Sunday, January 21, 2024


On Saturday we celebrate the Feast of St. Angela.  Angela founded the Company of St. Ursula in 1535.  St. Angela was a woman of hope, and her words continue to encourage and support our efforts to “have hope and firm faith in God who will help us everything” (Prologue to the Counsels). Our January Heart to Heart selection was  an invitation to respond to the following questions: 

What are you hopeful for in the new year?

How might you nurture hope in yourself and others?

How/where do you find invitations to hope in your daily life?

Jeannie was one of the seven who responded to the invitation.  Her refelction is below:

A way I can nurture hope is by being more of a listening presence to hear people’s stories and then trying to acknowledge their pain and reaffirm the goodness in them. So many I know are being asked to make changes within their lives and I need to help them see that, no matter what, God is present. As I write this response, it is Epiphany Sunday, and I am struck by how the magi had to go home another way. What is the other way that I might be? How can I be creative when faced with challenges? How can I exist in the grey and uncertainty? I need to remember and remind others that no one is exempt from the human condition and experience of pain and disappointment, but how we deal, live life and treat others is what matters. I always think of hope as “Hold Onto Positive Energy” and “Hang On Peace Emerges,” and these are messages I find myself thinking and praying with each day and sharing with others.

—Jeannie Humphries, OSU

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Second Sunday in Ordinary TIme

In our first reading today, we hear the familiar story of Samuel in the Temple.  Samuel is in the Temple when he hears the word of God for the first time.  In Samuel’s time the word of God was scarce, and Eli helps him to listen to God. Eli in his wisdom tells Samuel to respond when he hears the voice of God with, “Speak Lord your servant is listening.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus invites his first disciples to come and stay with him. John the Baptist introduces the disciples to Jesus, and they are invited to have their own experience of God. Much like Samuel they are invited to say, “Speak Lord your servant is listening.”  They are called to leave all and follow Jesus in uncharted ways.  They are called to leave all that was familiar and embrace what was not.  The disciples were challenged to have tremendous faith, courage, and trust in someone who they had just met.

One of my favorite songs is The Servant Song by Richard Gillard.

Will you let me be your servant let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace to let you be my servant too

We are pilgrims on the journey we are travelers on the road
We are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ light for you in the nighttime of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping when you laugh, I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow till we've seen this journey through

Will you let me be your servant let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace to let you be my servant too

May we have the grace, like the first disciples, to be servants of Jesus and all those we encounter on our life’s journey.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Solemnity of the Epiphany


Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord.  This is the day long ago when the Magi followed the star to Bethlehem and found the child Jesus who had been born in a stable.    The hymn that is most famous for this day was written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr. in 1857.    It recalls for us the events in Matthew’s gospel.

We Three Kings

We Three Kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, Moor and mountain, following yonder Star.


O Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Star with Royal Beauty bright,
Westward leading, Still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect Light.

Born a King on Bethlehem, Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, Ceasing never Over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I, Incense owns a Deityty nigh:
Prayer and praising All men raising, Worship God on High.

Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume Breathes a life of gathering gloom; —
Sorrowing, sighing, Bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now behold Him arise, King, and God, and Sacrifice;
Heav’n sings Hallelujah. Hallelujah the earth replies.

The Magi were seekers.  May we always remember to be seekers of the truth and live lives focused on the gospel and following Jesus in all we do.