Tag Archives: spirituality

Gospel Reflection for August 25, 2019, 21st Sunday Ordinary Time

23 Aug

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 66.18-21; Hebrews 12.5-7, 11.13; Luke 13.22-30

Someone asked Jesus, “Teacher, will only a few be saved?” Jesus said, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able” – Luke 13.34

A doorway or threshold is a liminal space. The word limen means threshold, literally, the timber or stone that lies under a door. This space between inside and outside is transitional space, the boundary where one crosses between worlds and where imagination plays with who we may become.

The empty Easter tomb is a liminal space, the threshold between life as we know it and life as Jesus promises it. The stone has been rolled back. The open tomb calls us to faith.

Jesus opens not only the narrow door of his own self-giving but also the wider challenge of loving our neighbors. In Luke’s narrative Jesus presses his followers to invest in the poor rather than build bigger granaries. Both Jesus’ narrow and wide doors teach demanding, other-centered ethics. His way calls us to alleviate our fears by giving alms, to handle conflict by turning the other cheek, to carry people’s burdens an extra mile, to love even our enemies.

Each of us lives in a now when the door to commitment is open.

What more is Jesus asking of you? What door do you want to open or shut? What door to a neighbor do you want to open this week? 


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.

Holy Women, Pray for Us

12 Aug

These small books invite you to pray with the women of the Gospels. Their stories testify that women were always there with Jesus. Ideal for your personal prayer or to share with a small group. Sample chapters are online at goodgroundpress.com. You can order online or call Good Ground Press at 800-232-5533.

4.75″x9″. 1-10 copies, $8 each; 11 or more, $7.

8 Aug

Hate and chaos vs. Faith, hope & love

Sunday by Sunday CoverIt’s a battle. One the Gospel prepares us to expect. We are better off when we face challenging times together. Sunday by Sunday can help.

Conversation about the Gospel builds up hope and faith. Conversation breaks down barriers. Don’t despair. Bring a group together to reflect on Jesus’ message of faith and hope.

Read our August issues online. Then imagine reflecting on the Gospel message and the suggested questions with parish members or friends or family. Jesus guarantees that when two or three gather in his name, he is there with us. We can trust his word.

Try Sunday by Sunday. If you want to order, please call 800-232-5533. Or go online at goodgroundpress.com.

If you are not ready to order, let us send you sample copies you can share with potential group members. We are happy to do that at no charge. Just call Good Ground Press at 800-232-5533.

Faith moves mountains. Let us keep each other in prayer.

Grief Resources

5 Aug

Before we can pray or forgive or even listen, we need to be at peace with ourselves. Grief Journal is one woman’s story of coming through the loss of a young husband and miraculously finding herself. “I had a good marriage and a happy life,” Linda Andreozzi writes. “We had fun. I also drank a lot, worked too much, watched TV every day, and had no spiritual life. The loss of everything I knew and held dear gave me two things that can never be taken from me: my sobriety and my companionship with God. I will never be alone in that same black hole where I whispered by first real prayer: ‘Help!'”

You can order your copy of Grief Journal online at goodgroundpress.com or by calling Good Ground Press at 800-232-5533. Only $15.95 per copy!

Look Ahead to a Fall Bible Study

25 Jul

You’ve been enjoying Luke’s Gospel this summer. The good news is we continue reading from Luke all the way to Advent. Why not start a group that can dead and study Luke together? It will make Sunday Eucharist much more meaningful and deepen your relationships with your fellow Bible students.

Sister Joan’s book on Luke is short (nine chapters), easy to use, and inexpensive. Go to goodgroundpress.com to read sample chapters. Then find a few others who want to make Luke’s story about a compassionate and inclusive Jesus more alive in their lives.

1-9 copies, $10 each; 10-99, $8; 100 or more, $7.

You can order online or call us at 800-232-5533.

 

Gospel Reflection for July 28, 2019, 17th Sunday Ordinary Time

22 Jul

Sunday Readings: Genesis 18.20-32; Colossians 2.12-14; Luke 11.1-13

“Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” – Luke 11.9

To pray that God’s name be hallowed and that God’s kingdom come is to acknowledge that all barriers to love must be dissolved. Anything that separates race from race, rich from poor, gender from gender, age group from age group, Christian from non-Christian is a barrier to the holiness God wishes to share with believers. Biases have no place in the community that names God our Father.

