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New Hedgerow Class!

8 Aug

Sister Joan is teaching a class at Wisdom Ways beginning September 17. Click here for more information.

Sister Joan has a new book!

3 Aug

Sister Joan has created a litany for the women in Mark’s Gospel. Sister Ansgar joined the prayer by bringing the women to life with her art. We invite you to join us in prayer and reflection and in adding women in your life to the litany. Go to our website—goodgroundpress.com—to read sample pages. Only $8.00 per copy, less if you order for a group.

Softcover. 32 pages. $8.00 (bulk prices available).

 

 

Gospel Reflection for August 5, 2018, 18th Sunday Ordinary Time

2 Aug

Scripture Readings: Exodus 16.2-4, 12-15; Ephesians 4.17,20-24; John 6.24-35

“What must we do to perform the works of God?” – John 6.28

Jesus interests the crowd that he fed the day before in working for the food that endures for eternal life. Eternal life is the lure. That is why they ask, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Believe in the one whom God has sent is Jesus’ answer. The abundant bread proved no sacrament to them. They fail to catch on that it points to who Jesus is. They fail to see that Jesus’ teaching, healing, loving presence is the sign of God among them. The crowd wants another sign if they are to believe Jesus is from God. They are hungry for more than food?

For what do I hunger? Of what do I want more of? In a budding friendship each person wants to discover who the other is, what he or she is about, what and who is important in the other’s life? We yearn to know one another more deeply. A new book entices us to join a book club. An encounter with a neighbor leads to a joint gardening project. You try volunteering and find a whole new purpose. Faith may become a hunger that leads to a prayer group or to bible study. A hunger for justice may lead us to work for legislative action.

Who do you feed in your daily life and work? For what do you hunger?


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 July 29, 2018, 17th Sunday Ordinary Time

24 Jul

Gospel Reflection for July 29, 2018, 17th Sunday Ordinary Time

Sunday Readings: 2 Kings 4.42-44; Ephesians 4.1-6; John 6.1-15

Jesus saw a large crowd coming toward him and said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat? He said this to test him, for he knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here with five barley loaves and three fish. But what are they among so many?”  – John 6.5-9

In John’s gospel healing and feeding are called signs rather than miracles. A sign points to more than is visible. For the next several Sundays the Church reads from John gospel, chapter 6, which points to Jesus as the living bread and invites us to reflect on our eucharistic faith.

John’s theology riffs off the story of Jesus feeding a multitude with five barley loaves and two fish and having 12 baskets full of leftovers for those of us down the centuries and around the world who didn’t make the original feeding. To begin, Jesus’ disciples hit the wall about providing for such a crowd. The real crisis is about more than food. The real crisis lies in the disciples’ own resources and lack of imagination. Philip prices out the cost. Today he might be saying, “There aren’t enough priests, so we can no longer have the bread of life for everyone who is hungry.” Andrew finds resources but they’re meager. He reports a count, too. The boy who isn’t in a box gives what he has and it proves enough. Quite amazing.

To what does the sign point? What resources do the people of God have to nourish us today?


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.

A Prayer For Today

20 Jul

New Beginnings

Spirit of Life, bless us as we enter this new time,
and as we bless one another in peace.
In this time of hope we wish to affirm life for all.
We commit ourselves again
to bring your hope of freedom
to all who suffer despair.
Fill us with a thirst for your justice
and teach us to move beyond
reliance on empty promises and false hopes.

Spirit of Life, renew our vision of a different possibility,
a different world.
Open the eyes of those who are fed
to the cries of the hungry.
Move the hearts of those who are whole
to offer healing to those who suffer.
Turn our eyes inward and outward
to the beauties within and without.
Help us to care for your presence
in the sap-filled plants, in the soaring birds,
in the murmuring ocean
in the gurgling streams with their families of fish,
and in our own hearts,
often broken, sometimes healed.

Spirit of Life, renew our dreams.
Help us to attend to your voice
and to know your call amid all the others.
Repair our dreams for the future
when they have become ragged.

Bless all the women of the future,
and grant them loving and listening friends and family.
Open for them a way of peace
so that their children and their children’s children
may receive an inheritance
of womanly grace and hope.
Amen, We Pray. Amen

– Hildegarde of Bingen


We send you this prayer from a 12th century woman to bless your day. It is found in Praying with the Woman Mystics by Mary T. Malone (The Columba Press, 2006).

Visit goodgroundpress.com for daily prayers and blessings.

