Faith · Religious life · spirituaility

September 20th – Servant of all

Scripture Reflection . . .

First Reading:  Wisdom 2:12, 17-20

Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 54

Second Reading:  James 3: 16-4:3

Gospel:  Mark 9:30-37

On this 25th Sunday of Ordinary time, Jesus tells his disciples and us, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and servant of all.” Jesus than does something that would have been unusual for his time, as children were considered among the least. “Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, ‘whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me . . .’ ”

Jesus words and actions are in response to an argument among his disciples about who was the greatest.

Though we may not verbally express this desire to be greatest, it is probably in all of us – expressed in our competitiveness, our comparisons, our approval seeking and our self ambition, among other behaviors. Perhaps it comes from not feeling we are good enough as we are.

Jesus makes it simple: stop seeking self-improvement and seek to improve the lives of others; Let Jesus embrace the “least” in you so you can in turn reach out and embrace other, and you will receive fullness of life.

In our lives as Sisters of the Holy Redeemer . . .

We first acknowledge our personal ambitions and express gratitude for God’s mercy and love. Living in community offers us many opportunities to grow in self-awareness as we face our own striving for greatness and learn to be servant to one another.

We recall the events of this past week:

On September 14th the Church celebrates the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.  This is also the day many of the Sisters entered the community as Postulants.  It is a day to celebrate Jesus’ victory over death in his becoming servant of all. In losing his life, he gained eternity for all!

Three Sisters participated in various conferences over the week in which the  themes were very likely about servant leadership, whether in raising support for ministries or being a ministry leader. Our call is to be authentic in our outreach to the least among us.

Several Sisters volunteered their time to help at the annual Golf Classic in memory of one of our Sisters to raise funds for our food pantry in New Jersey.  Thank you to all who supported this significant outreach to the community!

Sisters Katharina and Kim
Sisters Katharina and Kim

Another Sister welcomed high school volunteers and their dads for a day of service in the school garden project that we run.  Not only was it a way to serve the community, it was a way for fathers and sons to spend time together. We are grateful for their open hearts and helping hands!

Before
Before

after

On Saturday some of the Sisters attended a local music festival at the nearby Norbertine Abbey- a men’s religious congregation.  Appropriately it was called Abbeyfest! Sitting (and dancing) outside among hundreds of others on grassy slopes listening and singing to Christian music, celebrating Mass, worshiping in Adoration, listening to the Good News, once couldn’t help but think of Jesus speaking to the crowds on plains and hillsides.  And here we were once again celebrating the message of God’s love, a God who embraces us as we are.  So, we have no need to try to be something more or greater!

abbyfest candles

abbeyfest stage

Blessing of Men and Women "in training" for Religious Life
Blessing of Men and Women “in training” for Religious Life (Sr. Kim and Petra are center stage!)

This week we also join many others is welcoming children from Amigos de Jesus, an orphanage in Honduras. They are here this week to share their stories of love, healing and hope.  They truly are among the little ones Jesus calls us to reach out to and receive.

In your life . . .

We invite you to take some time this week to pause in prayer and reflect upon the following questions:  What have been some of your ambitions?  When have you let go of your plans to reach out to another? When have you experienced God embracing the “least” in you?

Blessings on your week!

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