Holy Women, Full of Grace

7 Nov

Women were always there with Jesus. Holy Women, Full of Grace invites you to pray with Jesus’ mother, the generous widow, Jairus’s daughter, and many other gospel women, names and unnamed. An ideal gift. Only $8!

View the Table of Contents.

View the Introduction.

View a sample chapter.

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

All Souls Day

2 Nov

 

All Souls Day in a small town meant visiting the cemetery and remembering those in our family who died. Today I am too far away to visit family graves, so I light a candle at the Catholic Relief Services website—crs.org—and select a prayer. I also remember Jesus’ promise, the gospel for November 2nd.

After Jesus told the crowds he was the bread of life, he made this promise. “All that the Father gives me shall come to me. I will never turn away anyone who comes to me. I have come not to do my will but to do the will of the Father who sent me. The Father does not want me to lose anything I have been given. Rather, God wants me to raise up all things on the last day.”

“I tell you the truth. This is the will of my Father: whoever looks upon the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day.”  – John 6.37-40

May you find peace and comfort in these words and this day.


Visit our website at goodgroundpress.com for daily prayers and gospel reflection.

Gospel Reflection for November 4, 2018, 31st Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Nov

Scripture Readings: Deuteronomy 6.2-6; Hebrews 7.23-28; Mark 12.28-34

A scribe ask Jesus, “What is the greatest of all the commandments?” Jesus answers, “The greatest of all the commandments is ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is Lord alone. Therefore, love the Holy One your God with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ That is the greatest and the second is, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Mark 12.29-30

For Jesus as for all good Jews, there was no religious obligation more sacred than to keep the Law of Moses, the commands of the Torah, all 613 of them as spelled out in the first five books of the Old Testament. Which is most important? A group of Pharisees, Herodians, and Sadducees set Jesus up with this question.

Jesus chooses wisely. His answer is what his life and teachings are all about. These are the words Jews nail on their doorways and bind to their wrists and foreheads. They are the words Jews pray every day much as Christians do the Our Father. Love is a a verb, a word we live among our neighbors and kin, especially this week of before the election with its bitter, too-often hateful debates. Jesus is debates and disagrees but without hate and demonizing.

What actions do the two great commandments inspire in your this week?


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.

Abuse Survivors and Faithful People

26 Oct

With all the endless inches of copy poured out about #MeToo and the recent Congressional hearings for the supreme court nominee, this homily offers reflections I want to share and five things to do at the end.

– Sister Joan Mitchell, CSJ.

Abuse Survivors and Faithful People

HDS alumna Anne Marie Hunter, MDiv ’86, director of Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse, delivered the following remarks at Morning Prayers in Harvard’s Memorial Church on October 12, 2018:

This morning’s reading features Psalm 22 interwoven with the recent testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

Psalm 22: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I cry by day, but you do not answer, and at night, but find no rest.

Ford: “I am here not because I want to be. I am terrified.”

Psalm 22: O God, I am a worm and not human, scorned by men. All who see me mock me.

Ford: “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the laugh—the uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”

Psalm 22: They wag their heads: “She committed her cause to the Lord, let God deliver her.”

Ford: “I was calculating daily the risk/benefit … of coming forward, and wondering whether I would … just be personally annihilated.”

Psalm 22: O God, be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help.

Ford: “I did not want to tell my parents … I convinced myself that … I should just move on and … pretend that it didn’t happen.”

Psalm 22: Many bulls encompass me, they open wide their mouths at me, like a roaring lion. 

Ford: “My greatest fears have been realized. I’ve had to relive this trauma in front of the world.”

Psalm 22: O God, I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My strength is dried up. I am laid in the dust of death. 

Ford: “I thought he was going to accidentally kill me.”

Psalm 22: O God, a company of evildoers encircle me. 

Ford: “This assault drastically altered my life. For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone these details.”

Psalm 22: O God, be not far off. Deliver my soul from the sword and my life from the mouth of the lion.

Ford: “The details about that night … I will never forget. They have been seared into my memory, and have haunted me … as an adult.”

May God bless those who wrestle with these words.
 
There is a crisis in the United States today. One in four women and one in 10 men will experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner, and one in three women and one in six men will experience sexual violence. 20 to 25 percent of college women and 15 percent of college men are victims of sexual assault (National Sexual Violence Resource Center). Multiracial and American Indian/Alaska Native women disproportionately experience sexual assault, while 6 percent of LGBT individuals are assaulted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity (NSVRC).

Every survivor in the country watched Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony with their heart in their throat, hoping that this time it would be different, this time the survivor would be believed, not blamed or made fun of. Instead she was called a “hoax” and a “pawn in a vast political machine.”

We can do better.

I’m going to assume that faith is important to each of you because you are sitting in Memorial Church early on a Friday morning. And I’m going to assume you are leaders because you are at Harvard. Survivors need your help. When survivors reach out for help, they are more likely to reach out to family, friends, or a trusted person of faith for help than they are to call police or a hotline (Georgia Domestic Violence Coalition). Abuse is a spiritual as well as a physical and emotional crisis, and healing and justice often have spiritual components. So survivors turn to faithful people for help. That makes us all “first responders.”

