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Gospel Reflection for July 21, 2019, 16th Sunday Ordinary Time

15 Jul

Sunday Readings: Genesis 18.1-10; Colossians 1.24-28; Luke 10.38-42

“Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him to her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teachings”  – Luke 10.38-39

In Sunday’s gospel Mary sits at Jesus’ feet to listen to his teachings and Martha serves him. These two actions–listening to Jesus’ words and serving a meal–are the same actions that take place in the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the eucharist. Perhaps Martha and Mary represent two forms of ministry evolving in the Christian community. Many women today value this gospel because it is one of the few stories about women. However, Luke sets the two sisters strangely against each other in the short gospel scene. Rather than ask Mary directly to help, Martha asks Jesus to command Mary to help with the work of hospitality. The request backfire.  Martha get chided for overburdening herself and Mary gets praise for silent listening.

The conflicts in the Martha and Mary story suggest that official ministries are evolving in the house churches of the A.D. 80s. The ministries of women in Christian communities have become controversial. The scene effectively silences the ministries of both women. Jesus tells Martha to give up her ministry of hospitality and perhaps house church and join her sister in preferring the better part–silent listening to Jesus. Perhaps their ministries of word and table make Martha and Mary too memorable in the life of the early Christian community to forget. Perhaps they are so important that Luke uses the voice of Jesus’ authority to put them in their place, the same subordinate position women are transforming today.

How do you participate in the Church’s ministries of word and table? What would happen if all the women in your parish withheld their service and leadership? 


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Gospel Reflection for July 14, 2019, 15th Sunday Ordinary Time

8 Jul

Sunday Readings: Deuteronomy 30.10-136)?4; Colossians 1.15-20; Luke 10.25-37

“Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the man who fell in with the robbers?”  – Luke 10.25-37

Compassion may be understood as the capacity to be attracted to and moved by the vulnerability of someone else. It requires the willingness to risk, to stop and share one’s strengths and vulnerability, rather than rushing on with our own preoccupations or stereotypes. As Jesus’ story shows, compassion is the opposite of a priest’s self-righteousness and a Levite’s apathy.

Compassion is a movement of the heart. It includes sensitivity to what is weak and wounded as well as the courage to allow oneself to be affected by another’s pain. Who can take away suffering without entering into it? How can we help to heal someone else’s wounds if we have not begun to accept our own. Compassion also demands action — the type that takes time or even makes time — to help change persons and structures that sometimes blindly exclude or marginalize.

What experiences in your life make it difficult to feel compassionate? What experiences have taught you compassion and the need to be less judgmental? 


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 July 7, 2019, 14th Sunday Ordinary Time

2 Jul

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 66.19-14; Galatians 6.14-18; Luke 10.1-9 

“Jesus appointed 72 other missionaries and sent them in pairs ahead of him to every town and place he intended to visit.”  – Luke 10.1

Jesus asks of new disciples the same radical, itinerant way of life he models on the way to Jerusalem. His followers will have no place to lay their heads, no duties more important than preaching the gospel and bringing its healing power among the people, and no family ties deeper than the faith that unifies those who believe in Jesus and do God’s will. Jesus advises no walking staff,  no traveling bag, no sandals, no visiting along the way. A disciple cannot posses much less than this. However, Jesus’ rules presume local communities of Christians that welcome the radical, itinerant missionaries. The greeting, “Peace to this house, is the test. Missionaries stay with anyone who reciprocates the greeting.

Who brought the good news of God’s nearness to you? To whom has you handed it on? 


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 June 30, 2019, 13th Sunday Ordinary Time

26 Jun

Gospel Reflection for June 30, 2019, 13th Sunday Ordinary Time

Sunday Readings: 1 Kings 19.16, 19-21; Galatians 5.1, 13-18; Luke 9.51-62 

“As the days were being fulfilled for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”  – Luke 9.51

In the first verse we hear this Sunday, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, a journey that leads to the cross and provides the literary frame for ten chapters (Luke 9.51-19.28). Ultimately the journey leads from death to life, lifts Jesus into glory, and promises his followers a path to life with God. Jesus’ men and women disciples serve an apprenticeship on this journey to Jerusalem. On their way Jesus encounters three people who want to follow him but each finds the cost too high—no place to lay one’s head, no possessions, little time for family and parents. These three introduce us to our yes-but-not-yet selves.

What is something spiritual you plan to do but not yet? 


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.

