Archive | Living The Gospel Today RSS feed for this section

Holy Women, Full of Grace

5 Apr

Start seeing the women in the Gospels. Meet the women in Mark’s Gospel in both word and illustration and pray with them.

32 pages. 1-9, $8 each; 10-99, $7 each.

Click here to order online or call Good Ground Press at 800-232-5533.

 

Gospel Reflection for April 7, 2019, 5th Sunday of Lent

3 Apr

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 43.16-21; Philippians 3.8-14; John 8.1-11

“Woman, where are they all? Has no one condemned you?” – John 8.10

A group of men who oppose Jesus catch a woman in the act of adultery and bring her to Jesus to set a trap. The Romans don’t allow Jews to administer the death penalty. Both Jesus and his opponents know this and know that the Mosaic law prescribes stoning a married woman guilty of adultery (Deut. 22.23-24). Actually the law calls to stoning both a man and woman caught in adultery. Where did the man she was with go?

The woman seems the obvious sinner as the gospel begins. But Jesus’ opponents are using the woman and making her an object of public spectacle and shame. Jesus famously writes in the dirt as the accusers speak and then says, “Let the sinless one among you cast the first stone.” According to the law, a witness to a crime must throw the first stone and take responsibility for a sinner’s death. In fact, the law requires two witnesses. The accusers drift away, acknowledging their sinfulness and complicity in shaming the woman.

By standing with the woman, Jesus counters those who make her a spectacle. But what about the crowd that has gathered? How will the woman find belonging in the community again? Can she go back to her husband? Her children? What will neighbors say?

How do you treat people you must forgive? How have you been treated when you needed forgiveness?


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.

Host A Passover Meal!

28 Mar

The meal Jesus shares with his disciples the night before he dies celebrates Passover, a feast remembering Israel’s escape from slavery in Egypt and journey to freedom in the Promised Land. In the Christian tradition the Holy Thursday Eucharist we share celebrates Jesus’ gift of himself to us and his model of service in washing his friends’ feet.

Make this Holy Week and Easter special by hosting a Freedom Supper based on the Passover story for your family, your neighbors, perhaps the whole parish. It is easy to prepare. Just click here for instructions and a simple script.

Check out our Lent resources page for more activities that you, your family, friends, and parish can participate in.


 

Visit goodgroundpress.com for daily prayers, reflections, and spiritual resources.

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.

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.

A Lenten Practice: Living Like Francis

22 Feb

Living Like Francis Today invites both individuals and small groups to explore six Franciscan themes —



living simply,

humbly,
prayerfully,
lovingly,

with care for creation,
and at peace.



This small 60-page book combines the teaching and prayers of St. Francis with gospel stories and reflection suggestions. A bargain at just $5.50. Click here for a sample chapter. Order online or call Lacy at 800-232-5533.


Visit goodgroundpress.com to check out Lenten retreats, prayers, and free downloads for you, your family, and your parish!

Gospel Reflection for February 24, 2019, 7th Sunday Ordinary Time

21 Feb

Sunday Readings: 1 Samuel 26.2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23; 1 Corinthians 16.45-49; Luke 6.27-38

“Love your enemy and do good to those that hate you. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who insult you. When people slap you on one cheek, turn and give them your other cheek. When people want you coat, give them your shirt, too. When someone takes what is yours, do not ask for it back. Do to others what you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6.27-32

Jesus’ teachings don’t get harder than the challenge to love our enemies. Much in our culture reinforces a win or lose, destroy your enemies point of view. We mark our history by our wars. Video games develop skills to blast, shoot, shatter, and kill rather than negotiate conflicts. What if we practiced making friends of enemies? What if games challenged players to find the mutual interest opponents did not recognize they have or to get out all the facts so the game can move on to the negotiation level? What if players scored points for creative and cooperative solutions to real-life problems?

To love our enemies is the heart of Jesus’ teaching. It is the challenge to which Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. gave their lives in our times. Ultimately our identity and self-worth are at stake in our conflicts.

When and how have you successfully negotiated a conflict or difference or made a friend of a seeming enemy?


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 February 3, 2019, 4th Sunday Ordinary Time

28 Jan

Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 1.4-5, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 13.4-13; Luke 4.21-30

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4.21

In this statement Jesus identifies himself as the prophet the Spirit anoints to bring good news to the poor. He will fulfill the words of the prophet Isaiah. He will lives these words and gather a community that lives God’s love and mercy into the future. It is on the Sabbath in the midst of his own people in Nazareth that Jesus proclaims the Spirit, the giver of life, will work through him to heal, forgive, set free, and lift people up. Jesus will inaugurate a jubilee era in which the poor and oppressed have a new chance to thrive.

What is the sermon you try to live? Who gave it?


If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection, please visit the Sunday By Sunday page to order a subscription or view sample issues. Start a small bible study. Be a leader.

Gospel Reflection for January 27, 2019, 3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

25 Jan

Sunday Readings: Nehemiah 8.2-4, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 12.12-20; Luke 1.1-4; 4.14-21

“The Spirit of the Holy One is upon me, for God has anointed me and sent me to proclaim liberty for captives, sight to the blind, release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Holy One.” – Luke 4.18-19

In the first four verses of his gospel Luke tells us why he wrote the third gospel. He has investigated the events fulfilled among us and handed on by the eyewitnesses and ministers of the word from the beginning. Luke claims he has written an orderly account. The order that interests Luke is not a time line but the order of fulfillment.

The earliest Christians continue to worship in the temple, hear the words of the prophets, and pray the psalms. In these they find words that help articulate who Jesus is. In Sunday’s gospel, he pinpoint words that he will fulfill in his mission. He reads from the scroll of Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Holy One is upon me,
for God has anointed me and sent me
to proclaim liberty for captives,
sight to the blind,
release to prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the Holy One.”

Jesus rolls up and scroll, sits down, and begins to speak. His first words express his purpose and mission: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” The Spirit anoints Jesus to announce “a year of favor,” a jubilee year when debts are forgiven, field lies fallow, and creditors return land to peasants. This is a mission not only Jesus but we his followers are called to fulfill.

How can you help fulfill Jesus’ mission where you live 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.

%d bloggers like this: