Celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation

25 Mar

Sister Joan and Sister Ansgar have created a book celebrating the women of Luke’s Gospel. First among them is Mary of Nazareth, whose visit from the angel Gabriel we celebrate today. Click here to find the pages of prayer and reflection on Mary. The entire book, Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel, will be available in mid-April.

Hail, Mary. Full of grace. Blessed are you among all women.
Pray for us.


 

Visit goodgroundpress.com to pre-order your copy of Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel, or call Lacy at 800-232-5533. Only $8.00!

Gospel Reflection for March 24, 2019, 3rd Sunday of Lent

21 Mar

Gospel Reflection for March 24, 2019, 3rd Sunday of Lent

Sunday Readings: Exodus 3.1-8, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 10.1-6,10-12; Luke 13.1-9

Jesus spoke a parable. A man had a fig tree, came looking for figs, but found none. He said to the gardener, “For three years I have come looking for figs and found none. Cut it down. . .” The gardener said, “Sir, leave it one more year while I hoe around it and manure it.  Perhaps then it will bear figs.” – Luke 13.7-8

How do we see ourselves in Jesus’ parable? What to do with a tree that bears no fruit? Who likes to cut down a tree? If we think of the gardener as God, then God is nurturing, caring more about another chance to bear fruit than cutting it down. If we think of the tree as ourselves or our children, who doesn’t need or won’t give another chance to grow? A fourth, a fifth?

In the Old Testament steadfast, generative love is God’s signature characteristic. Sunday’s responsorial psalm provides one of the most famous descriptions of God: “Merciful and gracious is the Holy One, slow to anger and abounding in kindness” (103.8).

Our daily interactions cultivate conversion. Like the gardener we nourish and encourage one another. Listening to others can cultivate the fruit of compassion or courage or insight. Other believers can freshen our commitments.

In what ways are you like the owner of the fig tree? In what ways like the gardener? What or whom will you give one more chance to bear fruit? What special care with this require?


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.

What’s more Catholic than fish dinners?

21 Mar

Did you know the fish is an ancient Christian symbol? The word for fish in Greek is ichtus, pronounced ick-toose. The word fish in Greek letters look like:

The first Christians, who were sometimes persecuted for their faith in Jesus, made an acrostic out of this word. In an acrostic, each letter is the first letter of a word.

I        Jesus
CH     Christ
TH     God’s (the Greek word is Theos)
U       Son
S       Savior

When Christians wanted to show someone else they followed Jesus, they might draw a fish symbol on paper or on the ground. The fish meant the person drawing it believed in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior.

So patronize your local fish dinner this Friday. Bring a neighbor or carry fish back to a shut-in person. Do it in the name of Jesus.

Feed Your Spirit This Week

Choose an activity each day to keep Lent alive.

PLANT
• Work in your yard.  Meet and visit with neighbors.
• Plant a tomato in a large pot. Put it in a sunny spot and wait for your first BLT.

SIMPLIFY
• Organize a storage area.
• Turn off the TV for the whole evening.

PRAY
• Thank God for spring. Make a litany of life, using each letter of the alphabet.
• Pray for Pope Francis and the future of the Church.

READ
• The gospels for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent are all on forgiveness and second chances. Read them at goodgroundpress.com.
• Read a Gospel Reflection for March 24.

FAMILY and FRIENDS
• Tell a family member five lovable things about him or her.
• Let go of a grudge you have held on to long enough.

PARTICIPATE
• Go to a fish dinner.
• Contribute to a food shelf at church or in your neighborhood.

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

19 Mar

When Joseph didn’t know what to do about his pregnant fiancée, he slept on it. In his dreams, an angel eased his doubt and gave him courage to act. Pray to Joseph today to fill your heart with hope and with the willingness to see God at work where you never imagined.

 Joseph is patron of the Universal Church. Ask him to bless Pope Francis’s efforts to dream a more merciful church into being. The Sisters of St. Joseph share one of their favorite prayers below.

Joseph most ordinary, on this your feast,

help us listen to our dreams with compassion and openness as you did.
Help us stretch, hold, and deepen our relationships.
Open our embrace of the future as you opened
your arms to a child not your own.

In these hard times may we, like you, dream compassionately,
provide wisely, and build community that can hold us together.
We ask this through Jesus, whom you claimed and named. Amen.