Gospel Reflection for July 22, 2018, 16th Sunday Ordinary Time

18 Jul

Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 23.1-6; Ephesians 2.13-18; Mark 6.30-34

“As he went ashore, Jesus saw a great crowd. His heart is moved with pity for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He began to teach them many things.” – Mark 6.34

In Sunday’s gospel the twelve return from the mission to preach and heal which Jesus sent them out to do in last Sunday’s gospel. They come back woofed. Jesus’ growing popularity surrounds them with crowds and keeps them from eating let alone resting. Mark often creates literary sandwiches, a story within a story. Last Sunday’s gospel served us the first slice of story–Jesus sending the twelve out in pairs; this Sunday we hear the second slice of story–the return of the twelve. We don’t hear the 17 verses that form the meat in the middle of the sandwich. These verses tell the story of John the Baptist’s senseless and gruesome beheading. They do more than supply time for the twelve to be out on mission. The story of John the Baptist’s tells us the twelve have embarked on the same mission that cost the Baptist and Jesus their lives. It foreshadows the cost of prophetic ministry.

Jesus cannot shut off his compassion to the people to come to him in droves. The gospel call us to preach the good news with our lives, to turn on our compassion, not turn it off.

When has pity or compassion moved you to action?


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 July 15, 2018, 15th Sunday Ordinary Time

12 Jul

Sunday Readings: Amos 7.12-15; Ephesians 1.2-14; Mark 6.7-13

“So the twelve went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” – Mark 6.12-13

Jesus sends the twelve men disciples out to become one with the people in villages near Nazareth, to stay with them, and depend on their hospitality. Their actions  cultivate community in three ways. First, they preach repentance, turning toward God, opening one’s heart to the Spirit’s stirrings in us, opening our eyes to the holy in which we live. Second, the twelve cast out demons. Today we might call demons destructive drives and addictions that keep us from possessing ourselves and that erode our capacity to love others. Third, the twelve anoint and heal the sick as Jesus did.

We continue Jesus’ mission in our time just as the twelve do in Sunday’s gospel. We an testify to God’s presence in our lives. We can listen to and support friends and family members change their lives from too much work or drink, or too little voice or purpose. We can accompany the sick and elderly.

How do you continue Jesus’ mission?


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.

Blessings on this Fourth of July!

4 Jul

Photo via Flickr user littlestar19

 

Our 4th Of July blessing is the final two stanzas from the poem “One Today” by Richard Blanco, composed for President Obama’s second inauguration. We are all together under one sky in this nation and in our church, with hope waiting for us to name it. Thank you for being a blessing to all of us at Good Ground Press.

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always–home,
always under one sky, our sky.  And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country–all of us–
facing the stars
hope–a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it — together.


Visit goodgroundpress.com for daily prayers, retreats, and scripture study.

Gospel Reflection for July 8, 2018, 14th Sunday Ordinary Time

3 Jul

Scripture Readings: Ezekiel 2.2-5; 2 Corinthians 12.7-10; Mark 6.1-6

“Jesus was amazed at their unbelief.” – Mark 6.6

When Jesus preaches in his hometown synagogue, his neighbors experience his astonishing wisdom but quickly dismiss his gifts. Their certainty and cynicism quickly tame their amazement at his preaching and healing. Jesus is a carpenter and no prophet. They cannot recognize God present in one of their own. Theologian Bernard Lonergan says, “The opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty.” Many of us shun controversy and debate, especially in our polarized times. We have to ask ourselves what we are too certain about to question and rethink.

What phrases do you use in conversations to let people know you are open to listening and conversing? 


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 July 1, 2018, 13th Sunday Ordinary Time

27 Jun

Sunday Readings: Wisdom 1.13-15; 2.23-34; 2 Corinthians 8.7,9,13-15; Mark 5.21-43

“The woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before Jesus, and told him the whole truth.”  – Mark 5.33

Jesus took the girl by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means,”Little girl, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was 12 years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. – Mark 5.41-42

In Sunday’s gospel, the gospel writer Mark deliberately tells the stories of two daughters as a story within a story. Both stories involve generations–the stories of Jairus and his blood daughter and Jesus and a faith daughter.  Jairus falls at Jesus’ feet and begs Jesus to heal his 12-year-old daughter who lingers near death. On his way a woman desperate to stop a 12-year flow of blood makes a last ditch effort for healing. She touches Jesus’ clothes, is healed, and gives witness in the midst of the crowd to all that has happened to her. Jesus recognizes her faith and call her daughter. Jairus and his wife fear for their daughter’s life. Jesus raises her up. Both stories end in amazement, the threshold where faith in Jesus begins.

What witness do you give to Jesus’ importance 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.

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