Precious Stones

May 14, 2017

In Our Lives as Sisters of The Holy Redeemer . . .

This past week we celebrated in various ways the gifts of faith and service God has entrusted to our Congregation and each one individually.

Each day last week we participated in prayer services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in gratitude of all the people who join us in carrying out the daily works of the mission to continue the healing ministry of Our Redeemer.

Wednesday evening we attended a celebration to honor the goodness of so many people, our “Redeemer family,”who have dedicated milestone years from 5 years to 55 years to the works of the mission entrusted to us!

On Thursday, our Redeemer Ministry Corps volunteer and her director joined in the work of our community garden trusting that their efforts will help bring forth an abundance to share with others.

Thursday evening was the blessing of the reopening of our Thriftstore benefitting services to women and children. We thank all of those who witness to their faith through this amazing outreach to the community!

Friday marked our annual volunteer luncheon to thank all the individuals who share their time & gifts with us at our Province Center helping carry out the daily work of our value of hospitality.

Friday was also a big day for our Sr. Maryanne who graduated from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis with a Masters in Healthcare mission. Her faith helped her accomplish all the hard work. Congratulations!

The week closed with the celebration of our Congregational Feast Day, the Feast of The Redeemer, which occurs on the Fourth Saturday of Easter each year. Professed Sisters in America, Germany and Tanzania renewed our vows and rejoiced in the gift of faith, the Charism and spirituality, and mission we have been given and called to share. We also rejoiced in the men and women who have been called in a special way to partner with us as Redeemer Associates and who celebrate this day as well by renewing their commitment to faith and service as lived out in their unique lifestyle.

In Your Life . . .

Sometimes faith starts with believing that God loves you and that you are precious to God. Precious stones/gems are often created when a substance undergoes intense pressure or as a pearl starts as an irritating grain of sand. Faith doesn’t mean life is easy or everything goes as planned. Faith often grows strong when you hold on to God trusting God’s love when undergoing pressure and struggles.

You may want to take some time this week to recall the journey of your faith. When has your faith deepened? When has it become weak? What were the circumstances?

How has your faith led to works of service; service from the heart? When has your belief in the preciousness of another person or persons led you to reach out in compassion?

Scripture Reflection . . .

Fifth Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 6:1-7

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33 “Lord,let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”

Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9

Gospel: John 14:1-12

The First Letter of Saint Peter declares we are “chosen and precious in the sight of God, and like living stones, let yourself be built into a spiritual house . . .”

In Acts we hear of the various parts of the Body of Christ: those who preach and praise to encourage and support faith and those who serve the basic needs of the community.

In John’s Gospel Jesus strives to build up the faith of his apostles: “Believe me that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, Amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do . . .”

In these Scriptures we see the pairing of the precious stones of faith and works. They go hand and hand when flowing from the Spirit of God, the giver of our faith as we will soon celebrate at Pentecost. The depth of our faith is revealed in the works God guides us to carry out. It is often by the generous service of others that we know them to be people of faith.

 Blessings on your week!