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Prayer for Advent – Week 3

16 Dec

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Gospel Reflection for December 20, 2015, 4th Sunday of Advent

15 Dec
Photo via Flickr user Lawrence OP

Photo via Flickr user Lawrence OP

Sunday Readings: Micah 5.1-4; Hebrews 10.5-10; Luke 1.39-45

“Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the child of your womb.'”

(Luke 1.41-42)

The encounter between Mary and her kinswoman Elizabeth is spiritually electric. Each woman has responded to God alone. As they meet, the Spirit arcs between them like sparks. At Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s baby leaps in her womb. Her words express ecstatic awe at the holy happening within their wombs. The new life that is good news for the world does not come from within the existing temple structure but in the wombs of two believing women. In Elizabeth’s time, new life is stirring among unlikely people — Gentiles, people who are poor, women, tax collectors. Perhaps now like then, people at the margins experience enough discomfort with things as they are to open their hearts to impossible, transcendent hopes.

What do you see coming to birth in younger women? What do you see coming to birth in older women? In yourself?

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Social Action Has Two Feet

10 Dec

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Prayer For Advent – Week 2

9 Dec

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Gospel Reflection for December 13, 2015, 3rd Sunday of Advent

8 Dec
Photo via Flickr user Justin Kern

Photo via Flickr user Justin Kern

Sunday Readings: Zephaniah 3.14-18; Philippians 4.4-7; Luke 3.10-18

“Crowds of people came to hear John the Baptist and seek the baptism of repentance he proclaimed. They asked ‘What shall we do?’ In reply John said, ‘Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.'”

(Luke 3.10-11)

Just as John the Baptist helped people of his time examine their consciences, Pope Francis is calling us to ecological conversion. He wants us to redefine progress, so it can include all people and sustain us all. What are we to do? The pope urges us to pause and recover depth, to see beauty, share joy, and keep up our human capacity to encounter and care for one another (Laudato Si’ #113)

Talk as a family or group of friends about what in creation inspires awe and gives you joy. Plan to see and experience it.

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
please visit the Sunday By Sunday page
to order a subscription or request a free sample.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.
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Social Action Has Two Feet!

2 Dec

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Prayer For Advent – Week 1

2 Dec

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Gospel Reflection for December 6, 2015, 2nd Sunday of Advent

1 Dec

Sunday Readings: Baruch 5.1-9; Philippians 1.4-6, 8-11; Luke 3.1-6

When people heard John, they remembered what was written in the book of the prophet Isaiah. A herald’s voice in the desert cries out, “Make ready a road for God. Clear a straight path for God. Every valley shall be filled; every mountain and hill shall be leveled.”

(Luke 3.4-5)

When the Babylonians defeat Israel in 587 B.C., they breach the city walls, burn and level its homes, tear down the temple, and carry the able-bodied into exile in Babylon (modern Iraq). Our Jewish ancestors in faith might have vanished as a people except for the scrapbookers of the exile — the priests who collected and wrote down their history. After nearly 50 years in exile the people might have lost their religious identity without the prophet Second Isaiah, who preached a new exodus, a way home through the wilderness.

John the Baptist heralds the turning point in history by which much of our world marks its calendar. The God who dwelt in Israel’s tent and temple and whom Second Isaiah sees at work in Babylon finds a new dwelling place. A woman makes home in her womb for God to become human. A human family makes a home in which her son, the Son of God, can grow up. God is at home in us and with us.

What stories belong in your Advent scrapbook as valuable preparation for Christmas?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
please visit the Sunday By Sunday page
to order a subscription or request a free sample.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.

Happy Thanksgiving From Us To You!

26 Nov

We’ve written a Thanksgiving Grace for you to use at Thanksgiving dinner, or whenever you eat with friends and family.

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Living The Gospel Today: Gratitude

25 Nov

 

 

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