“Without roots in the people, no government can avail, much less when it wants to impose its program through bloodshed and sorrow.” In 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated not long after he spoke these words. Romero challenged his government to end the violence that was sweeping through his country and killing his people. He refused to be silent about the injustice that was affecting the poorer classes of El Salvador. The song “Believer” is about recognizing the pain that injustice causes and using it as a force to bring about personal and social change.
Key Lines: First things first / I’ma say all the words inside my head / I’m fired up and tired of the way that things have been, oh-ooh / The way that things have been, oh-ooh / …Singing from heartache from the pain / Take up my message from the veins / Speaking my lesson from the brain / Seeing the beauty through the… / Pain!
Questions: Who do you see standing up injustice to people who are poor? What examples of injustice do you see in our society? How can you take a stand against them?
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?
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?
“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?