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?

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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: “Alaska,” 1st Sunday of Advent

This week’s Spirit is about waking up to what is happening in the world around us. It is easy to put off unpleasant issues and can be challenging to convince others of a problem we see. Maggie Rogers’ song “Alaska” is about taking a challenging path alone, sometimes without the people we love, and moving forward with our eyes wide open.

Key lines: I was walking through icy streams / That took my breath away / Moving slowly through westward water / Over glacial plains / And I walked off you / And I walked off an old me / Oh me oh my I thought it was a dream / So it seemed / And now, breathe deep

Questions: What issues or problems do you recognize in your school or community? What woke you up to the issue? How did the problem touch you? When have you been asleep to a situation or issue that mattered to others? How can you help people around you wake up to issues important to you?