Music and the Gospel: “Brand New Eyes,” Bea Miller

Jesus begins his ministry with these words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God draws near. Change your attitude and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus serves as the ultimate role model in how we should treat ourselves and each other; he challenges unjust laws and perspectives; he teaches us the importance of forgiveness and mercy. Just as Jesus leads by example, Bea Miller’s song “Brand New Eyes” is about waking up to the truth of our purpose, regardless of the challenges that may come our way.

Key lines: I’m wide awake now, I’m free of the doubt / Don’t wanna look down / And if I fall out, I lay on the ground / And look to the clouds / It’s like I got brand new eyes, and I can finally see / What has always been right there in front of me / And with these brand new eyes I’ll take in everything / And I will finally see me

Questions: Who serves as a role model for you? What have you learned from your role models? How have you applied what you learned to your own life? How has Jesus influenced your ideas and actions? What challenges have you overcome because you’ve followed Jesus’ example?

Advertisements

Music and the Gospel: “New Religion,” The Heydaze

Our global world fills our minds with challenging thoughts to complement and compete with our own worldviews. The song “New Religion” is about what can guide us as we travel our own paths. What inspires us to be our better selves? What calls us beyond our individual selves into friendship and community? We may be looking for signs to lead us toward God. These signs may come by simply looking up at the stars in the night sky like the magi or by imitating the actions of someone who inspires us.

Key lines: A city of strangers, the streetlights, they change us / We all need a little bit more, we all need a little bit more / The saints and the liars, the dealers and buyers / We all need a little bit more, we all need a little bit more / But somewhere there’s a light / A sign that it’s all right / I find it by your side / ….You’re waking me up in the morning

Questions: How hard is finding God in the world today? When have you experienced God? What in the natural world inspires you? Who in the human community inspires you? Who helps you step beyond yourself in your concerns?

Music and the Gospel: “Arms Open,” The Script, 4th Sunday of Advent

We sometimes feel God’s presence in our life in surprising ways. Sometimes we can find God by taking a simple walk and connecting with the world around us. Other times, God’s presence arises in times of personal pain and darkness, times when we wonder “why me?” This week’s SPIRIT makes us aware that taking a risk (like Mary) and setting off on a journey can bring us closer to who we are meant to be. The song “Arms Open” reminds us that through all our questions, fears, and pains, God is always by our side.

Key lines: I can’t uncry your tears / I can’t rewind the time / I can’t unsay what’s said / In your crazy life / My love, my arms are open / Oh, and when you’re cursing at the sky / And thinking, “Lord, you must be joking” / My arms are open / And, and when you’re looking in the mirror / Thinking that, “my life is over” / My arms are open

Questions: When have you felt challenged in your faith? What sustained you? What did your journey teach you? Like Mary, what risks do you take to participate in God’s vision for peace on earth and good will to all?

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Celebrate by sharing the prayer below. Click here for Our Lady’s story with friends and family. The art and prayer on this page are by Sister Ansgar Holmberg. The story appeared first in Good News, one of the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies. Happy feast day!

Our Mother Who Art

You are the mother
of the dark and the light
the rich and the poor
the humble and proud.

You are the mother
of the young and the old
the strong and the weak
of those who rejoice
of those who weep.

You are the mother
of woman and man
of small and of great
of broken and whole.
You are the mother who art.

Music and the Gospel: “So Much More Than This,” Grace VanderWaal, 3rd Sunday of Advent

Grace VanderWaal challenges us to see more in ourselves and our lives than we recognize in our day to day actions. When we recognize and cultivate our talents, we can find ways to lead and work for good. In doing this, we follow John the Baptist, who “gave witness to the light.” When we share our true selves, we share our gifts with the world.

Key lines: Tap your foot and listen in / Ignore the world, let the music cave in / Close your phone and breathe in the air / You’ll soon realize that there’s something that is / So much more than this

Questions: How do you share your gifts with the world? How do you cultivate these gifts? When has being your true self challenged your friendships? Who do you consider to be a leader in your community or and school?

Music and the Gospel: “That’s Christmas To Me,” Pentatonix

Family traditions and rituals give us strength, teach us the meanings behind the things we celebrate, and connect us with our extended family and others around us. The song “That’s Christmas to Me” is not just a list of the things we value about the feast day but a reminder of the traditions we love and the closeness those traditions create between ourselves and those around us.

Key lines: The fireplace is burning bright, shining along me / I see the presents underneath the good old Christmas tree / …I see the children play outside, like angels in the snow / While mom and daddy share a kiss under the mistletoe / And we’ll cherish all these simple things wherever we may be / Oh, why? ‘Cause that’s Christmas to me

Questions: What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? What have you learned from the tradition about what Christmas celebrates? When have you experienced the traditions of a different culture? What new traditions would you like to create with your family and friends?