Audre Lorde says that social change happens when people move from silence to naming to action (Sister Outsider). We have had generations of silence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the #whyIstayed, #whyIleft, and #metoo movements, as well as the testimony of Dr. Blasey Ford, have begun to name our experiences. It’s time for action.

  • Learn more. Start with the Safe Havens website at interfaithpartners.org.
  • Break your silence. Make your support of survivors visible. Wear purple on October 18, put up a poster, take a stand.
  • Listen to and believe survivors. David Augsberger says, “Being listened to is so close to being loved most people can’t tell the difference.”
  • Dismantle the racism, classism, and privilege that make victims from marginalized communities especially vulnerable.
  • Support local services. We should ALWAYS refer survivors to local sexual and domestic violence services, and to do that we need strong local services.

As people of faith, we have a unique role to play in responding to victims, educating our communities, and speaking out to end intimate partner and sexual violence. We are the ones, and we will do it.

Gospel Reflection for October 28, 2018, 30th Sunday Ordinary Time

24 Oct

Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 31.7-9; Hebrews 5.1-6; Mark 10.46-52

Jesus said to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to Jesus, “Teacher, let me see again.” “Go, your faith has healed you,” Jesus said to him. At once Bartimaeus was able to see and followed Jesus up the road  – Mark 10.51-52

In Sunday’s gospel a blind beggar named Bartimaeus models the unabashed faith in Jesus that Mark’s gospel hopes from every hearer of the gospel. As he sat at the Jericho city gates, Bartimaeus must have heard others talk about Jesus. As soon as he hears that Jesus is near, he shouts out a greeting, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” In this greeting Bartimaeus recognizes Jesus is the long-expected king from David’s royal line—the messiah. The crowd cannot silence his shouting out. As soon as Jesus calls to him, Bartimaeus throws off the cloak in which he probably collected the money passersby threw his way. The blind beggar sees with eyes of faith.

What do you persist in asking 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.

Advent Is Right Around The Corner!

23 Oct

Our Advent issues of Sunday by Sunday bring both groups and individuals into the heart of the Sunday Gospels for this season. Only $4.00 per person (on orders of 10 or more). Call 800-232-5533 to order or visit goodgroundpress.com to order online.

Check back often for more Advent resources as we get closer to the season.

 

Luke’s Gospel, Written For Us

22 Oct
Sister Joan’s new book, Luke’s Gospel, Written for Us, focuses on the themes and stories unique to Luke’s telling of the good news. Only Luke characterizes Jesus as the Spirit-filled prophet anointed to bring good news to the poor and oppressed. Only Luke has the parables of the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, and the persistent widow.
The easy-to-use format of this gospel study makes Luke’s witness to Jesus’ life and teaching available in nine short chapters. Ideal for Bible study groups, small Christian communities, and all who want to explore the themes that hold together the short Gospel excerpts we hear each Sunday. Visit goodgroundpress.com or call 800-232-5533 to order your copy today!

Don’t forget to also check out Sister Joan’s other new book, Holy Women, Full of Grace! Women were always there in the Jesus story. This litany invites you to pray with the women in Mark’s Gospel. This book is an ideal gift.

Gospel Reflection for October 21, 2018, 29th Sunday Ordinary Time

17 Oct

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 53.10-11; Hebrews 4.14-16; Mark 10.35-44

Jesus says to James and John, who ask to sit at his right and left hand in his kingdom, “You do not know what your are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup I will drink?”  – Mark 10.38

It’s ironic that James and John answer Jesus’ question, “We can.” They do the opposite. They forsake Jesus when he gets arrested and flee with all of Jesus’ men disciples except Peter. Peter follows Jesus until he denies even knowing him in the high priest’s courtyard. When following becomes life-threatening, neither James and John nor the others who are indignant at their ambition stay the course. Their commitment evaporates. They shrink from drinking the cup Jesus is about to drink. Who wouldn’t shrink? Mark want us to recognize that Jesus’ disciples have to grow into their commitment as we can.

At every eucharist we drink the cup that Jesus drank. We brashly say amen, this is the lifeblood of Christ poured out for us. It become part of us, a commitment to live into each day.

To what do you commit when at Mass you drink the cup that Jesus drank?


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.

Bible Study on Luke’s Gospel

16 Oct

A New Book: Written For You!

We read from Luke’s Gospel on 47 Sundays and feast days beginning this Advent. You will get more out of each Sunday with Sister Joan’s new book. Bulk prices make it affordable for Bible study and faith-sharing groups.

Visit our website—goodgroundpress.com—to read sample chapters, or just click here. Call us at 800-232-5533 to order. 1-10 copies $10.00 each; 11-99, $8.00; 100 or more, $7.00.

Sunday’s Gospel

11 Oct

What happened to the rich young man?

Jesus meets quite a variety of people on his journey to Jerusalem. This Sunday it is the rich young man. Read the Gospel on this page. Put yourself in the young man’s shoes. Where did he go when he went away? Did he seek out Jesus again? Was he at the cross? At Pentecost?

Sunday by Sunday aims to make the Sunday gospel speak to you where you live. Click here to read the whole issue for next Sunday. Call us at 800-232-5533 if you want to become a subscriber. You don’t have to be rich or young to meet Jesus every Sunday.

 

Visit our website, goodgroundpress.com, for other resources on scripture and spirituality.

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