Gospel Reflection for December 15, 2019, 3rd Sunday of Advent

Gospel Reflection for December 15, 2019, 3rd Sunday of Advent

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 35.1-6,10; James 5.7-10; Matthew 11.2-11

In his ministry Jesus is not hacking dead branches off the family tree of Israel nor winnowing hypocrites from among repentant sinners as John expected he would. Jesus is so different from the axe-wielding, chaff-winnowing judge that John expected, that he sends messengers to ask Jesus –“Are you the one to come?” Jesus answers, “Go tell John what you see and hear: the blind see; the lame walk; lepers are cured; the deaf hear; the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the good news preached to them.” (Matthew 11.2-5)

As messiah, Jesus reveals the compassionate heart of God. He does not come to exert destructive, judgmental power over a suffering people but to bring wholeness and salvation. This gospel calls Matthew’s community and us today to examine our expectations of God’s reign and receive the blessing Jesus extends to all who do not stumble at his mission of compassion but continue his life-giving work.

What hopeful actions can you bring to those you love this season? What judgments can you let go?   


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.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Story

Our Mother Who Art

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Read her story. Share it with family and friends. The art and prayer on this page are by Sister Ansgar, CSJ. May you and our whole continent be blessed by the Protectoress of the Americas. Happy feast day!

You are the mother
of the dark and the light
the rich and the poor
the humble and proud.

You are the mother
of the young and the old
the strong and the weak
of those who rejoice
of those who weep.

You are the mother
of woman and man
of small and of great
of broken and whole.
You are the mother who art.


Sister Ansgar also created the art for Holy Women, Full of Grace. Check out the sample pages and to order online, or call Good Ground Press at 800-232-5533.

Visit goodgroundpress.com to see our other Advent resources.

Gospel Reflection for December 8, 2019, 2nd Sunday of Advent

Gospel Reflection for December 8, 2019, 2nd Sunday of Advent

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 2.1-5; Romans 13.11-14; Matthew 23.37-44

Ours are not the only troubled times. The prophet Isaiah describes in Sunday’s first reading an ideal king and a peaceable kin*dom. Small wonder, Isaiah lives in the years following the Assyria army’s destruction of the northern kingdom in 722 B.C.E. He lives 20 years later as another Assyrian general, Sennacherib, invades the southern kingdom and lays siege to Jerusalem. The army leaves terrible devastation behind. Archaeological digs find 289 village sites where people lived before this invasion and only 85 sites a century later.

In the face of so much threat and devastation, Isaiah imagines a sprout from the stump of Jesse, a leader filled with the Spirit of God, who lives and breathes wisdom and understanding, who acts with counsel and strength, who gathers knowledge, and experiences awe in God’s presence. Isaiah is confident that God is faithful and will send a Spirit-led leader who will judge the poor with justice and treat them fairly. Under this leader there will be no harm or ruin on God’s holy mountain. The wolf will live with the lamb, the calf with the lion. The weaned child will lay a hand on the adder’s lair.

Isaiah’s vision makes me ask, “What am I doing with my gifts of the Spirit?” How am I leading? Too often political organizers and too many religious leaders set us against each other. To prevail, they sharpen their messages and remove any middle ground where we might listen to our hearts and use our heads. Up or down, for or against, yes or no. It takes mature human beings to hold seeming opposites in tension without letting go of either. It takes wisdom to handle complexity, to keep on seeking understanding in all the places and in all hearts where it lives, to recognize we always have more to learn.

What seeming opposites have you held in tension and discovered something new?  


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.

Happy Eve of St. Nicholas!

Celebrate both St. Nicholas and Our Lady of Guadalupe this Advent. Click here to read, download, and print your own copy of Celebrate Advent Saints. Share their stories with family and friends.

Visit goodgroundpress.com for more Advent resources for you, your family, and your parish.

Happy Thanksgiving from Good Ground Press

We are grateful that we have been able to serve you all these years. You are a blessing to us. Thank you.

