Luke’s Gospel: Written For Us

17 May

Beginning in June all our Sunday gospels will be from Luke. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus seeks out the lost and forgotten, gives second chances, welcomes the sinner home. Sister Joan’s new book focuses on these themes in its nine short chapters. Ideal for bible study and faith-sharing groups and for homilists. Go to goodgroundpress.com to read sample chapters. Call 800-232-5533 to place your order today or order online!

1-9 copies, $10.00 each; 10-99, $8.00; 100 or more, $7.00.


 

In both his gospel and the Acts of Apostles, Luke tells women’s stories — Mary and Martha, the widow of Nain, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe and Priscilla. You will meet them and more in word, illustrations, and prayer. Visit goodgroundpress.com to read sample chapters and to order your copy of Sister Joan’s new book, Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel. Only $8 per copy! Call 800-232-5533 to place your order today or order online!

Gospel Reflection for May 19, 2019, 5th Sunday of Easter

16 May

Sunday Readings: Acts 14,21-27; Revelation 21.1-5; John 13.31-35

“As I have loved you, so you should love one another.” – John 13.34

Love is a feeling, the warmth of an embrace when spouses find themselves at home after work and commitments. Love is sometimes passionate, sexual, sensual, intimate. Love is attraction, the excitement of meeting someone who reads as  much or as widely, who cares about sustaining Earth, who values hope over cynicism, whom one can be oneself with.

Love lives faithfully and sustained over time translates into actions. Love is a verb. Cook, clean, wash clothes, plan shop, pay bills, fix. Like the bass drum in a marching band, these actions set the pace and rhythm of our days.

As in Jesus’ life, our lives sometimes ask more, even everything we can give. A sick child, a sick parent, mental illness. Our lives in the end asks all we have to give. Jesus stakes him claim with us in our capacity to love one another. In his footwashing and laying down his life for his friends, Jesus reveals his love for them and for us.

How do people know you are a follower of Jesus?


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

Gospel Reflection for May 12, 2019, 4th Sunday of Easter

10 May

Sunday Readings: Acts 13.14, 43-52; Revelation 7.9, 14-17;  John 10.27-30

“The Father and I are one.” – John 10.30

John’s gospel uses shepherding imagery to describe Jesus’ relationship with those who believe in him. Jesus’ first words in Sunday’s gospel are plain but theologically loaded. “My sheep hear my voice,” Jesus says. Hearing his words is believing. Those who believe recognize that Jesus reveals God. “I know them, and they follow me,” Jesus continues. To  know refers to deep, personal belonging. To follow expresses wholehearted allegiance. The gospel escalates as Jesus promises believers eternal life and insists “no one will snatch them from his hand.” These promises lead to Jesus’ inflammatory claim: “The Father and I are one.” Many Jewish hearers of these words reach for rocks to stone Jesus for blasphemy, for making himself equal to God. In John’s gospel Jesus is from above. He preexists with the Father. All things come into being through him. This understanding of Jesus creates hostility with other Jews.

What divides people today in our church? What do Jesus’ words “the Father and I are one” mean to you and for you?


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

Gospel Reflection for May 5, 2019, 3rd Sunday of Easter

2 May

Sunday Readings: Acts 5.27-32, 40-41; Revelation 5.11-14; John 21.1-19

Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to his disciples and did the same with the fish. This marked the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after being raised from the dead. When they had eaten their meal, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Peter responded, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs” – John 21.12-1

Jesus repeats his command to Peter three times. Feed my lambs. Tend my sheep. Feed my sheep. Peter receives a responsibility but not a superior role. The flock belongs to Jesus. Peter’s duty is to keep the sheep in the love that Jesus taught them, the love Jesus demonstrated in laying down his life for his friends.

Jesus’ last words to Peter are “Follow me.” The only way Peter can follow the risen Jesus is to follow his ways of love and care for Jesus’ flock. By the time John writes the fourth gospel, Peter has been dead for several decades, martyred in A.D. 64. Hearers of the gospel know that Peter lived out his answer to Jesus’ question.

What needs does a community of believers have? What tending, what nourishing does a community need?


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

Celebrate Easter!

26 Apr

Visit goodgroundpress.com to print these pages of Easter prayers and reflections. Treat yourself and those you love to all seven weeks of Easter. Carry the prayer mantra in your pocket or purse to keep your heart happy and at peace.