Image 24 Jun

Gospel Reflection for June 23, 2019, Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

20 Jun

Scripture Readings: Genesis 14:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11.23-26; Luke 9.11-17 

“Then taking the five loaves and the two fishes, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven, pronounced a blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to his disciples for distribution to the crowd.” – Luke 9.16

When we gather at Eucharist, we remember Jesus’ giving his whole self for us. We find strength and courage to try this kind of self-giving ourselves. We gather again and again, so that we become more and more like him. We gather in pain and delight. We pour out our lives as Jesus did. We put our lives on the altar with him. Like the sacrament itself we become Jesus’ real presence in our world. We become what we receive. The shared food multiplies, just as love and forgiveness do.

How have you become what you receive?


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 June 16, 2019, Trinity Sunday

14 Jun

Sunday Readings: Proverbs 8.22-31; Romans 5.1-5; John 16.12-15

“When the Spirit of truth comes, this One will guide you along the way of all truth. The Spirit will not speak independently but will speak only what the Spirit hears and will declare to you the things that are to come.”  – John 16.13

In Sunday’s gospel Jesus talks with his disciples, preparing to leave them. His words strain to express the communion in which he lives with his Father and the Spirit and in which his disciples will participate. Most Christians grasp an image of God as creator and God as incarnate Son more easily than an image of God as Spirit and guide. The Spirit in whom we live, move, and have our being may elude us, until perhaps we lose a parent, grandparent, or friend and experience their spirit and voice arising within us. The Spirit is the love or relatedness between Creator, Son, and all that lives. God is not only the Creator of old or the Savior of 2,000 years ago but the Spirit of our daily breath and deepest present desires, conflicts, and challenges. The Spirit breathes in us today.

Whose spirit has arisen in you to guide you at key points in your life? What does the image of breath tell you about the Holy Spirit?


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.

Every Sunday Belongs To Luke

11 Jun

Beginning next week, every Sunday Gospel until Advent is from the Gospel of Luke. For 23 consecutive Sundays we hear Luke’s stories and parables of forgiveness and healing. We experience Jesus standing up for the poor and forgotten, searching for the lost sheep, lost coin, lost souls.

 These powerful stories that feed our faith deserve to have more than a cursory hearing. Sister Joan’s new book, Luke’s Gospel: Written for Us, invites individuals and small groups to spend more time with Luke. Click here to read the Introduction and a sample chapter. Imagine sharing the questions in each chapter with friends or family. Call Lacy at 800-232-5533 to place your order, or visit goodgroundpress.com to order online.


 

Visit goodgroundpress.com to read about the Holy Women of the Gospels!

Gospel Reflection for June 2, 2019, Ascension

29 May

Gospel Reflection for June 2, 2019, Ascension

Sunday Readings: Acts 1.1-11; Ephesians 1.17-23; Luke 24.46-53

Jesus spoke to this disciples, “Thus it is written that the messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are the witnesses of these things.”  – Luke 24.48

In the cosmology of Jesus’ time, God and the heavens were up and human begins and Earth were below. Our 2,000-year old gospel tells the story of Jesus’ return to God is to go to the heavens. Today humans ride the clouds regularly in planes. Thee Hubble telescope captures the spidery webs of light from other galaxies. The Church that in the 16th century suppressed Galileo’s proofs that Earth revolved around the sun today welcomes the work of scientists as they expand the edge of mystery in space and in matter.

In returning to God, the risen Jesus takes with him the human nature assumed in his incarnation. Jesus is about embodied divinity. Jesus remains God incarnate. One of us humans is with God. Jesus is the first born of a new humanity that shares life with God. Jesus goes ahead of us toward the consummation of all in God. We hunger for lasting communion with our loved ones.

In the ascension Jesus passes over into communion with God, bridging the human and divine. He blesses his company of disciples upon whom he promises to send the Holy Spirit to animate their witness to the world.

How does science affect your faith? How do you imagine communion in God?


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.

Check out Sunday by Sunday!

28 May

Sunday by Sunday keeps the Sunday Gospel with you all week long.

 

We are happy to share some of our Sunday by Sunday issues with you. Each weekly issue brings you:

  • The Sunday Gospel in plain language.
  • Reflection on how the Gospel can shape your life.
  • Prayer on the Gospel theme.

Click here to view some sample issues of Sunday by Sunday. Our new subscription year begins in October. Wouldn’t you like to gather a group to share the Gospel with each week? Individual subscriptions are also available. We guarantee it will enrich your life.

Click here for our calendar and prices. You can order online, or call Good Ground Press 800-232-5533. We still have Summer and September Sunday by Sunday issues. If you are not ready to commit to a subscription for 2019-2020, but want to explore what Sunday by Sunday has to offer, please give us a call at the above number and we will ship them out to you the next day.

Enjoy the blessings of the gospel with Sunday by Sunday.

 

 

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