Visit our website—goodgroundpress.com—for Lenten reflections and activities.

Gospel Reflection for March 17, 2019, 2nd Sunday of Lent

15 Mar

Sunday Readings: Genesis 15.5-12,17-18; Philippians 317-4.1; Luke 9.28-36

“Suddenly two men were talking with Jesus–Moses and Elijah. Appearing in glory, they spoke of his exodus, which he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem.” – Luke 9.30-31

Jesus’ prayer on the mount of transfiguration is a turning point in his ministry. A few verses later he “sets his face for Jerusalem” (Luke 9.51). The transfiguration gospel calls us to set our sights toward Easter, to enter more deeply the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which transforms us still. Luke calls us to prayer–to take time as Jesus does in his 40 days in the wilderness to hear and integrate the Spirit’s urging into his life.

The transfiguration connects Jesus with the two prophets in Israel’s history who have interacted most intimately with God–Moses and Elijah. Like the lawgiver Moses, who led an exodus from slavery to freedom, Jesus leads an exodus from death to new life. Like the prophet Elijah, Jesus will confront the officials of temple and empire after his prayer in the silent stillness of a mountaintop.

Who like Moses and Elijah are holy people who help you envision your call into the future?


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.

St. Patrick’s Prayer

15 Mar


Patrick was kidnapped when he was 16, enslaved until he was 22, became a priest, but not one his bishop appreciated much, and was sent to wild and untamed Ireland to witness to the Gospel. Many of us find a home in the Catholic Church because of Patrick. Pray his breastplate prayer below to celebrate his feast day. Remember, as far back as you can, the hearts of all who love you.
 

Christ be with me, Christ within me


Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort me and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger


Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.

(390-461 AD)

Visit our website — goodgroundpress.com — for Lenten reflections and activities.

Two Books For Lent!

14 Mar

This Lent we read from Luke’s Gospel with his stories of forgiveness, compassion, and second chances. Sister Joan’s new book is ideal for faith-sharing groups, Bible study, RCIA, homilists, and anyone who wants to understand scripture better. Only $10!

Order online at goodgroundpress.com or call us at 800-232-5533.


Sister Joan and Sister Ansgar have collaborated for a second time on Gospel women. In both his Gospel and in the Acts of the 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 and illustration and prayer.

Book available in April, 2019. Click here to pre-order your copy of Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel today.

Softcover, 88 pages. 1-9 copies, $8; 10-99, $7; 100+, $5.50.

International Women’s Day

8 Mar

It’s International Women’s Day! Check out www.internationalwomensday.com to find ways that you can take part in to create a more equal world and to celebrate the progress and achievements that women continue to make every day. #internationalwomensday #balanceforbetter

 

Gospel Reflection for March 10, 2019, 1st Sunday of Lent

8 Mar

Sunday Readings: Deuteronomy 26.4-10; Romans 10.8-13; Luke 4.1-13

“Not by bread alone shall a person live.” – Luke 4.4

Turning stones to bread does not tempt Jesus. He recognizes that our relationships with others and with others nourish us as surely as food does. We humans are social beings who cannot grow out of infancy without care and who flourish in the bonds of family, friendship, and collaborative work.

In fact, Jesus always eating with people in Luke’s gospel. These meals with the messiah often turn the expectations of the righteous upside down, for Jesus welcomes and reconciles sinners at these meals. Jesus nourishes us, ultimately, by pouring out his love and life for us in meals, miracles, and the cross.

Today in North America we exercise our freedom endlessly in malls and groceries. Choices abound. What bottled water do we prefer? What flavoring do we like best in our double latte? Our choices determine personal style, but they may not nourish Christian identity. Jesus challenges us not to live by consuming alone but by choosing to lift up those who have little chance to thrive without our help.

By which of God’s words do you live? With whom do you need a renewing meal? Who might you welcome to your family table?


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.

Ash Wednesday

6 Mar

Photo via Flickr user Lawrence OP

“So let us be marked not for sorrow.
And let us be marked not for shame.
Let us be marked not for false humility

or for thinking we are less than we are
but for claiming what God can do
within the dust, within the dirt,
within the stuff of which the world is made,

and the stars that blaze in our bones,
and the galaxies that spiral inside the smudge we bear.”

Jan Richardson from Blessing the Dust

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