Jesus calls us to preserve in prayer. God is more gracious that a friend who reluctantly gets up in the night to help us, but God’s graciousness does not guarantee that we get what we want. We may not receive what we ask for; we may instead discover more than we were looking for or be surprised at what’s behind the door on which we are knocking.

What are you seeking in prayer? What have you found? 


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.

Important Feast Days Coming Up!

16 Jul

Two feast days of Gospel women are coming up in the next weeks.

July 22 is the feast day of Mary Magdalene, first witness to Jesus’ resurrection. July 29 is the day that honors Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus. These women are pictured for you in Holy Women of Luke’s Gospel.

Mary Magdalene is first witness to Jesus’ resurrection in all four Gospels. She was among the women from Galilee who follow Jesus and provide for him out of their resources. From early Christianity she has been called “the apostle to the apostle”, the bringer of good news to them and to us all. Click here to pray with Mary for resurrection in your own life.

 

Martha of Bethany and her sister Mary welcomed Jesus into their home. Most women remember Martha for the scolding she got from Jesus. “Martha, Martha, you are busy about many things, but your sister Mary has chosen the better part.” To read her story and an up-to-date interpretation, click here. Pray with Martha to resist the social pressures in your own life.

You will need a copy of Holy Women in Luke’s Gospel to meet and pray with the 14 other women he features. Go to goodgroundpress.com to order or call 800-232-5533.

Tiny Retreat #2: Hildegard of Bingen

9 Jul

Hildegard of Bingen: Patron saint of green and growing

Hildegard was only five years old in 1098 when her parents brought her, their tenth child, to the monastery of St. Disibode. A holy woman named Jutta took the little girl in and taught her Latin and music so she could sing the psalms with the monks and nuns. Jutta also taught Hildegard everything she knew about herbal medicine. At age 15, Hildegard decided to follow the Benedictine way and become a nun. When Jutta died, Hildegard became the prioress of the community.

Hildegard was a mystic, a person who experiences extraordinary communion with God. Hildegard wrote down her understandings of God in vivid pictures. Many women were attracted to her teaching about God and came to join her monastery, which grew so large that Hildegard started another monastery near Bingen, a nearby city. She continued to write and teach. Here is one of her poems.

Again I am in turmoil.

Should I speak, or must I be silent?

I feel like a gnarled old tree, withered and crooked and flaky.

All the stories of the years are written on my branches.

The sap is gone, the voice is dead.
 


But I long to make again a sacred sound.

I want to sound out God

I want to be a young juicy, sap-running tree

So that I can sing God as God knows how.
 


O God, you gentle viridity

O Mary, honeycomb of life

O Jesus, hidden in sweetness as flowing honey,

Release my voice again.
 


I have sweetness to share.
I have stories to tell.

I have God to announce.

I have green life to celebrate.

I have rivers of fire to ignite.

Hildegard make up the word viridity. It means greening, the life power of God that is in everything. For Hildegard the Word of God is greening; it has the power to create Christians. A tree growing and branching out is greenness in motion. Love is green. Jesus is greenness incarnate. Sin is not green. Sin is drying up, losing one’s ability to create.

• Read the first two verses of the poem again. When have you felt your sap is gone, your voice dead? What or who helped you know you could sing again?

• Does Hildegard’s way of calling on God, on Mary, on Jesus resonate with you? Can you read the last verse of the poem as your own song?

If Hildegard were alive today, she would sing about God’s work in the unfolding of creation in evolution. “O Holy Spirit” she writes, “you make life alive, you move in all things, you are the root of all created being, you waken and reawaken everything that is.”
 
For her teaching, Pope Benedict named Hildegard a Doctor of the Church. This means she is one of the Catholic Church’s greatest teachers. There are four women Doctors—St. Hildegard, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of Lisieux.

• Make a resolution to see the Holy Spirit greening the earth around you. Pray a thanksgiving prayer each day for one beautiful thing you see.

 

 

“I am a feather on the breath of God.”

 

 


 

 

Each of the Cosmos Cards has a fact about one of God’s creative moves and a blessing. These cards are ready to mail as a postcard for someone who needs a regular reminder that God is with him or her. $15 for all 25 cards.

 

 

An Amazing Journey is a discussion guide on the Universe Story. The book features 50 articles by leaders in this field. Click here to view the Table of Contents. Only $20!

Order online at goodgroundpress.com or call 800-232-5533.

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.

%d bloggers like this: