Music and the Gospel: “Champion,” Fall Out Boy, 33rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Sunday’s gospel is about investing in our talents. SPIRIT encourages us to look at our talents and gifts and to use them. Who benefits from our gifts, who beside ourselves? Do we use our gifts to enrich our spirit, team, and community? The song “Champion” is about how champions are forged out of their experiences and choices.

Key lines: I got rage every day, on the inside / The only thing I do is sit around and kill time / I’m trying to blow out the pilot light / I’m trying to blow out the light / I’m just young enough to still believe, still believe / But young enough not to know what to believe in / …If I can live through this / I can do anything / …Champion, champion / And I can do anything

Questions: What skills or talents have you worked at improving? What are the benefits and sacrifices you’ve have made to develop these talents? When have you had to quit something you loved? How do you encourage other people to use their talents?

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Music and the Gospel: “Breathless,” Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time

SPIRIT asks us, “When do you pray?” Our lives are often busy with school, work, family, and friends, constantly in motion. We often forget to slow down and snatch a moment of reflection. Slowing down (even a 15-minute walk) can often be a prayerful and centering. It helps us to clear our heads and open our hearts to who and what is around us. Nick Cave’s song “Breathless” is about opening our eyes to the world and beholding the beauty we live in.

Key lines: The wind circles among the trees / And it bangs about the new-made leaves / For it is breathless without you / The fox chases the rabbit round / The rabbit hides beneath the ground / For he is defenseless without you / The sky of daytime dies away / And all the earthly things they stop to play / For we are all breathless without you / I listen to my juddering bones / The blood in my veins and the wind in my lungs /And I am breathless without you

Questions: When have you been so busy that you missed out on something? What helps you slow down, clear your head and open your eyes and heart? What is prayerful about this? How often do you pray? Who do you consider to be wise? What makes them wise?

Music and the Gospel: “Go As You Are,” Curtis Harding, 31st Sunday Ordinary Time

Our first impressions are often stereotypes. We make assumptions based on people’s appearance, how they talk, and how they act. We have to look beyond what our eyes see. The song “Go As You Are” reminds us to keep our eyes open to see who the people we encounter day by day really are.

Key lines: Everyone’s got a story / With no reason for all the rhyme / We fall just a few pounds of glory / I can’t justify all the time / But, go as you are / Just don’t come back the same / If you don’t get too far / You’ve got no one to blame

Questions: What stereotypes exist in your school and community? When has someone stereotyped you? How did this make you feel? When have you made an embarrassing assumption about someone? What happened as a consequence of this assumption? How did you fix it?

Music and the Gospel: “One Of Us,” New Politics, 28th Sunday Ordinary Time

Immigration is a fiery topic today. Some people welcome immigrants; some resist others different from them. This week’s SPIRIT explores how accepting new people and cultures can benefit our communities and schools and expand our relationships with those around us. The song “One of Us” is about celebrating our differences and accepting people into our homes, communities, and lives.

Key lines: Everybody needs a place to call their home / Everybody’s skin is different, not their bones / Even when you’re lonely, know you’re not alone / You’re one of us, one of us, one of us / One of us / Bring the sunshine in / The happy days / The hardship, too / We’ll find a way / So raise your flag / One last time / Before the day is through, I promise you / That we will laugh about it all / And we’ll celebrate the things we’ve done for years to come / ‘Cause that’s what friends, that’s what friends are for

Questions: What challenges do you think immigrants face in new places? What challenges have you faced if you are an immigrant? What do you think helps ease these challenges? What have you learned from people of different cultures? Who do you notice being excluded in your community?

Music and the Gospel: “Open Hands,” Urban Rescue, Easter Sunday

Easter is where Christian faith begins. It celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. The Church often baptizes new believers at Easter time. Spirit is about a young woman who wakes up to what she believes at a baptism. For some people, believing is as natural as breathing; others journey a longer way through doubting and questioning. They may find people in their lives whose faith opens their hearts and minds to the teachings of Jesus. The song “Open Hands” is about opening ourselves up to the possibilities that come with faith and embracing a wider community that encourages and sustains us.

Key Lines: I’m placing all my trust / Into a higher love / You’re dreaming bigger dreams / You have a plan for me / And though I cannot see / Here I am with open hands

Questions: Where are you on your faith journey? How do you describe yourself as a believer? How do examples of faith in other people inspire you? Who has influenced your believing? What baptisms have you witnessed? What does baptism mean to you?