Results filtered by “Jill Fischer”


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In Mark 2:13-17, Jesus is calling his Apostles and welcomes the tax collector, Levi, into the group. Tax collectors were considered the dregs of humanity back in Jesus’s time. They were overwhelmingly unpopular for many reasons. However, here is Jesus calling one unto himself. The text says that Levi simply got up and followed Jesus. No question. No concern. Simply obeyed. Later in that passage, Jesus is seen at dinner at Levi’s house with the other apostles and growing number of disciples. Some scribes, who were Pharisees, imagine spies for the religion police, were watching this and commenting among themselves, for how could Jesus sit among such horrid and wretched people as tax collectors and sinners. Evidently, they are above reproach. The scribes ask themselves, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus hears this and responds, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do; I have come to call not the righteous but the sinner.” This is for sure a mic drop moment! I am fairly certain that the scribes don’t quite understand what Jesus is saying. We should, but they don’t. Jesus did not come for those who are “perfect”; He came for those who are broken. We are all broken in one way or another. Jesus came so that we may be united with Him and healed of that brokenness. We are already whole in just knowing Him, further healed by serving Him, and all consumed when loving Him. It is in our imperfection that we are made perfect. Jesus meets us right there just like He did Levi and every other poor soul at the table. It was those who already thought they were perfect that He simply couldn’t reach. I think of them as the do-gooders who are just looking for appreciation but miss the purpose of doing good, or those who can regurgitate doctrine or dogma but just can’t seem to apply it. They didn’t get it. They were unable to humble themselves.

When reading the gospel, place yourself in the story. Take a moment to read Mark 2: 13-17 and the surrounding verses. Where would you be found? Would you be at the table, in the room, in the shadows, among the scribes, out in the street? What would it sound like, smell like, feel like? If you heard this first hand, what would you be thinking? Encounter Christ here. Let him speak to you. Let your mind get carried away in the exercise. Build your relationship with Jesus.

Posted by Jill Fischer

Following the Rules

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Which Commandment do you find to be the most challenging? This is a great exercise if you know your Ten Commandments. Not all of our students at St. Dominic Catholic School can recite them frontwards and backwards, but we try. When I was a classroom teacher, I made sure my students could do just that. My students and I invested a lot of time in impressing them into their minds, into their consciences. These are God's rules, why wouldn't you want to know them? We practiced them, recited them in order and out of order, we studied what they meant. We worked to figure out how they fit into the covenant of the Old Testament and the fulfillment of the covenant in the New Testament. We discussed how brilliant Jesus was in taking ten and turning them into two - the transition from the Ten Commandments to the Great Commandment. We lamented that, even though Jesus simplified things, we still fail to follow the rules. Why is it so hard to follow rules? Free will. God loves us so much that He doesn't want to constrict us but allow us to freely choose Him. The rules aren't to be restrictive but freeing. Think about that for a minute.

Following God is not meant to be complicated. After all, Jesus tells us to approach God like a child. Don't think too hard about it. Life is complex. Messy. God helps us find order. Keep it simple like going from Ten Commandments to the Great Commandment. Love God with all your heart, mind, and being, and love your neighbor as yourself. Rules keep our free will in order so that we may experience joy.

Posted by Jill Fischer with 1 Comments

Gaudette! Joy!

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Gaudette! Joy! During the third week of Advent, we are so close to the return of Jesus at Christmas that we are to be joyful. When Jesus is present, peace will reign. That is why the fourth week of Advent, typically the week that Christmas occurs, is to be one of peace. If we do Advent “right,” there should be a calm in our hearts and in our heads to celebrate Christmas well. I pray you all find that joy and peace in these coming days as Christmas draws closer.

Heavenly Father, you have given us a model of life in the Holy Family of Nazareth. Help us, O loving Father, to make our family another Nazareth where love, peace, and joy reign. May it be deeply contemplative, intensely Eucharistic, and vibrant with joy. Help us to stay together in joy and sorrow through family prayer. Teach us to see Jesus in the members of our family, especially in their distressing disguise. May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus make our hearts meek and humble like his and help us to carry out our family duties in a holy way. May we love one another as God loves each one of us more and more each day, and forgive each others faults as you forgive our sins. Help us, O loving Father, to take whatever you give and to give whatever you take with a big smile.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angels, be always with us, guide and protect us. Amen
- St. Therese of Calcutta

Posted by Jill Fischer
Tags: advent

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