honor and adore God when we say, "Hallowed be thy name." We pray for God's kingdom -- a kingdom of love and justice and peace to be realized in our world. We ask God for daily bread -- whatever we need both physically and spiritually to live faithfully this day. We ask God to forgive us -- but only as much as we are willing to forgive others. That's a challenging one! And we ask for God's help so that we aren't tempted to sin and turn away from him.

It's the perfect prayer!

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Church's  "Year of Faith" concludes on Sunday, Nov. 24. We hope you've enjoyed this journey through the Study Guide of the US Catholic Catechism for Adults.

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