Gospel Reflection for December 1, 2019, 1st Sunday of Advent

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 2.1-5; Romans 13.11-14; Matthew 23.37-44

“Be sure of this: If the owner of the house knew when the thief was coming he or she would keep a watchful eye and not allow the house to be broken into. You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at a time you do not know.” – Matthew 24.43-44

The 1st Sunday of Advent begins the Church year with a focus on Jesus’ second coming, an event that seems even farther off to us today than to the Christians for whom Matthew wrote two millennia ago. The parable above makes clear a thief depends on the homeowner’s forgetfulness. To not miss God’s comings, Jesus cautions to keep a watchful eye. Staying awake spiritually means paying attention–living, loving, remembering consciously. We celebrate liturgies in our churches that help us appreciate God’s presence and gifts in our lives. We celebrates rituals in many other places–tucking a child in bed every night, honoring birthdays with cake and memories, gathering in times of sorrow.

Advent leads us toward the birth of God in human flesh, an emptying of divine prerogative and a privileging our human capacity to heal, share, forgive, reconcile, free, accompany. We are pregnant with Spirit and in labor in our world to bring God’s kin*dom to birth among us. Now is the time to live like Jesus. Now is the moment to feed the hungry, to forgive those we really love, to restore depressed spirits to joy. Now is the time to watch birds eating the seeds of last summer’s blooms and fruit, and to let “I love you” and “I’m proud of you” no longer go unsaid.

What gifts has God given me to share? 


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 November 24, 2019, Feast of Christ the King

Sunday Readings: 2 Samuel 5.1-3; Colossians 1.12-20; Luke 23.35-43

Jesus was crucified with two criminals. One reviled Jesus, saying, “Aren’t you the messiah? Then save yourself and us.” The other criminal rebuked the first, saying, “Don’t you even fear God? … This man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answers, “I assure you, this day you will be with me in paradise”. –  Luke 23.39, 41-43

Jesus begins his mission by declaring a jubilee year of forgiving debts, righting relationships, restoring fields, and restoring communities so all have a chance to thrive. Jesus is about forgiving sinners, healing the sick, liberating those who are oppressed; he is good news for the poor.

In the final scene of Jesus’ ministry, this Sunday’s gospel, soldiers and bystanders taunt Jesus as he hangs on the cross. One of the two criminals hanging with Jesus in crucifixion recognizes Jesus is the  messiah. This criminal, whom Christians traditionally call the good thief, seeks the pardon and mercy only a king of Israel can give. His words recall Jewish prayers of old. Jews asked God to remember them, to keep them in existence. To remember is to give life and continue relationships.

In asking Jesus to remember him, the good thief asks for relationship and continuing life with him. The good thief also testifies that Jesus is innocent of any crime. This man believes God’s kingdom will come, will vindicate Jesus, and identify him as the messiah of Israel.

Immediately Jesus responds with welcome and assurance, “This day you will be with me in paradise.” His words transform the past of the thief and include him among the kin of God.

For what innocent people do you speak out as the good thief does? Who have you forgiven and continued in relationship? 


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.

Happy feast of St. Albert, patron saint of scientists and philosophers

We honor St. Albert, born 1200, by with this poem from another scientist and philosopher, St. Hildegard of Bingen, born 1098. As a woman, Hildegard was denied higher education, but she learned about the earth and its healing powers and about God from the nuns of Bingen. Both saints taught us that creation is our first intimation of the beauty and graciousness of God. Find a friend and take turns with the calls to God and the Alleluias. Happy feast day!

You are Fire                                              Alleluia
You are Breath                                         Alleluia
You are Shelter in the storm                 Alleluia
You are Wisdom                                      Alleluia
You are Darkness                                    Alleluia
You are Light                                           Alleluia
You are Friend                                         Alleluia
You are Lover                                          Alleluia
You are Mother                                       Alleluia
You are Earth-body                                Alleluia
You are Energy                                       Alleluia
You are the Rising Sap of Spring        Alleluia
You are Life                                             Alleluia
You are Death Overcome                      Alleluia


 

Visit goodgroundpress.com to check out our Advent resources.

%d bloggers like this: