In the readings for Sunday, Oct. 21, Jesus reminds us that if we want to be great and have authority, we have to become a servant. Our Gospel makes it very clear that it’s a baptism of service; one of sacrifice — possibly even the sacrifice of our lives. Jesus asks James and John if they are prepared to accept that baptism, a baptism of danger, when they ask him to give them places of honor in heaven. He tells them that they will, in fact, experience what Jesus will experience.
Tag archive: Breaking Open the Word at Home
Beware overly religious people! That’s one of the many lessons in today’s readings. But, how can anyone be overly religious? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? No. Zealous faithfulness is good. People who are so consumed with the strictness of religion so that it obscures their relationship with God is a problem.
In the readings for Sunday, August 12, frustration abounds, but Jesus remains faithful and gives us food for the journey. Elijah — God’s greatest prophet ever — is ready to give up his prophetic ministry in the first reading, Paul tells us not to “grieve the Holy Spirit,” and the people who have been listening to Jesus continue to be confounded by his claims. They knew him as Joseph’s boy and the son of Mary — and they are murmuring!
In the readings for Sunday, August 5, God gives us good food so that we can accomplish his works. Are we there yet? I’m hungry! I’m thirsty! He’s poking me! She’s thinking about me! Long trips are hard. It was no different for Moses taking the Hebrew people from slavery to a home of their own than it is for parents taking children on an nice vacation or day trip. Traveling can make people cranky. The Hebrews were so cranky they blamed Moses and said they’d rather be slaves than be on that trip. God took care of them and gave them a food called manna so that they wouldn’t give up.
In the readings for Sunday, July 29, we’re reminded that God’s grace is extravagant and never a waste.
For a full (but short) reflection on this weekend’s Scriptures and discussion questions for the family, click here.
In the readings for Sunday, July 22, God reminds us to try and find balance between living lives of leadership and finding some rest.
In the readings for Sunday, July 8, we see that when God speaks, people don’t always listen.
In the readings for Sunday, July 1, we’re reminded that God takes no pleasure in death, but that God conquers it in the Resurrection. God didn’t create death, but we brought it into the world through our cooperation with evil. We’re offered two stories sandwiched together in one of Jesus’ power over death, and his desire to heal us.
The readings for this Sunday, April 29, show us that sometimes our past can follow us. Paul, who had been Saul the oppressor of Christians, needed to show the disciples in Jerusalem that he had changed. His past scared them, and the proof of his change was the way he lived his life. He now spoke boldly for Jesus, and modeled his life after Jesus’. The second reading backs up the experience of the early Christian community–it says that words aren’t enough–we need to live in our words and our deeds. And our deeds should be loving. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that to be part of him is like belonging to a vine. The main body of the vine is where the strength is, where the nutrients come from; where the life comes from. Branches grow out from there and grow fruit.
The readings for this Sunday, April 8, tell the story of the early Christian community. They were of one mind, all having received the Holy Spirit, are allowing themselves to be led by it. Their priorities were right; everyone who needed anything got what they needed because everyone was willing to share what they had without reservation. In John’s letter, we’re reminded that to love Jesus is to keep his commandments, which were to love God with your whole self and loving your neighbor the same way. The early Christians did just that. Jesus alone gives us the ability to do that, and if we open ourselves to him, we can do it, too. Then, when Thomas was out, Jesus appeared to the other Apostles, gave them the Holy Spirit, and told them to accept their mission of being “sent out” (that’s what “apostle” means). Thomas didn’t get any of that, so when they told him about it, how could he have understood it? They didn’t without that divine assistance. But, when Thomas is given the same as everyone else, he’s ready to run with it, too. We’re given a challenge–to accept Jesus’ help without being able to see him the way the Apostles did. Can you do it?