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Sr Mary Sharon Riley

Full of the unexpected, Easter makes love real and concrete. Perhaps no place are the lessons of love more tangibly present than in the Easter events.

After the Resurrection, those gathered in the Upper Room—the Cenacle—locked themselves into the room in which they had shared the Last Supper with Jesus. They did not expect him to walk through those locked doors and give them the gift of peace. They did not expect that, but they did experience it. Neither did any of them anticipate that when they did not know what else to do—and so did what they knew, i.e., go fishing—Jesus would walk over water, join them and cook their breakfast with the fish they caught.

Jesus taught Peter, who had denied Jesus, to recognize and claim his love and forgiveness. Indeed he taught Peter to say, “You (Jesus) know I love you.” Easter invites us too to realize the power of his love and learn to receive it. May we also recognize and receive his very personal love for each of us, and hear the call to share it.

Easter also teaches us to rejoice. It is a feast that celebrates life and joy. Imagine, for example, what Mary Magdalene must have felt when Jesus called her by name. In the recognition she experienced she knew the kind of freedom that does not need to hang on (see John 20). Freed from any clinging, then, she was freed to do as he asked. Joy awakens the inner freedom that loves because of the other’s joy.
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Questions Worth Pondering

As young children who felt Lent needed to be made interesting – and not just like a punishment— my classmates:

• went to the priest who gave the biggest, darkest cross of ashes;

• did not eat candy but did save every bite that came their way;

• went to the Stations ceremony during school rather than after;

• and competed to win the “I gave the most” alms contest.

 
The Church still calls us to Lenten prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — but not to win contests or prove how good we are.

So we ask ourselves:
Why then are we invited to these practices? What do they give us? How do they make us more aware of the Christ who redeems us and whose love is shot through our lives?

These are indeed questions for pondering.

 

I will sprinkle clean water upon you,
and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you;
and I will remove from your body the heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put my spirit within you…
(Ezekiel 36:25-27a)

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The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.
    Lamentations 3:24

    But as for me, I watch in hope, I wait for God my savior;
    my God will hear me.
Micah 7:7

Waiting can be tedious, a dreary time, a time in which we grow impatient. Preoccupied with ourselves doing the waiting, we do not expect much to come out of our waiting.



Waiting can be an invitation born of awareness that we are are called and promised God’s presence. Do we need more reason to hope – really hope – not with just a desire for what makes us feel good but a hope born of courage and profound trust?

The first Sunday of Advent readings remind us  that we do not know when the appointed time will come….  So we are to:

“Be watchful! Be alert!” (Mark 13:33)

Stay awake?

What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'” (Mark 13: 37)

As Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., says: “Advent … warns us; hopes can be dangerous but for that reason we are not to suppress nor compromise them. The Lord will come suddenly, beyond our dreams and control. Advent, therefore, advises us: wait, pray, be patient and persevering. The Lord will surely come.”

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Ordinary Time

What does it mean to be Ordinary?

Routine? Usual? Typical? The same as what has gone before? Is it dull, boring, without surprise? Does being ordinary make something labeled ordinary plain? Full or overly full of "the same old same old"?

But is that what the church means when it numbers weeks between Trinity Sunday and the First Sunday of Advent weeks in "Ordinary Time"?

During these weeks we listen to the Word of God found in the Sunday Gospels. Rooted in them we hear the call to make visible the Gospel path we hear and pray each Sunday. There is nothing dull, boring, or even routine about that.

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We Remember

We Remember ... First Four Cenacle Sisters in North America

…four courageous women who landed in New York on July 17, 1892. They knew no English when they set sail, nor did they know where they would live when they landed. They knew simply that at the invitation of Archbishop Michael Corrigan of New York they were missioned to bring the Cenacle to New York and so the United States. The four—Mother Jenny Bachelard, Mother Christina de Grimaldi, Madam Marietta de Marschall, Sister Francoise Ellien—arrived with a keen sense of God’s providential care. 

We Celebrate ...

...this, our 125th Anniversary of presence, life and grace, that is, all God has done in our midst.  We celebrate what God has and is asking of us as we live the Cenacle mission in the North American Province.

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