Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A New Year Challenge (especially for parents)

I'm a little delayed in this announcement, but I wanted to be sure and pass along a fantastic resources for your daily Scripture study.  If you follow the daily Mass readings, be sure to stop by CatholicMom for the Daily Gospel Reflections.  If you've always wanted to but never have, what better time to start than at the beginning of a new year?!

Starting on January 1, a different CatholicMom contributor shares a reflection on that day's Gospel reading.  These are short, inspiring, and accessible reflections to help bring God's Word to the center of your life.  

I joined the Gospel Reflection Team, and my reflections will start being published the 12th of every month.  I am very excited to have this extra nudge to engage on a deeper level with Sacred Scripture.  Also, can I tell you how amazing it is to open up the Gospels and actually understand the context in which Jesus was living because of studying Jeff Cavins' Bible Timeline?!  SO AWESOME!  (Note:  I took this month "off" and asked another writer to take my reflection so that I could focus on getting the house ready to sell.  My reflections start next month.)

To access the daily Mass readings, come here.
To access the CatholicMom Gospel reflections, come here.

My challenge to you (and myself):
I challenge you to read the readings for Mass on Sunday before Mass.  I know this has been especially helpful for me as a mother of young children.  It's tempting to say that you "don't get anything out of Mass" with little ones in tow, but, let's get real--we're getting Someone out of the Mass every time we receive Christ in the Eucharist.  When we think about it like that, it's downright embarrassing to think we'd even be tempted to say that we're "not getting anything out of Mass."  Gulp.  

If we can take the extra time to engage with the Liturgy of the Word before Mass, it will enrich our participation in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  We may not get to hear every single word being said, but allowing the Word to be on our hearts before we walk into the sanctuary is a powerful practice.  We'll be better prepared to connect the dots between the readings and Father's homily.  Philip and I are going to make it a point to discuss the readings and Father's homily after Mass.  Between the two of us, we should be able to get the whole message and learn from one another's insights.  As an added bonus, we'll be better prepared to pass on the Faith to your children because of our extra engagement with God's Word.  Everyone wins!    

If you're already reading the Mass readings for Sundays, I challenge you to read at least one of the other day's Scripture readings.  Read them with the Catechism at your side (or find it online here), and begin to see how intrinsic God's Word is to the Catholic Faith.  Bonus points if you actually get to Mass on a day other than Sunday and hear the Word being proclaimed!

I hope you'll enjoy the daily CatholicMom Gospel reflections and begin to deepen (or just begin!) your appreciation of God's love letters to you.  He won't disappoint you for making the effort!

What do you and your other family members do to deepen your relationship with God's Word?  Please share!

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