Isaiah 7:1-9; Matthew 11:20-24
Today’s readings seem harsh, and in a sense they are. In the first reading the town is in danger from formidable foes and the people are trembling like trees in the wind. The threat and the danger are real. They are concerned. But the Lord tells them not to fear, to stop trembling, to show no fear and to have faith. If they show no fear and stand fast, the armies’ mischief will come to nothing. The Lord says if their faith is firm, they will stand firm and their town will survive, but if they lose their faith they will be crushed; it will be like they never existed. If they are God’s city and put their trust in God, they will survive and persevere.
Every five years each sister of Polish province takes part in a so-called „directorium”. It is a 10-day meeting dedicated to on-going formation and to regenerate the spiritual and physical strength. This year the directorium took place in Zakopane, at the foot of Tatra Mountains and in the neighborhood of the National Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima.
Isaiah 1:10-17; Matthew 10:34-11:1
Today’s reading from Matthew includes the very familiar warning from Jesus, “Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” Having returned from a Holy Land pilgrimage about 3½ weeks ago, Jesus words have a new context to me. During the pilgrimage, our group made the Way of the Cross through the crowded and bustling passageways in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem. Groups of six or seven of us took turns carrying a large wooden cross for a couple of the stations. Though the prayers we said were familiar, this was a whole different way of experiencing the Stations of the Cross. We passed by shops and street vendors, who probably witness this on a daily basis, but it was uniquely poignant and inspirational for those of us who were participating. Although, we did not carry the cross alone and it was not as big or heavy as the original one, there was an element of reality to it all. We ended the stations at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus’ crucifixion and entombment are commemorated. Each time I pray the stations in the future, my memories of that experience will be rekindled and intensify the meaning of the prayers.
Amos 7:12-15; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:7-13
Carry Nothing but the Word
Is it fear that prompts us to rely on modern technological advances in communication? An interesting question, perhaps. Are we too afraid to rely on the gift of memory? Is this the “power” referred to in the passage from Mark’s gospel?
Mark writes of the power conferred by Jesus on those he sent out. But along with the power he gave them, he also instructed them on how important it was not to be restricted by unnecessary ‘baggage’.
No extra tunic, one pair of sandals; little, presumably, in the way of food or money.
At the beginning of July in our Generalate another meeting of the General Governments of our two sister Congregations took place. The meeting focused on topics related to the upcoming activities of the Unification Commission and the preparation of a plan for the visit of the two General Superiors in India. The visit is planned for August 24-September 4, 2018. The General Superiors will meet the Provincial Councils, local superiors, formation teams and members of the closest communities.
Many of us consider religious beliefs a private matter to be shared — if at all — only with our family and closest friends. We‘re afraid that in sharing religious convictions we might be setting ourselves up as “holier than thou.”
Today’s gospel challenges this attitude, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” And earlier in the gospel Jesus exhorts his disciples to be witnesses to the world: “You are the light of the world. . . .Your light must shine before others so they may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father.”
"Observe how the lilies of the field grow…
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Mt 6
Photo: Sr. Maria Dörig, Switzerland
In these days we experience the splendour of the flowers in the meadows and in the gardens.
Fruits and vegetables promise a good harvest. The weather might be appropriate, not too dry and not too wet. And we have done everything we possibly could do: Sown at the right time and plants are cared for. So it would have to succeed with the harvest.
“FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO!” The Gospel beckons us to look even deeper. Nature is delivered to every weather! Depending on the climate, the first buds in winter are exposed to frost and ice.
Cordial greetings from the Holy Land!
I am very happy that I can make pilgrimages to the places where our Savior walked. Our group consists of 49 participants, including two priests and three sisters. We began our pilgrimage from Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus and prayers in the Basilica of Blessed Virgin Mary and the church of St. Joseph. Next, the road led us to Cana of Galilee, where the marriage couples of our pilgrimage community renewed their marriage vows. Later Mount Tabor with beautiful views! You cannot explain all, you just need to experience!
On May 17 this year In Yekaterinburg, in our Ural parish, an important event took place for us, which gathered many parishioners. We hosted Gerhard Cardinal Ludwig Müller from the Vatican, who on his way to Tobolsk came for a stay in Yekaterinburg. On this day, as every Thursday, after Mass and vespers we had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This time, however, a bit longer, because the plane on which the Cardinal was to arrive, was delayed. However, it did not affect the joyful atmosphere of waiting for such an extraordinary guest. The most important thing for us was that the Cardinal finally reached our church. He was accompanied by his personal secretary, Fr. Sławomir Śledziewski and priest D. Stańczyk – the parish priest from Tobolsk.
Hosea 14:2-10; Matthew 10:16-23
Today’s readings are puzzling. On the one hand, Matthew confronts us with warnings that preaching the Christian gospel will put us at risk. On the other, the reading from Hosea invites repentance. At first glance, these readings appear to have little in common. Indeed, on one level, they are taken from contexts that are completely alien to each other. The selection from Hosea is set in the time of the exile and holds out the promise that God will forgive repentant Israel and bless her anew. The selection from Matthew reflects the early Christian community’s sense of being rejected by members of its own family, even being “flogged” in what had been recently their own communities.