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?

Current Music and the Gospel: “Hall of Fame,” The Script

Gospel Reflection for January 13, Baptism of the Lord: Jesus likes the company John the Baptist keeps, people who are seeking God and turning away from self-centered lives. When John baptizes Jesus, the Holy Spirit descends, anointing Jesus, and a voice identifies him as God’s Son. Both John and Jesus hear God’s call and blessing in this scene. By being true to God’s call in their lives, John and Jesus change the lives of their followers during their lives and throughout history.

Key Lines: When you’re standing in the hall of fame/And the world’s gonna know your name/’Cause you burn with the brightest flame/And the world’s gonna know your name/And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Questions: Who in your life anoints you by recognizing your gifts and talents? When do you feel your flame burning bright? Why do you think it is important for you to live in a way that reflects Jesus’ call? How does God show you that you are loved? In what ways do you think God is well pleased with you?