Music and the Gospel: “Second Chances,” Imagine Dragons, 3rd Sunday of Lent

Making mistakes is a part of growing up. Sometimes we learn the hard way that our actions have consequences and affect not only ourselves but also those around us. Not studying for a test may result in a low grade, staying up too late may lead to oversleeping in the morning, inattentive driving can lead to an accident. Consequences can remind us that we are not perfect and teach us how to act responsibly. We all make mistakes and second chances. The song “Second Chances” is about asking for forgiveness, accepting consequences, and learning from our mistakes.
Key Lyrics: Open up again, I believe in second chances / Please let me in, I believe in second chances / I won’t break you, I will not let you down / Open up again, I believe in second chances / Quicker than lightning, whiter than bone / If you can erase it, then I can atone

Questions: When have you needed a second chance? When have you been given a second chance? What did you learn from the experience? When have you given a second chance to someone else? How can you use what you’ve learned to help someone else?

Music and the Gospel: “Roots,” Imagine Dragons

Cyber-bullying is a major issue today. The benefit of social media is that it gives us a platform to express ourselves; it gives us a chance to show off our personalities and values. Most of the time this is fun. On the other hand, social media can be used to express opinions and beliefs that prove hurtful to those around us. Sometimes, these opinions start off as jokes and take on a life of their own. As a result, we can become someone we actually are not. This week’s Spirit issue focuses on the downside of pretending to be someone else and the consequences it has on those one hurts and on our own conscience.

Key Lyrics: Don’t throw stones at me / Don’t tell anybody / Trouble finds me / All the noise of this / Has made me lose my belief / I’m going back to my roots

Questions: What is the difference between teasing and bullying? Is there any? If so, how do you draw the line between them? How have words had a positive or negative impact on you or someone else? Think about a time you may have said something that may have hurt someone else. How can you make it right?

Current Music and the Gospel: SPIRIT Xtra December 1st

Advent begins the liturgical year in the Roman Catholic Church. A new year is a time of change, and in the gospel this Sunday, Jesus warns his followers to prepare for great changes. We can reflect on the past year and challenge ourselves for the year to come. “Radioactive” is a song about a time of change, the ability to grow into new possibilities.

Key Lines: All systems go, the sun hasn’t died / Deep in my bones, straight from inside / I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones / Enough to make my systems blow / Welcome to the new age, to the new age / Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Questions: In what unexpected ways has your life changed during the last year? What lessons have you learned? How does being a follower of Jesus change the way you live your life? When is a time God has surprised you? Why do you think Jesus wants his followers to be vigilant, instead of telling them when he will return?

Current Music and the Gospel: “It’s Time,” Imagine Dragons

“It’s Time,” Imagine Dragons, Continued Silence, Interscope

Gospel Reflection for November 18, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jesus tells us in Sunday’s gospel that no matter what disasters or upheavals occur, his truth will remain the same. Even though the world has changed in so many ways since Jesus lived, died, and was raised up, we still have his words preserved in the gospels. “It’s Time” is a song about remaining true to oneself no matter how much is changing around us.”

Key Lines: It’s time to begin, isn’t it?/I get a little bit bigger, but then I’ll admit/I’m just the same as I was/Now don’t you understand/I’m never changing who I am

Questions: In what ways have you changed in the past year? How have you stayed the same? What situations have you encountered that made standing your ground hard? In what ways have our laws changed over the course of history? How have those changes moved us toward justice and equality?