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Gospel Reflection for January 20, 2019, 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time

18 Jan

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 62.1-5; 1 Corinthians 12.4-11; John 2.1-11

“You have kept the choice wine until now.” – John 2.10

In John’s gospel Jesus works his first sign at a wedding. Jesus, his new disciples, and his mother are there. The feast hints at a marriage other than the one the guests are celebrating. Turning six big water jars (20 gallons each) into wine provides 120 gallons of wine at a wedding feast that must be nearly over if the guests have drunk up the available wine. Jesus provides wine enough for celebrating the messiah’s relationship with his new community that continues in every Eucharist. The marriage feast that most concerns John is the lasting and intimate relationship of faith between the risen Jesus and his disciples down the centuries. The abundant wine is for the community that continues to gather in his name.

What do you appreciate about a wedding feast as an image of Christian community?


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.

Luke’s Gospel: Written For Us

14 Jan

This Lent we read from Luke’s Gospel with his stories forgiveness, compassion, and second chances. Sister Joan’s new book is ideal for RCIA, homilists, and anyone who wants to understand scripture better. Visit goodgroundpress.com to order your copy today, or call us at 800-232-5533.

Check out our Lent Resources page to download and print free Lent activities you can do with your family and parish.

 

Gospel Reflection for January 13, 2019, Baptism of the Lord

10 Jan

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 42.1-4,6-7; Titus 2.11-14,3.4-7; Luke 3.15-16,21-22

“As the people were filled with expectation and all were questioning in their hearts whether John might be the messiah, John answered ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'” – Luke 3.16

No one works with greater zeal and tirelessness than John the Baptist to ready people for the messiah’s coming, so hard that many think he is the messiah. The baptism John offers people marks their repentance and turning toward God. The washing expresses their change of heart. Jesus discerns his own mission among these people seeking God and goodness.

When Jesus is baptized, the Holy Spirit comes upon him. A voice from heaven declares who he is: “My Son, my Beloved.” Our baptisms call us to join in Jesus’ mission. The Spirit comes upon us to inspired us to love and forgive one another as Jesus did, to share and make peace, to welcome all. It is a call to holiness.

What is holiness to you? How do you respond to this baptismal call?


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.

Special Lent Offer!

10 Jan

Lent is looming. Ash Wednesday is March 6 this year. Spending time with the Gospel is a great way to keep Lent. Sunday by Sunday makes Gospel-centered faith sharing easy.

 The Sunday Gospels during Lent ask each of us —

  What transforms you? Gives you life?
  What have you done with a second chance?
  Is it the prodigal son who is lost or his older
 brother?
  Which stones should you stop throwing?



Click here to read some of the Sunday by Sunday issues for Lent. Then imagine every adult in your parish reading them, too.

Our Lent/Easter unit of eight issues is only $2.00 per unit when you order 100 units or more. Call us today at 800-232-5533 to reserve your copies of Sunday by Sunday at only $2.00 per person. We look forward to hearing from you.

Visit goodgroundpress.com to see our other Lent resources!

2019: The Year of Luke’s Gospel

7 Jan

We read from Luke’s Gospel at 41 of the Sunday and feast day liturgies in 2019. This year is a great time to become a student of Luke. His themes of justice for the poor, a voice for women, and second chances for everyone resonate with our own experiences.

Sister Joan’s new book—Luke’s Gospel: Written for Us—is ideal for the ordinary reader, for Bible study and faith-sharing groups, and for homilists. Its nine chapters and reflection questions invite readers to reflect on how we can answer Luke’s call to be witnesses to Jesus in our world.

Click here for the Table of Contents and sample chapters. Order at goodgroundpress.com or call 800-232-5533. 1-9 copies, $10.00 each; 10-99, $8.00; 100 or more, $7.00.

Gospel Reflection for January 6, 2019, Epiphany

3 Jan

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 60.1-6, Ephesians 3.2-3, 5-6, Matthew 2.1-12

Magi from the East arrive in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” – Matthew 2.1-2

Only Matthew tells the story of the wise visitors from the East. They are students of the stars, interpreters of dreams, and seekers of the new messiah. The story introduces a major theme of Matthew’s gospel: The inclusion of the Gentiles in the promises of Jesus. In the 50 years between Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Matthew writing the gospel, Gentile believers had come to outnumber Jewish Christians in the community for which he wrote. Jews and Gentiles had to tolerate and, where possible, integrate their different traditions, forms of worship, and ways of understanding Jesus. To sustain the unity of their diverse community, they had to recognize that the good news and saving grace Jesus brought was for all of them.

