In 2006, a small, one-room schoolhouse was the center of a major tragedy. A lone gunman entered the school and killed five students, injured five more, and forever changed the lives of many others. Tragedies such as this happen too often. What is sometimes surprising are the number of voices that call out for compassion, empathy, and even forgiveness towards those who have hurt us, our family, and our community. Carrie Underwood’s song “Love Wins” is not just about reaching out to our friends, family, neighbors, but also those who are different from us and even those who have hurt us. We don’t know what another person is going through, but only by approaching each other in the spirit of love and forgiveness can we begin to heal our hearts and community.
Key Lyrics: I, I believe you and me are sisters and brothers / And I, I believe we’re made to be here for each other / And we’ll never fall if we walk hand in hand / Put a world that seems broken together again / Yeah I, I believe in the end love wins
Questions: What have you found difficult to forgive? Were you able to let go of the hurt or grudge? How? Are some actions unforgivable? What examples of forgiveness do you see around you? How have you been forgiven?
All Souls Day is a time to remember and pray for our lost loved ones. As followers of Jesus, we each bring God’s love to life in our own ways. In our Church we live in communion with all who walked this earth and showed Jesus’ teaching to others through their lives. We can keep the spirit of those we have lost alive by learning from their lives. Remembering how they lived the gospel and incorporating these actions into our own lives allows us to spread their love throughout our communities.
Key lines: “But I won’t cry / Cause I know I’ll never be lonely / For you are the stars to me / You are the light I follow.”
Questions: Call to mind a person you have lost or a saint that you identify with. What do you admire about the person? What made him or her special? How can you keep this person’s spirit alive in your daily life?
Gospel Reflection for February 17, 1st Sunday of Lent: Carrie Underwood’s song “Good Girl” is about how tempting even a bad relationship can be. In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus faces his own temptations at the hands of the devil. The temptations we face are different for each person, but the resolve to remain strong is something we all can ask Jesus to help us with.
Key Lines: His lips are dripping honey/But he’ll sting you like a bee/So lock up all your love and/Go and throw away the key/Hey good girl/Get out while you can/I know you think you got a good man
Questions: Why do things that are not good for us attract us? What is tempting about a relationship you know is no good? Are the things that tempt you always bad? How are temptations like lies? If you were in Jesus’ place in this Sunday’s gospel, what do you think the devil would show you to tempt you? What helps you say no to things that are wrong or not good for you?