 

Gospel Reflection for April 28, 2019, 2nd Sunday of Easter

25 Apr

Sunday Readings: Acts 5.12-16; Revelation 1.9-11, 12-13, 17-19; John 20.19-31

“Even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them.…He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven them. If you hold them fast, they are held fast.” – John 20.19, 20-21

On Easter evening the risen Jesus breathes the creative, living Spirit of God upon the community of disciples locked in fear. Jesus’ gift of the Spirit empowers the disciples to become a reconciling community that forgives sins. The bible translation Catholic hear at Mass has Jesus add, “And whose sins you retain are retained.” This translation aligns Jesus’ words with those in Matthew’s gospel when he gives Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven (16.10).

Bible scholar Sandra Schneider observes that the Greek word translated retained or bound more commonly means to hold fast, to embrace. She argues that Jesus is charging the community to hold fast the people they forgive. As a reconciling community, they are to embrace and support those they forgive, not to hold them bound to their sins. This is our call in continuing Jesus’ mission—to be the face of forgiveness and mercy among those in our lives.

Jesus entrusts us to one another’s care. We can strengthen bonds among us, and we can shred relationships. We can remember wrongs that have been righted. We can exclude those who trouble and test us. In his gift of peace to the original disciples, Jesus insists that they have the power to build and hold together as a community.

Who holds you fast? Who do you hold fast?


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

Honor the Earth

22 Apr

Photo via Flickr User Kevin Gill.

Today is a world-wide day to honor and support Earth. We suggest three websites to help you and your family think about your responsibility for our common home. May Earth Day be a blessing to you and may you be a blessing to Earth.

Catholic Climate Covenant: http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org


Earth Day 2019: https://www.earthday.org/

Laudato Si, exhortation of Pope Francis. Especially chapter one.


Each of the Cosmos Cards has a fact about one of God’s creative moves and a blessing. These cards are ready to mail as a postcard for someone who needs a regular reminder that God is with him or her.

$15 for all 25 cards. Order online.

 

An Amazing Journey is a discussion guide on the Universe Story. The book features 50 articles by leaders in this field.

Click here to view the Table of Contents. Only $20! Order online.

 


Call Good Ground Press at 800-232-5533 to place your order. Visit goodgroundpress.com to check out our other resources.

Gospel Reflection for April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday

18 Apr

Sunday Readings: Acts 10.34,37-43; Colossians 3.1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5.6-8; John 20.1-9 (10-18)

Jesus said to Mary Magdalene, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and she told them he had said these things to her. “ – John 20.16-18

Easter Sunday celebrates Jesus’ resurrection to new life. This is the core of Christians faith: that God raised Jesus, who was crucified, from the dead. His resurrection promises that we who believe in him will be raised up to new life with God as he has been. He is the firstborn of a new humanity.

Jesus reveals that God’s power lies not in magic or military might but in love. Love is the power that gives life. Self-giving actions such as forgiving, sharing and welcoming strangers take us beyond the boundaries of ourselves and open us to God’s presence and power among us. The power of these actions in our lives and the lives of others gives us the same hint as spring does that we have the Spirit at work in us, more power than our own for building human community.

What do you see in the empty tomb? What do you hear in Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Jesus that affirms your faith?

A Blessed Holy Week and Easter

17 Apr

We send our wishes for a blessed Holy Week and Easter along with a poem by one of our sisters. May the beauty of the awakening earth lift your heart this mid-April.

Go to goodgroundpress.com to view the Easter issues of Sunday by Sunday.

Gospel Reflection for April 14, 2019, Passion/Palm Sunday

11 Apr

Sunday Readings: Luke 19.28-40; Isaiah 50.4-7; Philippians 2.6-11; Luke 22.14-23.56

Second criminal: “We are only paying this price for what we have done. This man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you enter into your reign.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23.41-44

The liturgies of Holy Week give worshipers parts to act out: processing with palms, footwashing on Holy Thursday, venerating the cross on Good Friday, following the newly lit Easter candle into the dark church on Holy Saturday. We walk with Jesus to his cross and follow the women to the empty tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. This is the week to go to church and rediscover who Jesus is, stir our dead roots, and revive our commitment to mission in the world.

Luke’s passion account emphasizes Jesus’ innocence. Pilate finds no evidence of a crime. The criminal to whom Jesus talks on the cross testifies to Jesus’ innocence. “This man has done nothing wrong.” At his death the centurion at the foot of the cross expresses Luke’s view, “Surely this man was innocent.”

Innocence is a powerful agent of change. The cries of children separated from their parents at the U.S./Mexican border has awakened citizens to the immigration issues more than the plight of adults. Turning the fire hoses on children in Montgomery had the same power during the struggle for Civil Rights for African Americans. The violence we so readily justify toward one another we cannot justify doing to children.

How does violence against the innocent affect you? Imagine yourself as one of Jesus’ acquaintances or one of the women disciples who accompanied Jesus from Galilee and stands at a distance watching him crucified. What do you feel and think?


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

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