Life is easier with people who are like us, who think the way we think, and do things the way we do. There is no mistaking the message of the Epiphany readings: God is inclusive. Every nation on earth will adore the new child, proclaims Sunday’s responsorial psalm. Jesus is born for all of us. Peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation are our work.

Who are the people from whom you descend? What do you know about how your people first journeyed to faith in Jesus?


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.

Gospel Reflection for December 30, 2018, Holy Family

27 Dec

Sunday Readings: 1 Samuel 1.20-22, 24-28; 1 John 3.1-2, 21-24, Luke 2.41-52

Jesus went down with Mary and Joseph and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. – Luke 2.51-52

Only Luke tells a story about Jesus during the years between his infancy and public ministry. Sunday’s gospel takes place during his family’s yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem to join with friends and family in the Passover celebration. This detail tells us Jesus’ parents practice Jewish religious traditions. They make the four-day walk from Nazareth to Jerusalem.

The gospel suggests the journey is fun, with friends and family members walking together, visiting with different ones as they walk along all day, perhaps singing the psalms of ascent. Participating in the feast, stories, and traditions of his people is one way Jesus receives his religious education. He grows in wisdom in his family.

What importance has participating in parish worship and parish life as a child had on your adult faith? Who has most influenced how you lives your adult Christian life?


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.

Gospel Reflection for December 23, 2018, 4th Sunday of Advent

20 Dec

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

“Blessed is she who trusts God’s words to her will be fulfilled.” – Luke 1.45

The Advent gospels lead us toward Christmas with thoughts of Jesus’ coming in glory and with John the Baptist’s urgent preaching to repent. Those of us who have not yet agreed to let God’s word transform us have a few days yet to share our extra coats and food, to challenge ourselves to consume less, and to let the rejoicing of all creation at Jesus’ birth inspire our care for Earth.

In Mary and Elizabeth the gospel focuses on two model believers who welcome God’s word into themselves, into their bodies. Their faith and trust in God’s Spirit is bearing fruit in their wombs. In their visit together these two women share their faith in what God is doing in them for the world.

Each woman has responded to God separately. As they meet, the Spirit arcs between them like sparks. At Mary’s greeting Elizabeth’s baby leaps in her womb. This happens in faith-sharing groups. Sharing insights and commitments magnifies and expands our faith as we experience the Spirit at work in each other.

Who supports and affirms the Spirit’s stirring in you? How do faith-sharing conversations affirm and deepen your faith?


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.

Gospel Reflection for December 16, 2018, 3rd Sunday of Advent

14 Dec

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

The crowd asks John the Baptist, “What should we do?” Let people with two coats give to people who have none. People who have lots of food should do the same.” – Luke 3.10-11

Crowds are listening to John the Baptist scold his hearers because they come seeking baptism, a sign of a new and changed life, but have made no changes. “Bear fruit worthy of repentance,” he says. The crowds wants specifics. The Baptist tells them to share their belongings and food with those who are without clothes and food. He tells the tax collectors to collect only the money taxes require. John calls them to do justice in their everyday life and work. When people wash in the Jordan, they commit to just living. Baptism expresses this commitment. John teaches that uncleanness is a spiritual rather than a physical condition.

What is your experience of water cleansing and reviving you? What is a way you  have marked a turning toward God in your life?


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.

Gospel Reflection for December 9, 2018, 2nd Sunday of Advent

7 Dec

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

“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

John the Baptist heralds the turning point in history by which much of the world marks its calendar. His preaching echoes the prophet Second Isaiah, who called the exiled Israelites to come home  to Jerusalem and be a people, to rebuild their ruined city and temple. God will lead them. Second Isaiah’s imagines God straightening hairpins turns, filling impassable crevasses, and smoothing exhausting terrain to lead the people home through the wilderness. The message invites us to ask what road we are traveling. Is it full of traffic? Is it fast? Or scenic? Where does it lead?

Where is home? What relationships are you building to call home? 


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

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