“And that’s the Gospel truth!” We’ve all heard that statement, but mostly in the context of someone trying to convince others that they are telling the truth. In that sense, the statement is more the swearing of an oath than it is bearing witness to the truth and hope of the Gospel message. It seems to me that we Christians have difficulty with “the Gospel truth.” All too often, when we wish to convince others that we are bearers of “the truth” of our faith, we revert to the letter of the law in our zeal to preach to every creature. The reading in Colossians today reminds us that our focus should be on the hope of the Gospel that reconciles us to God, not the alienation of our evil deeds. It seems to me that if I have been presented as holy and without blemish through Christ, I would want to share that liberating message with others. Why would I then want to call attention to the evil deeds of others in a well-intentioned attempt to “save” them?
On August 16, 2021, sixty years after her first profession, Sr. Raphaela Fuchs celebrated her jubilee of profession and her devotion to God in the Congregation of Pallottine Missionary Sisters. In the liturgical celebration of the feast of “Mary's Assumption”, we expressed our gratitude to God for His faithfulness and guidance. The feast day gave us the opportunity to express our gratitude to Sr. Raphaela also. It is our gratitude for her loyalty and service to our Congregation. We continue to recommend Sr. Raphaela to God's faithful leadership.
On Sunday, August 15, 2021, we celebrated the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at 11:00am in our Medical Center Chapel. This was the Jubilee Mass for three of our Sisters. They were Sr. Elisabeth Heptner and Sr. Diane Bushee who celebrated their 65th. Jubilee and, Sr. Elizabeth Monsanto who celebrated her 60th. Jubilee.
The Pallottine Sisters of the German Province had the great joy of looking back with gratitude on the lives of ten jubilarians - 70, 65, 60 and 50 years of profession, a celebration for our community. The Solemn Mass was celebrated in the Provincial Chapel on Saturday Evening, 14 August by Auxiliary Bishop of Limburg Dr. Thomas Löhr, who is very attached to the Pallottine Family. His sermon encouraged us to never stop contributing our charism to the Church. The festivity was heightened by the wonderful singing of an ensemble of eight singers from the Limburg Cathedral Choir. And the fact that the Jubilee celebrations fell during the time of the visitation of our Superior General Sr. Izabela Świerad and her General Vicar Sr. Josephina D'Souza was another highlight and joy. All together we honored the Jubilarians and, looking at their biographies, joyfully thanked God for calling them to be missionaries in our Congregation.
From August 2 to 16, our Superior General Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC and our Vicar General Sr. Josephina D'Souza SAC came to Germany for the visitation. Most of the time they spent in Limburg. During the weekend of August 7-8, they visited the Sisters in Refrath.
It was with great emotion that I received news that His Excellency, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, SAC, had returned to the Father's house. Sorrow is intertwined with gratitude and evangelical hope, and above all, a prayer of praise flows from my heart: My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior ...
Two Junior Sisters, Ghislaine Koagne Ndeyo Makui and Stéphanie Boueda Lonfo, the first Pallottine Cameroonians, professed their final vows on August 14, 2021 in the Church of St. Albert in Bafoussam.
7. TESTIMONY - CHALLENGES OF CONTEMPORARY TIMES
Patroness of the month - Mary, Star of the new evangelization, pray for us
Mysticism of everyday life. It delights, attracts and gives us wings. And why does it feel so impossible? Miriam of Nazareth was a woman of simple everyday life. A woman clothed with the sun: Mother who is pregnant with the Word. Everything became possible in Her. She invariably intercedes for the world, protects her children and calls them to conversion and prayer, to immerse themselves in grace, because the Gospel resonates most fully through what is simple, ordinary. Gospel of Life. Impossible?
Intention of the month
Let us pray for new vocations so that there will be no shortage of those who, following Jesus, will devote themselves to the work of evangelization.
7. THE TASTE OF THE GIFT
"Draw out now and take to the chief steward."
"That which I have; even that which I do not have. Someone always needs it." - wrote the priest-poet.
The miracle of the wedding takes place in the offering. The gift received begins to shine when it is given. The Good News of new life in Christ cannot be lived alone. One can only celebrate the transformation together, in relationships, in community. To "draw out and take" means to be for the other, to share ourselves, to taste together the joy of the new wine.
Today’s gospel refers to problems associated with change. Jesus uses parables to teach about these problems, though his teaching is somewhat enigmatic. First, tearing a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one does seem silly. Other gospel writers record a slightly different parable, referring instead to a narrower problem of using unshrunken new cloth to patch an old garment, which causes the patch to tear away. (See Mark 2:21; Matthew 9:16). But Luke’s version points to the absurdity of ruining a new garment in order to patch an old one, when the patch will not even look right when it is completed – a doubly unsatisfying result.
"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch"
The proclamation made by Peter and the Apostles does not merely consist of words: fidelity to Christ affects their whole lives, which are changed, given a new direction, and it is through their lives that they bear witness to the faith and to the proclamation of Christ... This applies to everyone: we all have to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel. We should all ask ourselves: “How do I bear witness to Christ through my faith? Do I have the courage of Peter and the other Apostles, to think, to choose and to live as a Christian, obedient to God?”
Psalm 52:10, 11
I hear at least two invitations in today’s Gospel reading from Luke. In these verses, we hear of Jesus fulfilling those words from Isaiah we heard on Monday “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord” in his curing of Simon’s mother-in-law and others brought to him for healing. Right away my attention was grabbed by Simon’s mother-in-law getting up immediately and waiting on them after she was healed. At another time in my life, I was outraged at this. But today, it was simply and invitation for me to consider my response to the healing and mercy of God. I though back to times when I have been ill and wake up feeling so much better, or when I have been forgiven. My first response is one of gratitude. Gratefulness to feel “normal” again and relief to be back in right relationship. But do I, did I respond in any other way? It strikes me that Simon’s mother-in-law is “paying it forward” so to speak. She is using the gifts she has, preparing and serving food, to express her gratitude and in turn, minister and proclaim the Good News. My prayer with this scripture challenged me to consider how I “pay it forward” when I received not only God’s love and mercy but gifts from others as well, in effect manifesting the continual incarnation of God.