Music and the Gospel: “Love Is Alive,” Louis The Child, Palm/Passion Sunday

As we move through Holy Week, we reflect on Jesus’ ministry and his last days. We reflect on his message of love, compassion, and forgiveness. The song “Love Is Alive” is a reflection on love, how it sustains us and gives us something to strive for. When we embrace Jesus’ call to love wholeheartedly, we become his witnesses to others, living beacons of hope.

Key Lines: Love is alive when you don’t have to prove it /Unafraid, there’s no way to lose it / Oh I just wanna go where love is alive / So I’m gonna do that / All of the chaos surrenders / Changing the currents and tide / The water can keep getting deeper / Cause I’ll be right here staying dry

Questions: Reflect back on the weeks of Lent. What have you learned or discovered about Jesus and his ministry? What have you discovered about your own commitment as his follower? What Lenten practices do you want to continue? How will you keep love alive in your home, school, and community?

Music and the Gospel: “This Must Be The Place,” Kishi Bashi, 5th Sunday of Lent

Jesus is with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Sunday’s gospel, three friends he loves. Spirit explores where and how we make our homes, friends, and families. Some people consider the people they live with as their only family; others create families by befriending others, caring about them, and keeping in touch. Cameron Perra met kids who quickly became family when he accompanied his dad who did medical work at an orphanage in Honduras. When we open ourselves up to people around us, we open ourselves up to new experiences, perspectives, and love.

Key Lines: Home is where I want to be / But I guess I’m already there / I come home, she lifted up her wings / Guess that this must be the place

Questions: What does home mean to you? Where are you most at home? How do you define what it means to be a family? Who belongs to your family?

Music and the Gospel: “Love,” Lana Del Rey, 3rd Sunday of Lent

This week’s Spirit discusses relationships, dating, and What it means to be in a healthy relationship? The high school years are prime time for making friends and dating. Most of us spend those years within a wide circle of friends and, as we get older, we start to pair off into more exclusive relationships. When we date, we explore and set boundaries, expectations, and priorities. The song “Love” is about being in love and what can happen when we open ourselves up to experiencing love.

Key Lines: You get ready, you get all dressed up / To go nowhere in particular / Back to work or the coffee shop / Doesn’t matter cause it’s enough / To be young and in love / To be young and in love

Questions: What does love mean to you? How do you describe a healthy relationship? How do you identify boundaries between people? Who do you want to be within your circle of friends, family, or with a significant other?

Music and the Gospel: “Scars To Your Beautiful,” Alessia Cara, 2nd Sunday of Lent

This week’s Spirit tackles our ideas of self-image and beauty. High school can be a difficult time. A lot of personal and social changes are taking place; we’re constantly trying to fit in and fit an image of who we think we should be and who people will accept. Trying to live up to these expectations can make us act in ways that aren’t in our best interests. Alessia Cara’s song “Scars To Your Beautiful” is a song that reminds us that we’re all beautiful regardless of who might say otherwise.

Key Lyrics: But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark / You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are / And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart / No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful

Questions: What is your idea of perfection? How are your self-expectations different from social expectations? When have these expectations come into conflict? How did you handle it?

Music and The Gospel: “Something Just Like This,” The Chainsmokers, ft. Coldplay, 1st Sunday of Lent

School, work, extra curricular activities—all come with expectations: that we get good grades, do a good job, and perform at the top of our game. But what do we do when the pressure builds up and challenges the expectations we have of ourselves? Something Just Like This reminds us that we don’t have to be superheroes to make ourselves and others happy.

Key Lines: She said, where’d you wanna go? / How much you wanna risk? / I’m not looking for somebody / With some superhuman gifts / Some superhero / Some fairytale bliss / Just something I can turn to / Somebody I can miss

Questions: What expectations do you have of yourself? What expectations do others have of you? When have you felt pressure to meet these expectations? How do you handle this? How do you define happiness?

Music and the Gospel: “You’re All I Need,” Foxes, Passion/Palm Sunday

Holy Week is a time to reflect on the last days of Jesus’ life — his last supper with his friends, his trial, crucifixion, and death. Throughout his ministry, Jesus teaches humility, compassion, and forgiveness. In his final actions he lives out his message in wholehearted love for us. The song “You’re All I Need” expresses how we look to Jesus as a guide. It reflects on how we follow Jesus in our relationships with friends, family, and neighbors, how we can be beacons of hope.

Key Lyrics: You shine like a light blazing down on me / Instead of reaching out, I trace your skin to see / In my head you’re a constant heartbeat / I feel you rushing through my veins / You’re all I need, you always come for me

Questions: Reflect back on the past weeks of Lent. What have you discovered about Jesus, about your commitment as his follower? What practices do you want to continue year-round? In what liturgies of Holy Week will you take part?