Tag Archives: Keeping Faith Today

Gospel Reflection for April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday

18 Apr

Sunday Readings: Acts 10.34,37-43; Colossians 3.1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5.6-8; John 20.1-9 (10-18)

Jesus said to Mary Magdalene, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ So Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and she told them he had said these things to her. “ – John 20.16-18

Easter Sunday celebrates Jesus’ resurrection to new life. This is the core of Christians faith: that God raised Jesus, who was crucified, from the dead. His resurrection promises that we who believe in him will be raised up to new life with God as he has been. He is the firstborn of a new humanity.

Jesus reveals that God’s power lies not in magic or military might but in love. Love is the power that gives life. Self-giving actions such as forgiving, sharing and welcoming strangers take us beyond the boundaries of ourselves and open us to God’s presence and power among us. The power of these actions in our lives and the lives of others gives us the same hint as spring does that we have the Spirit at work in us, more power than our own for building human community.

What do you see in the empty tomb? What do you hear in Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Jesus that affirms your faith?

A Blessed Holy Week and Easter

17 Apr

We send our wishes for a blessed Holy Week and Easter along with a poem by one of our sisters. May the beauty of the awakening earth lift your heart this mid-April.

Go to goodgroundpress.com to view the Easter issues of Sunday by Sunday.

Gospel Reflection for April 14, 2019, Passion/Palm Sunday

11 Apr

Sunday Readings: Luke 19.28-40; Isaiah 50.4-7; Philippians 2.6-11; Luke 22.14-23.56

Second criminal: “We are only paying this price for what we have done. This man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you enter into your reign.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23.41-44

The liturgies of Holy Week give worshipers parts to act out: processing with palms, footwashing on Holy Thursday, venerating the cross on Good Friday, following the newly lit Easter candle into the dark church on Holy Saturday. We walk with Jesus to his cross and follow the women to the empty tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. This is the week to go to church and rediscover who Jesus is, stir our dead roots, and revive our commitment to mission in the world.

Luke’s passion account emphasizes Jesus’ innocence. Pilate finds no evidence of a crime. The criminal to whom Jesus talks on the cross testifies to Jesus’ innocence. “This man has done nothing wrong.” At his death the centurion at the foot of the cross expresses Luke’s view, “Surely this man was innocent.”

Innocence is a powerful agent of change. The cries of children separated from their parents at the U.S./Mexican border has awakened citizens to the immigration issues more than the plight of adults. Turning the fire hoses on children in Montgomery had the same power during the struggle for Civil Rights for African Americans. The violence we so readily justify toward one another we cannot justify doing to children.

How does violence against the innocent affect you? Imagine yourself as one of Jesus’ acquaintances or one of the women disciples who accompanied Jesus from Galilee and stands at a distance watching him crucified. What do you feel and think?


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.

NEW ARRIVAL!

10 Apr

Sister Joan’s new book has arrived! Sister Joan and Sister Ansgar have collaborated for a second time on Gospel women. In both his gospel and in the Acts of Apostles, Luke tells women’s stories — Mary and Martha, the widow of Nain, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe and Priscilla. You will meet them and more in word and illustration and prayer.

Visit goodgroundpress.com to check out the table of contents and sample chapters. Order online or call 800-232-5533 to purchase your copy today!

 

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.

 

Sunday’s Gospel Story

4 Apr

The Gospels for this Lent are some of Jesus’ best-known stories and parables. Sunday by Sunday encourages you to see these old stories afresh. One way to see anew is to re-title the story. Try it out.

  • On Sunday, March 24, we heard the story of the barren fig tree whose owner wanted to cut it down. What if instead we called that gospel passage the story of the optimistic gardener?
  • Last Sunday we had the parable of the prodigal son. What if we named it the parable of the forgiving father or the story of a family who forgives and needs forgiveness?

This Sunday tells about the Women Taken in Adultery. We have printed it here and left the title space blank. What other titles for this story can you offer? Let us know by responding to this post or emailing Sister Joan directly at sisterjoan@goodgroundpress.com.

Blessings on your week as we head into Palm Sunday and Holy Week. 

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.

Luke’s Gospel: The Whole Story

2 Apr

This year—2019—is the year of Luke. Beginning right after Easter, we hear the story of the early Church from the Acts of the Apostles. Starting in June, all the Sunday Gospels are from Luke, right up until Advent.

Study Luke’s writings along with the worshiping Church. Sister Joan’s short Bible study focuses on the themes and stories unique to Luke’s telling of the good news about Jesus. This short book, only 66 pages, is ideal for the ordinary reader, bible study groups, small Christian communities and all who want to make Sunday worship more meaningful in 2019.

Click here for the table of contents and sample chapters. 

Only $10 for orders of 1-10 copies; $8.00 for 11-99 copies. Order online at goodgroundpress.com or call 800-232-5533.


Host a Seder Supper.

Go to goodgroundpress.com to download a script of instructions for a Passover meal.

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 31, 2019, 4th Sunday of Lent

27 Mar

Sunday Readings: Joshua 5.9, 10-12; 2 Corinthians 5.17-21; Luke 15.1-3, 11-32

“Your younger brother came, and your father killed the fatted calf because he has him back in good health.  The older son was angry and would not go in, so his father came out and begged him.” – Luke 15.27-28

For the younger, prodigal son in Sunday’s gospel, the pig trough turns out to be a holy place.  He is entirely wrong about which relationships in his life are most sustaining. He gathers fair weather, party people around him. Only when he bottoms out at the pig trough does he change his mind and heart about what he wants. His self-centered lifestyle has starved him into recognizing he needs a sustaining relationship. The younger son goes home to ask forgiveness.

One lost son is found but the older son is lost in resentment? He wants to see his brother punished. The merciful father who has welcomed one son home has to seek out and beg the older son to come to the party? Will he come? The parable does tell us.

When have you been the repentant, prodigal son? When have you been the forgiving father? When have you been the resentful son?


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.

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